while waiting for a smog check on my car, i strolled up past weimax to the mysterious grace garden for lunch yesterday. theirs is one of the more unusual resto signs in that it features 4 languages. english, chinese, korean, and japanese! normally, anything over 2 = warning, but what the heck, a good chow knows the only senses to be trusted completely reside somewhere south of the eyelids.
so in i go. the staff speaks chinese. the kind of chinese that is heard in beijing, or even further north. i am given the gringo menu, and ask for something more. i get chinese and korean. when i'm at a new place and don't know what i'm looking for, neither of these do me much good either, so i beg for more help. wonderfully, the lady produces a picture album! the usual spectrum of doughy northern faves are depicted therein, and i look with interest at many. finally, owing to the still chilly weather, i decide to try once more to find the waldo of northern cal northern chinese cuisine, good niu ro mien (beef noodle soup).
well, no dice. it was a decent bowl, going 2 for 4 on the day. hits on curly, wriggly, lively, hand wrought noodles, and an ample supply of non sandy, non pink stemmed spinach. but the beef itself, while tender and chunky, did not have enough smooth tendon or toothsome connective tissue to get it out of a dry, bland infield.
the marquis player, the BB (beefy broth) of the lineup, took a feeble swing lacking true focus and power. the big boy was instead artificially injected with excessive, monotonal garlic juice, sacrificing all in a big fat pop fly that is surely supposed to advance the cause of the seafood, pork, and chicken soups as well. but this universal garlic stock can't convince a true fan. it is so shallow it couldn't help those other soupy players, had they even been present at any corner of my barren little 4 top infield.
i'd rather take the walk to weimax.
ps, i got a nice nero d'avola there hoping i might somehow make it to the chowdown at osteria. well, it's now earmarked 'next italian chowdown'.
as for grace garden, since the noodles were of such quality, further probing into the doughy interior of the menu is well warranted. but if he exists at all, our waldo surely does not smirk or lurk in this garden.