we have been systematically eating our way from one end of West Portal to the the other.
Last week we tried Xiao Loong:
We started with the XLB and the House Wontons.
The XLB filling was good, but the dumplings were way too big and the wrappers way to sticky and thick, so they all ripped. Basically, even though the filling was tasty, the experience was a dud.
The house wontons though, they were excellent! First off, it was totally the old school american chinese experience. We even got the hot mustard and duck sauce of our childhood! it was awesome. The wonton fillings were the same as the xlb filling but smaller in size and fried perfectly and you could pop the whole thing in your mouth and the pork and ginger were just the right balance. very enjoyable.
spicy dry fried chicken. it was ok. The sauce was a little too sticky sweet and there was way more batter on the chicken, than chicken in the batter.
Hunan Hot Pepper Pork. It was probably the best entree dish. the pork was juliened and with large strips of onion and jalapeno and ginger and green onion. The sauce was just enough to tie everything together, but didn't drown the dish. It was tasty and had the right amount of heat and aside from the house wontons, i thought it was the best dish of the night
Asparagus in black bean. It was good. typical. it was a special for the night and it was done well, but not spectacular. However, they didn't shave the woody stems down, so a few of the pieces were inedible.
Combination Fried rice. blech. this failed.
The tea was very good, and we decided if we went back it would be for an afternoon tea with wontons to snack on.
This week we went to Bullshead Restaurant for dinner:
I walked in with the idea of eating a burger, but as soon as i got inside I saw the new york strips, all aged and air dried and piled up on butcher paper in the case and my eyes zoned in on the EXACT one I wanted and that was that.
We were seated and our order was placed. I asked immediately if I could go point out my steak to the chef and the waiter said "absolutely."
So I got the New York Strip steak dinner with baked potato and salad bar. Medium rare.
My date perused the menu and then ordered the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It is called "The Challenger": 1/2 pound burger (he specified it be a Buffalo meat burger, since he had never tried bufallo before) with avocado, bacon, monterey jack, cheddar, sauteed mushrooms and sauteed onions. The thing was bigger than his head! I swear to god it was so huge he had to eat half of it with a fork until he could whittle it down to a workable size. All this AND onion rings and a root beer float. He said he felt like he was in an Archie Comic.
Anyway, the salad bar was nice. standard. nothing special. pretty oldschool actually : canned beets, chickpeas, hardboiled eggs, 18 kinds of dressing....really early bird special type of salad bar. It suited the wood paneling decor with fake plants sprouted around.
But then my steak came. oh man. I have to be honest with you all and add this disclaimer: I have stopped ordering steaks in restaurants because when it comes to a steak dinner I am a traditionalist. I like my steak thick, plain, and very red. No sauces, no cheeses, nothing. I like just the steak and the baked potato and if the steak is done right, it will have enough juice in it to moisten the baked potato, so that each bite is a like a little perfect meal in your mouth. a small peice of the steak with a small peice of the baked potato on top. No extra seasoning is needed.
So then my steak came and it was PERFECT. It was red from the first bite to the last. It had perfect grill marks on it. It looked like something you would see in a magazine. I can't begin to pay enough homage to how happy this chef made me. I even told the waiter to let him know that outside of my own home, this was the best steak meal I have had in this city.
I think it might have been the nostalgic early bird type setting mixed in with the company and the perfect execution of how this steak was done, that moved this meal from good to exceptional.
I am done with the over-priced-pompous-a la carte only menu-steakhouses in this town. I have found my steakhouse, and by god, they will let me view my steak before they even cook it!
and that's all i have to say about that.
Total for both meals with drinks and tip : 60.00.
so far, i would have to say, of all the options we have tried in West Portal, Bullshead wins handsdown.