So, I got curious and ran over to Little Hong Kong in El Cerrito tonight to try it. I have got to guess that this is not XO sauce at its finest.
So what restaurant, anywhere in the Bay Area, does a good job with XO sauce? If you can recommend the best dish on the menu that uses it, that would also be appreciated.
For those who are wondering with XO sauce is, here's a link with info
As far as Little Hong Kong's version, I would have just thought it was either minced bell peppers or minced tomatoes.
I have to assume at this point the alure of LHK is large portions of reasonably priced food, that's really not bad, but nothing really stands out ... except a liberal use of oil.
Trying to AVOID oil, I ordered the steamed clams in XO sauce. You would think ...
Lot's of clams for $7.95 - about 2 dozen in the shell topped with the minced red sauce, a dash of chopped celery, sitting in a pool of oil. They weren't bad, but I didn't get any clam rush from the dish or any particular flavor.
Not straying far from my broccoli beef roots, I was compelled to order the chicken apple curry. Not too bad either, wok-fried chicken, apple slices, potato pieces, bell pepper and onion in an oily, mild yellow curry.
In their favor, I will say that my teeth had a nice sheen after dinner and my tounge glided across my teeth like Bryan Boitano in his prime.
The guy across from me (not Asian) was discussing the fact that he didn't order sweet and sour chicken. He ordered sesame chicken. They assured him it was sesame chicken, stirred the pieces around on the dish to show him. He said "Oh yes, I see a sesame now". Fortunately I wasn't drinking tea because I would have done a spit take.
Too bad. I really liked that warm red bean tapioca soup. I'd go there for just that.
It's not that I didn't have warnings from Chowhounds whose opinions I trust and tastes are similar to my own. Sometimes you can't save someone from themselves. It was the XO sauce though. Wanted to try it and LHK was a place that I knew had it on the menu.
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