I saw the sign driving by this morning and stopped in at lunchtime to see what was happening. The former owners sold up and are moving back to China. Some of the same staff were thereone of the Chinese cooks, and a waitress. (Im hoping the evening crew are still there too.) Friendly new folks.
I said Chinese cook because theres now a Japanese side of the kitchen. Just what we need, another sushi-and-something-else joint. Grump. The list of house specialties has lost a lot of the Sichuan stuff and added some more ordinary dishes. Gone are the steamed pork with pickles, hong shao and dong puo pork, braised pork ribs (damn), pork tripe with pickles, all but one fish dish, and the cold noodles in chili garlic sauce (double damn). My favorite twice-cooked pork is still there, though.
Some new things look interesting: dry-cooked beef in cumin sauce (this must be getting trendy), ground beef w/celery in spicy sauce, traditional moo shi pork. The crystal-looked aspic cold dish was explained as a pork skin preparation that winds up a sort of jelly. Moms stewed pork with soy sauce might cover for those vanished braises.
My lunch of Ma Po tofu was solidnice double whammy from Sichuan pepper and pickled red chili, with some chopped (not ground) meat.
Prices have come down a bit. The standard Chinese-American menu has expanded. Theyve done some welcome redecorating (the pianos still there). Hours are basically the same except theyre closed between 3 and 5 now and stay open a bit later. Phone numbers the same. No mention of delivery limitations or charges.
1295 Broadway, Somerville