I went to Yunnan Kitchen with a large group a few days ago and tried almost everything on the menu. I had seen another CH review complaining of blandness but this wasn't my experience - the food was fresh, delicious and expertly prepared with lots assertive flavors and unexpected seasonings. I don't really know what Yunnan food is supposed to taste like but the flavors seemed more authentically "asian" than Lotus Blue while being in step with the modern profiles of Momofuku Ssam Bar and Wong.
I particularly liked:
King Trumpet Mushrooms - sawtooth herb, ham
Fried Potato Balls - Yunnan spices, soy-vinegar
Tofu Ribbon Salad - mint, cilantro, chilies
Shredded Chicken - tamarind, crispy taro
Charred Eggplant - sawtooth herb, crushed peanuts, chilies
Ham Rice Cakes - chilies
Scallion fried rice - egg
Grilled skewers (shao kao, particularly the crispy chicken and ground lamb).
For a full meal I'd recommend 3 or 4 small plates per person. The service is great and the room has a nice open feel with big windows. The restaurant takes reservations for parties of 6 or more (closed Tuesdays) though smaller parties can be seated without much of a wait. We plan to return soon.
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