Before guests can even make out the dark red calligraphy on Chinese Palace Restaurant's sign, they’ll catch a whiff of the enticing scent of Cantonese spices emanating from the front door. The source of these delectable aromas is the eatery's kitchen, where chefs busy themselves whipping up chop suey, savory fried rice, and authentic Cantonese dishes. Diners can sample any number of Chinese specialties on the five tabletops that speckle the tiny intimate space. On busy nights, they can opt for carryout to enjoy dishes at home in the company of loved ones, friendly roommates, or obliging mirrors.
Featuring a menu packed with healthy options, Panda Garden swifty dishes spicy and snow-pea-centric Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. Diners can peruse a substantial selection of vegetable and meat medleys, including comforting classics such as Hunan beef ($8.50), Kung Po chicken ($7.95), and crab rangoon ($4.50). Meat-phobic diners can feast on the vegetarian options, including Szechuan bean curd ($6.95), while fans of figure-friendly foods will feel no guilt ordering steamed veggies with chicken ($7.50) from the health food menu, where each item is salt-free, MSG-free, corn starch-free, and oil-free. The Dragon and Phoenix ($9.95) combines two popular dishes, spicy shrimp and General Tso's chicken, into one piquant entrée. Panda Garden's dining room is a small but inviting space, with yellow walls, dark mahogany dining tables, and framed pictures of popular dishes, which help people forget about the small photographs of their favorite ham and cheese sandwich stored in their wallet.
Asian Bowl's menu is loaded with both iconic and unique dishes from Thailand and Japan. The roasted duck, a boneless slab of poultry slathered in homemade soy sauce and escorted by pineapples and steamed broccoli ($10.95), represents Thailand's cuisine more effectively than Ms. Thailand dressed in a gown of rice noodles. Patrons can taste the Land of the Rising Sun noodle by noodle with the Japanese tempura soba, which arrives at the table submerged in a seasoned fish broth and accompanied by shrimp and veggie tempura ($8.95), or let their uvulas high-five the seafood delight ($10.95), loaded with fresh shrimp, squid, crab, and scallops, then stir-fried to perfection with veggies and garlic sauce.
A native of Hong Kong, Chef Brian Eng masterminded a menu of healthy family recipes infused with fresh, handpicked ingredients and devoid of MSG. A smattering of starters, such as a duo of crispy egg rolls ($3.25) and hot-and-sour soup ($2.95–$4.75) prevent mouths from chugging a bottle of soy sauce. Made-to-order mains include the beef in a nest, sliced beef doused in onion-infused gravy nestled in a soft bed of Cantonese pan-fried noodles ($7.25–$10.75), and the empress chicken, a jewel-encrusted chicken frolicking with peppers and onions in a barbecue sweet-and-sour sauce ($7.00–$10.50). Diners can cast a net around the silver shrimp and scallops served on broccoli next to a pool of cream sauce ($10.45–$15.50). A quintet of almond cookies ($1.25) rounds out the meal more eloquently than a soliloquy from a bilingual Shakespeare impersonator.
At Little Panda Chinese Restaurant, plates of beef and chicken glisten with sweet, tangy Asian sauces. The cooks prepare Chinese classics, along with Thai and Japanese dishes, to make for an MSG-free menu with plentiful, opportunities to sample veggies, chicken, shrimp, or beef. House specialties include steak and shrimp delicacy—beef and jumbo shrimps sauteed with vegetables, slathered in spicy black pepper sauce—and mongolian beef—pan-seared beef in a spicy Chinese barbecue sauce. Vegetarian options include spicy szechwan vegetables and vegetable pad thai.
Fortune Kookie Restaurant silences stomachs' grumbling cries for diverse Chinese cuisine with the numerous pork, chicken, beef, seafood, and vegetarian dishes populating its menu. Plates of sesame chicken hold lightly battered morsels doused in a tart, spicy sauce ($7.25 for lunch; $10.95 for dinner) to sate caged teeth accustomed to gnawing on tongues and tree bark shaped like steak for flavor. Frozen taste buds thaw under the rain of the fiery sauce that accompanies the stir-fried mix of bean curd, vegetables, and meat in the szechwan tofu with beef ($15.25). Much like a delusional pirate, the Eight Treasure tofu considers its golden till of fried shrimp, scallops, and squid as an ocean-drawn fortune ($13.95). Vegetarians and disguised sauropods indulge in vegetarian entrees such as stir-fried silver-thread noodles ($9.25 for vegetarian; $11.50 with meat) or the Farmer's Market, a grocer's stand of vegetables, including baby corn, broccoli, and fresh mushrooms ($8.95).