mirrored wall. The glass topped booths and tables have fresh flowers
and a real canary sings in the background.
Attentive server, Lucy Wang, is quick with the menu.
From the Family Dinners ($11.95 to $18.95) we chose the Deluxe
($11.95) which begins with a choice of hot and sour or egg flower
We selected the egg flower soup. The golden chicken broth, thick
with egg-white strands, is hot and warming on this winter night. This
is followed by the appetizer plate -- a folded, fried wonton skin
that is overcooked and dry and can't be redeemed, even by the
flavorful creamy filling.
Disappointing also is the crab Rangoon, which substituted what
seemed like chicken for crab filling.
Driest of all is the foil-wrapped chicken. Usually a moist mix of
soy and ginger with pieces of chicken, here it's tasty but devoid of
From the eight entrees we selected cashew chicken, a mix of
crunchy water chestnuts, carrot cubes, celery, chicken and some
cashews. The dish, served family style, mixes the nuts with the
vegetables giving them a good, nutty taste superior to some
restaurants that just top the dish with cashews.
Chef Zang grew up in China where his family owned a restaurant. He
learned the art of seasoning and presentation well, but he tends to
overcook some dishes.
Server Lucy does the moo shu pork tableside, which is always fun
to watch. She deftly spreads the tortilla-like skins called,
"doilies," with pungent plum sauce and spoons on a mix of shredded
Napa cabbage, bamboo shoots and green onions, folding each into a
neat bundle open at the top.
For additional piquancyd more sauce.
Manager Eilene Shue cruises the dining room, speaking to diners,
greeting regulars by name and inquiring if they want the "usual." She
says her favorite dish is the spicy beef on fresh, steamed spinach.
Taste of China was bought by John Hung of San Francisco in
January. Although the name's the same, the restaurant has yet to come
into focus and recapture the juicy succulence of past preparations.
* MARY FURR is the Independent restaurant critic. If you have
comments or suggestions, call (562) 493-5062 or e-mail