Thursday, October 1, 2015

La Mei Zi

No one has ever ventured over Ming's invisible border with their previous neighbor, Chicken World, before... Except for this fat fuck. That shithole was filthy enough for the pouch to not even eat there, but I did get some wings to go once and ate it on the curb while doing an Asian squat. Remember McDonald's bone-in wings? Well, yeah, Chicken World was worse than that. Fast forward many decades later and they finally went kaput and replaced by a new Chino spot that is so much nicer and modern. Well, at least on the surface... The inside was clean and the outside was inviting. But the words "Asian Bistro" always reminds me of some gimmicky crackerized Chino chain joint like Panda Express or PF Changs. But after looking at the menu, this may prove respectable.

The place has been opened for a few months and it has been getting a bit of a following. I guess it's less scary to the gwailos since it looks pretty and clean unlike most traditional Chino joints... I didn't see any stray cats hanging around. And who knows maybe they will even have orange chicken here. The menu is mostly a mix of Taiwanese and Sichuan but they also throw in a couple Cantonese dishes here and there. They also have a weekend lunch buffet and it's the health department's worst nightmare where steam trays are placed open on tables in the middle of the room without sneeze guards or any other germ repelling barrier... I'm betting that the buffet gig will soon be a distant memory unless they get the proper buffet equipment. But seriously, who gives a shit about a mass produced buffet when the menu items are the real attractions here. Let's go eat motherfuckers and don't disappoint the pouch, it's hungry and cranky... You don't want to feel the wrath if it gets Hamburger Helper grade slop...

Beef Scallion Pancake Rolls. It's basically a Chino Burrito... But without all the fucking useless filler. These things mean business... Meat and more meat encased inside a scallion pancake. A little crispy crunch then savory meat filler and repeat. What the fuck is there not to like about these things. Add some hot chili oil on it and it's fucking dericious.

Pork Belly Buns. These fucking things were huge. If I had elephantiasis of the sack, I would want my one ball to be this size... Gives me something to do at the dentist waiting room. We all know these types of buns were all the rave at hipster joints around town the last couple of years with some even charging over $5 a piece for half the size. Here, they are under $6 for 2 hefty ones.

Bun Innards. A really nice size hunk of braised pork pouch, pickles and cilantro. They tasted pretty damn good to me. The only minor issue was the bun was barely warm through. I like my buns steamy, moist and bouncy... Who doesn't.

Taiwanese Salt & Pepper Chicken with Basil. Can they best my beloved Quickly cheekan nuggets? Yes and no, they are not spicy like Quickly's but they're not suppose to be. It's a salt and pepper chicken and it is fucking dericious. The salt and pepper is balanced, the crust is full of little crunchy bits, the fried garlic slices and basil leaves totally completes the overall dish. This is one of the best Taiwanese cheekan nuggets in town, if not the best (Quickly still kicks ass in a different way). Next time, I'm gonna asked them for some cayenne/white pepper/5 spice powder on the side so I can make it a bit more spicy to my taste. Hell, even some Sichuan peppercorns, too.

Stewed Minced Pork with Sesame Sauce Dry Noodle. Another classic dish aka "Taiwanese Spaghetti.". You can get it without the sesame sauce but I like it with it which coated the noodles more evenly and you get all the flavor in every bite. It's a total comfort dish, perfect for a fat girl like me.

Spicy Fish Fillet Sichuan Style. It was supposed to be in a hot pot but whatever... It ain't gonna sit around long enough to get cold when the pouch is on duty. The fillets were tender and Sichuan chili sauce would be too intense for the average gwailo but the pouch coulda used about 7 times more heat. The dry red chilis were there just for show, not much heat in those. The bottom is packed with napa cabbage. This is awesome spooned over a big bowl of rice to soak up all that juice. This version was real nice but there is better in this town for this dish.

Crab Roe with Chinese Okra. Now, this is a bit different, won't find this dish too often around here or never. You can also have it with tofu or napa cabbage.... But Chino okra is a better choice. The crab roe with crab meat bits (coulda used more of both because I'm a fat slob) in this ultra homey and comfy sauce thinger was pretty fucking good. Make sure you ask for another clean bowl and fill it with rice and spoon this slutty bitch all over it. It's like eating unicorn smegma in a bowl... Rainbows will come out of every one of your orifices. It's fucking magical. You may even find a pot of gold... All I found was just a golden shower at the end.

Three Cup Bone-In Chicken with Basil. This came out sizzling hot and smelled like cheekan heaven. The dark sweet soy braising liquid coated the bone-in chicken pieces extremely well and give it the umami flavor with each bite enhanced by the fragrant basil leaves. This was real good. A must get.

Mapo Tofu. My test dish for competence in the kitchen... And they did well. While it wasn't all that spicy, this had nice consistency, good amount of pork bits, deep red color and medium firm tofu that held together well. Just a well executed dish.. Need to ask them for super spicy next time.

Sichuan Beef Stew Noodle Soup. Come again? This was more like Taiwanese beef noodle soup. No, it's exactly that because if it was Sichuan it woulda been spicy as fuck. This had zero chili oil or Sichuan peppercorns in it. Beside the inaccurate name, this beef noodle soup rocked out with their noodle out. It was good and at $8.95 for a heaping bowl, it was real good.

Oh, and who could forget about these tasty little nuggets of spicy peanuts. They're addictive and tingly when you bust a nut in your mouth. I busted a nut in my piehole at least a dozen times.

I like this place, it ain't the best Taiwanese and Sichuan grub I have ever had but when you can get both styles under one roof, it's a win-win for the pouch. The quality and consistency here is good enough and sometimes more than good enough for the pouch's discriminating snout. Is Asian Plaza making a comeback? I think so, slowly but surely... Looks like the old Ranch 99 market is being built out again and get this... It may become a FOOD COURT. Just as I have been saying for the last couple of years that that space would be sick as fuck if it was an open market/food court concept. Please be fucking true, bro. Don't fucking die on me! But in the mean time, I totally approve of this joint.

5150 Buford Hwy NE
Doraville, GA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Get one of your trust fund baby investors to back the food court "concept."