Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hollywood East Cafe Again and Again

After long days, last night we headed back to Hollywood East Cafe for another wonderful meal. These folks know how to cook. Time after time we have had delicious food made right and I always look forward to going back.

Shrimp wonton starters were thick and delicious. The wrappers were a bit thicker than I am used to and the shrimp was reminiscent of that found is their tasty haw gaw on the dim sum menu.

Chicken and mushrooms in a rice hot pot. Such an unremarkable sounding dish but a total hit. The ceramic pot arrived smelling deeply of smoke and goodness. Chicken falling off the bone, with a very light sauce over moist rice with plump mushrooms. Everything smoky, everything delicious, everything subtle but flavorful.

Sauteed string beans, something I've had many times at other restaurants were sassy. Thin julienned ginger sticks, garlic, onion, and just enough red pepper and a light sweet soy sauce to really bring the dish together. Cooked but crisp. The salt balanced with the sweet.

Crispy shredded beef is the best I have had. Very lightly floured (rice flour?) a tangy sweet sauce, served hot with a generous portion.

Again, Hollywood East succeeds for me by their restraint. Just enough sauce, just enough heat. Nothing gloopy, nothing pushing it too far. But everything seems so well-considered.


Anonymous said...

It seems we may be the only people in the greater DC area to have had terrible experiences with Hollywood East. When we received our takeout (once after waiting an HOUR at the bar), we had simply forgettable dishes including jerky-like beef & broccoli, a watery vegetarian stir-fry with tofu (the only vegetable was, unfortunately, broccoli), and orange beef. They also blamed us for the poorly packaged dish that ended up on our car floor, requiring a replacement.

I appreciate that the food writers love HE, but perhaps you all are giving yourselves away by lugging in steno pads and pencils. I've been burned twice, and I don't intend to go again for a while.

DC Food Blog said...

Hi Anon-

Well, I think you may not be the only people, experiences can vary. I can honestly say that we have repeatedly had great meals and service as have our friends.

The assumption that we come with steno pads and pencils is pretty funny. Not us, so that probably doesn't explain much.

I wish you better culinary adventures!