We were still laying out ground rules as we headed out to find our first spot. How do we avoid having a lunch of jo-jos and corn-dogs at the corner scary-mart? Should we check for health code violations before going in (Emmett says no)? Somehow we decided to start by heading east on Jackson. The first lunch spot within the DLA is the New Star Restaurant just east of 5th next to the parking lot. We took some pictures outside and headed in.
Luncher: GearyLunch: Prawns in Spicy Garlic Sauce - $6.50
Fortune: It's time to treat yourself to something special
This is the type of place I dread the most about this adventure. It looks like they have a nice dinner menu and probably attract lots of Chinese families with their wide selection of authentic dishes, but it was 12:15 on a Tuesday and it was almost empty. Their lunch menu is mostly the typical American Chinese lunch specials. For six bucks you can get fried rice, a bowl of soup (guess what the two options are), and cashew chicken or Mongolian beef or chicken in garlic sauce or one of the other classics. And since these are targeted at local business folks, not their Chinese customers, they are typically uninspired and bland. They still offer their full dinner menu and had some interesting specials listed on their chalk board, but we must abide by rule #2 so we ordered off of the lunch menu. To be completely fair, the lunch menu was a bit more extensive than typical, but still a bit boring.
Service was prompt and friendly. The hot and sour soup was fine, but neither hot nor sour enough for my tastes. I asked the woman serving us for a recommendation and decided to go with the prawns in spicy garlic sauce that she suggested. The fried rice was average. The sauce on the prawns was too sweet and not very spicy (even at 5 stars) for a dish with 'spicy' in the name.
The hot sauce was interesting. I'm not sure what was in it, but it was like finly chopped nuts or beans. It had a pleasant taste, but wasn't very hot.
Luncher: AdamLunch: Three Flavored Meats in Peking Sauce - $6.50
Fortune: Your respect for others will be your ticket to success
I'm not sure my review for this restaurant is valid because I was so excited about starting the MSG150, that I probably thought everything was tastier than it actually was.
I know you're thinking: "Who in their right mind would want to get a dish called Three Flavored Meats?" That'd me be. The meats were chicken, prawns, and pork (at least I think that was pork). The Peking sauce was standardly delicious. In fact, everything about the meal was pretty standard.
Something that scares most people is hot sauce, but you shouldn't be of this one. The hot sauce may have been the only non-standard thing at this place: It seemed like it had some sort of seeds in it that were a little sweet. The sweetness was good, but the seeds took up all the room, so there wasn't enough space for spicy chili flakes! I love spicy food, so that was kind of disappointing. Between the three of us, we took down a whole jar of the stuff, so it must have been pretty good.
Standard restaurant. Standard food. Nice and prompt service.
Luncher: EmmettLunch: Honey Walnut Prawns - $6.50
Fortune: A bold and dashing adventure is in your future
New Star Restaurant PhotosNew Star
Hot and Sour Soup
Adam's Three Meat Special
Geary's Spicy Prawns in Garlic Sauce
Emmett's Honey Walnut Prawns