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Chinese restaurants are everywhere, but few dare to deviate from the Americanized mainstream. Chong Qing Restaurant is one of those who prove good food doesn’t need to trade authenticity for popularity. Take Kung Pao Chicken as an example: forget the saucy bell peppers of all colors - chicken and peanuts with a blend of spices are all it takes to keep your chopsticks closeby. A nice surprise on the menu is the popular Chinese comfort food, Hot Pot. Similar to fondue, the mix of about ten kinds of meats and vegetables creates lots of flavor in a sizzling pot. And for just USD15, it feeds four happy eaters. Do start the meal with the cold appetizer combo for a mouth-watering deal.
Located in the Woodbury Town Center in Irvine, this popular restaurant features an array of Northern Chinese specialties. Organizing its menu to fit the ever-popular tapas style of dining, Asian Tapas offers delicacies such as kung pao beef, Mongolian lamb, honey walnut prawns, clay pot dishes and variety of vegetarian options large enough for sharing. The restaurant is clean and modern, featuring sleek black lacquered tables and a minimal amount of the ever-present Chinese cherry blossom kitsch decor.
Mas Islamic Chinese Restaurant serves up an interesting and less common branch of Chinese cuisine, namely Hallal Chinese food. Although Mas Islamic Chinese serves many classic Chinese dishes that immediately come to mind, it would be a shame to miss out on their Islamic Chinese specialties. Special dishes include lamb with jalapeños, hand cut noodles with beef or lamb, special dumplings, green onion pancakes and their popular sesame bread. Mas Islamic Chinese is some of the most popular Chinese food in the area so expect lines during peak hours.
Golden Dragon Chinese Food is a favorite in the area for bountiful and affordable Chinese cuisine. Dishes at Golden Dragon always taste fresh and seem to lack the layer of grease so often found accompanying Chinese food. Everything is prepared fresh to order, so you can make sure you get your food the way you want it, and they will even prepare some dishes that aren't on the menu. Favorites include the various soups, Mu-Shu dishes, potstickers and orange chicken. The interior is basic and without frills, but Golden Dragon is especially popular for take-out.