Hunan in Las Vegas? Really?
I was just in Las Vegas for the infamous 2017 CES Consumer Electronics Show. We invited our Chinese collegues to dinner. We asked what they wanted to eat, we were expecting something like take us to Joel Robuchon or Mario Batali's Carnevino, but they said how about Chinese food.
We seem to expect foreign visitors to want to try "local" food, but when you sit down to think about it, it makes a lot of sense that they would want to eat familar foods, as traveling to a strange country is stressful and while China is a more open and cosmopolitan country western food is still pretty much associated with KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonalds-if that's representative of American cuisine I wouldn't want to eat that either-give me homestyle food.
All three of our collegues live and work in Shenzen, but two of them are from Hunan province, so the quest for Hunan style food was on. Hunan cuisine is one of the eight great cuisines of China characterized as being hot,sour and salty. Pretty much everyone has tried organge chicken, made famous by Panda Express-this is an example of a classic Hunan style dish. I put Hunan food into Yelp and up came Hunan Cuisine with almost all 5 star reviews and we headed over that way. We arrrived at the address in Yelp and we immediately noted that there is no place named Hunan Cuisine, we took a shot and went with the address listed there is no sign nor is there any hint of what type of food is served there ( I can't read Chinese). The restraunt was packed with not a caucasian dinner in sight-a very good sign. One of our collegues immediately recognized a long lost friend of hers and they got reacquainted-another good sign that this was going to be a good dinner. We let our Hunan guests order and our Hunan dining tour began. We ordered 7 dishes between 5 people, fried potato slices with vinegar, twice cooked pork, long beans with eggplant, mapo tofu, braised pork Mao style, seaweed and spare rib soup, fish with tofu sprouts in fresh water, Our Hunan guests were very happy with the quality of the food and commented that it was very authentic and it made them very happy to finally have a quality meal after being in America for 3 days. Mission accomplished
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