Pretty good barebones Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. We hopped in on a whim after strolling through Gallery place. Even at 9:00 P.M., it was pretty busy (which is a good sign), but the waitresses found us a seat quickly.
In a style reminiscent of Chinatown in San Francisco, a dozen or so “specials” were posted on the wall. There was also a normal dinner menu as well as dinner specials that included main course and rice. We opted for beef with vegetables and pork with vegetables. Both were very good. I requested mine to have a little heat, and it had precisely that – not too much, not too little. At $8.95 each, they were a bargain, and unlike San Francisco, credit cards were accepted.
Unfortunately, the restaurant suffers from poor service. Only one of the waitresses did NOT wear an expression that reeked of “Man do I hate this crummy job!” They dropped off water, menus, and food like robots, yet it took quite a while for these robots to take our order and deliver the food. This was somewhat disconcerting because we had a train to catch. Almost impossible to get their attention. Never a concern for our satisfaction or the quality of the meal. Never a refill on water. This definitely isn’t a place where you’re agonizing over whether to give 15% or 20% tip!
Maybe it’s only fitting that all three of our fortunes (I received two, my son only one) were identical. We wondered if the restaurant saved a little money by bargaining with a cookie manufacturer that only produced one fortune per box.
In sum, don’t go to Tai Shan for romance or to be pampered. Go for the food quality and price performance when you’re relaxed, with friends, and not averse to drinking a couple beers while waiting for your food.
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