Braised Beef Rolls ($10)
Paper thin slices of tender Braised Beef Rolls ($10) wrapped around cucumbers and mint leaves come glazed with a sweet and savory sauce and a shower or fried garlic. It's instantly reminiscent of Vietnamese pho bo, but far, far more refreshing. Light braised beef? Who'd have thought?
Chrysanthemum Leaf Salad ($7)
Bitter herbal flavors show up in dishes like the Chrysanthemum Leaf Salad ($7), which smells like geraniums but tastes like bitter arugula coated with a tahini-like sesame dressing.
Chinese Sausage Fried Rice ($13)
Chinese Sausage Fried Rice ($13) made with seasonal mushrooms (Yunnan is the mushroom capitol of China, if not the world), and sweet cured Chinese sausage custom-made at Salumeria Biellese is a little greasier and much more expensive than you'd expect. The rice is slick enough it tumbles into individual grains through your chopsticks.
The art on the walls come from Chou's travels through China.
Cold Noodles ($10)
Wide Rice Noodles ($10) served cold and topped with pork, herbs, peanuts, and chilis sounds like a cross-cultural stroke of genius—dan dan noodles through a Vietnamese lens—but are marred by mushy texture and a sauce that leaves you wishing it were either more Sichuan or more Vietnamese. It's lost in a bland netherworld between the two.
Fried Potato Balls ($8)
Excellent little croquettes that you'd never think fit into a Chinese restaurant, but they seem to live for the sweet soy dipping sauce.
Chinese Greens ($7)
The greens change depending on availability. This time, the bok choy was faultlessly cooked, if a little blandly seasoned.
Marinated Tofu ($5) and Fingerlings and Shishitos ($5)
My least favorite and my favorite skewers on the same plate. The tofu had very little flavor other than the spice blend (and that's coming from someone who loves tofu), but the grilled shishito peppers were little flavor bombs.