From the Archives (11.20.08)
Phuong is my FAV!!!!
If you don’t know any better – take a clue from the fish tank that sits in the front entrance way – this place is the real deal. That’s not just for decoration people – they use those suckers! Last week, I returned to Tasty China (twice in fact) for my first meals there in approximately six-months. Not much has changed – and thank god! It’s in a dumpy little strip center in Marietta (across from what looks like a building that was fire bombed), but the restaurant has that very comfortable sort of feeling. The interior is washed in red and gold, very apropos. It’s a good sized spot – a bunch of booths and even more tables. In fact, you know this place will do you right if you bring a group – I think there are at least four tables with lazy susans (and maybe more than that).
I get a total kick out of Phuong. She’s famous – just read some of the other reviews! I think the term “soup nazi” has bleed into our vernacular a bit too easily, but in that spirit – she could very well go toe-to-toe with Ali Yenagh. She’s a total hoot but a total sweetheart once you get to know her. She’ll bark at you to move your keys/phones/etc… off of the table, but she’ll light up when you show up with a six-pack of beer! That’s my girl! Yes it is a BYOB establishment. Ask her what she recommends and she’ll bark so many things in your general direction your head will spin. Fear not, if you are unaware – just tell her how spicy you like and she’ll do the rest! The other waitresses seem to do more running than anything else, but they are all nice and pleasant.
If you do go it on your own, there isn’t too much to worry about. Unfortunately, when you glance at the menu you see a minefield of dishes that are no longer offered. When Chef Chang split to Knoxville, he took about half the menu with him. Press on my adventurous little foodie – pleasure awaits you! The menu is almost comedic – at the top of the first few pages says “American Dishes,” how funny is that? Skip over that part without a second thought and move to the Sichuan section. While Chef Chang may not be here, his replacement is more than capable. Remember, this is Sichuan – so it should be spicy. They use all the standards too – peppercorns, chili, ginger, yuxiang, and mala! Nice huh?
I highly recommend the steamed dumplings and the dan dan noodles for starters. The dumplings are flat out yummilicious. However, there is usually a glob of oil at the bottom of the dan dan. This may be a turn off for people. The chicken with 3-mushrooms is excellent, as is their fresh fish with black bean sauce. For all their wonderfulness, there are some short comings. A handful of the dishes just never seem to turn out just right. Granted, I’m being pretty harsh here – but there are some things on the menu that fall distinctly into the “just okay” category.
Regardless, go here and go here often. I did see how this place was named the #2 Chinese spot in the city. It’s certainly worthy (though some of the other places on that list were a joke). Oh well …. Onward and upwards my adventurous foodies!
Address:585 Franklin Rd SE, Marietta, GA 30067 // P:770.419.9849