5362 College Ave.
This sleek-and-swanky College Avenue addition (and a Kirin relation) is really something to look at: stark walls, dim lighting, an eye-catching wall glowing with backlit Chinese characters, a towering ceiling and a graceful staircase to a mysterious second floor. From the looks of the interior and exterior, Chu is going for the high-end, high-toned crowd. Surprisingly, the food does not carry the anticipated high-dollar price such decor generally implies. That may be why our dinner wasn’t as impressive as it might have been in a less majestic space. Even though we were celebrating a special occasion, our service wasn’t special at all — no steering us toward house specialties, no chatting about the selections. Sitting down to a tiny cup of complimentary soup set expectations high, but our dishes — minced chicken lettuce cups, dry wok tamarind chicken and Zha Jiang noodles San Dong style — were lackluster, and the overall timing was off. Too bad, because the setting sure is nice. Serves lunch and dinner Tue.–Sat., dinner only on Sun.
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