I work out of my house, love to cook, and am fine with rented movies, so to say that I don’t get out much is a real understatement. In fact, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to occasionally leave my house. I have a friend who is helping me on this quest. Stacy is the East Bay socialite and she knows every good restaurant on both sides of the tunnel.
When we made arrangements to have lunch together last Saturday, of course I let Stacy choose the restaurant. She got all excited as she told me about this little Chinese restaurant in Moraga that is the only organic Chinese restaurant in the US. Given my feelings about happy food, I was at once intrigued.
Stacy let me order, which was a little scary. My husband is Chinese, so by default, he orders for us when we eat at Asian restaurants. I ordered my favorite standbys: orange chicken, broccoli chicken, and sizzling rice soup (the latter being so fun that if you have never had it, you must!).
RESTAURANT: Asia Palace (Moraga, CA)
FOOD: The food here was incredible. The vegetables are fresh! The sauces are amazing. I think this is the best Chinese food I’ve yet to eat.
PRICE: $$ ($10+ per dish); our bill for two chicken platters, sizzling rice soup, one cup of tea, and a side of brown rice was $40 with tax and tip
SERVICE: C- We had to ask our server twice for things because he forgot the first time (including plates!). He also didn’t refill our glasses until we specifically asked him to. Not a big deal for me, but a deal breaker for others.
KID FRIENDLY: Yes, if they eat Chinese food!
EXTRAS: Here’s where this restaurant really shines. The owner was there when we were there, and while his English is limited, his enthusiasm for his restaurant is not. He kept exclaiming, “Organic! All organic!” and then insisted we take home some organic veggies from a box that he had opened on the table in front of him. I came home with two yellow peppers and Stacy took home two apples and a tomato. (Organic, yes. Local, no.) His enthusiasm was so endearing that I asked him let to let Stacy take a picture of him and I holding some of the produce. She snapped it so quickly that he couldn’t refuse!