“It was the string beans,” I say.
And then someone asks me why I’m talking about string beans from a Chinese restaurant, and then I think about the texture and how they were first deep-fried and then stir-fried with garlic and long shreds of ginger. The exterior is crinkly; it’s tender but with bite.
There’s a whole vegetable section, which should not be ignored and includes snow pea leaves where the stems stay crunchy but the bright green leaves wilt to welcome slices of garlic in its folds, and the bok choy is slick with oil.
Mapo tofu with bits of pork is silky but not fiery, and the sizzling lamb, served over fire, is thin, shaggy slices reverberating with cumin because meat matters, too. Though it all matters here. • 13635 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly