Pete Wells reviewed Mission Chinese this week for the New York Times, giving the recently-opened Lower East Side hotspot 2 stars. The anticipation surrounding this eastern outpost of the San Francisco original was heated, and this rave review will only encourage the fervor.
Wells is a huge fan of Chef Danny Bowien’s creations, especially at their reasonable price point with no entree over $15. ”Because he more or less makes stuff up, Mr. Bowien is free to hallucinate dishes like kung pao pastrami, with a riotously smoky housemade pastrami. It’s laughably inauthentic, but the only reason you laugh while eating is because you can’t believe how well it plays out.”
Oddly, the review is structured around Led Zeppelin lyrics, with the words woven into the narrative. ”Robert Plant was keening now. He wanted to take me there, baby baby. But I was there already, a lamb rib in one hand.” Wells’ use of the music is definitely meant to sound hip, but rings a little outdated to my ear. Still, we can’t let that detract from how amazing the food sounds. The dishes are “certifiably crazy and certifiably delicious” and certainly not to be missed!
Photo Credit: Daniel Krieger for The New York Times