Welcome to the neighborhood, Wo Hing General Store. The much anticipated "reopening" of Charles Phan's first storefront on the Valencia corridor finally took place last month, but rather than go with his usual (and outstanding) Cal-Vietnamese fare (a la Out the Door), it seems Chinese street food was the way to go.
And heck, YH and I were more than happy with the results.
Maybe it's because we started with the oh-so-smooth 50/50 Split, lovely cocktails comprising Plymouth gin, Dolin vermouth, orange bitters with a lemon twist.
But no. It was probably because the 5-spice local squid, lightly fried in panko, along with thin slivers of lemon, were ever so tender, ever so fragrant and ever so good.
Add to that Wo Hing's rendition of mapo tofu, unrestrained in its hot spice quotient with a good amount of seasoning and sauciness, which felt very Chinese-Californian and exactly right in this lineup.
The kicker to this meal: a fab dessert of super fresh, glutinous mochi rolled in black sesame filled with vanilla custard. The server cautioned us about the texture of the little rolls—those not familiar with the gummy, springy texture are often put off by it; but most Asians absolutely adore it. We were no exception.