Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shang Hai Garden

3118 South 24th Street (in the shopping center just north of Vinton)
(402) 342-2244
Shang-Hai Gardens on Urbanspoon

A Chipotle, a Tomatillo, and a Tomato Salsa,
Paired with Corn Chip Strips

Shrimp Egg Rolls--
More like big spring rolls, with sweet and sour sauce

I dipped my egg roll into the spicy tomatillo salsa. Just because I could.

This isn't fusion, this is a fight: Chinese vs. Mexican, happening now, in a South O strip mall next to No Frills. Tablecloths with Chinese characters. Wall posters exclusively in Spanish. Kikkoman, Sriracha, AND Tapatio on the tables. To be clear, if I wanted either one of these cuisines on its own, I wouldn't come here, but there's something about the wacky combo you should experience at least once. Sure, the tables were sticky, and I preferred not to think about the grime that must be living in the kitchen. Just sweep the dirt under the carpet in your mind and you'll be fine. The highlights were the salsa trio, house-made and hotter than Helen's house, and the shrimp egg roll, which was ready to take any unlikely dip you could throw at it. The meat in the tacos had a hint of Chinese spice, like what would happen if you stored your al Pastor with your Kung Pao in the same tupperware for a few days, and the tortillas were no bueno. Our entree, Snow Pea Chicken, was so-so, but a few heaping spoonfuls of delicious chili sauce made things more interesting.

I can't vouch for Shang Hai in terms of culinary mastery, but it is a novel idea carried out by folks who aren't aware of their "concept;" they're just eatin' what they like to eat.

Pork Tacos

Snow Pea Chicken

Chili Sauce

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