Why go: The secret is out—it’s not just homesick Taiwanese nationals who find comfort in this humble dining room, where affable owner Bob Liu presides and a vast menu of Taiwanese dishes beckons, including tureen-size soups, platters of loofah and duck’s blood, savory casseroles, hot pots, and shaved-ice desserts.
What to get: The misnamed Taiwanese hamburger, really tender pork tucked in a bun with tart mustard greens; sha cha beef with thick hand-cut noodles; crispy fried duck tongues with basil (you’d never guess what they were); gingery chicken casserole; caramelized short ribs with black-pepper sauce; papaya milkshake; for dessert, shaved ice with rivulets of red bean, lychee, and taro.
Best for: Culinary adventurers who want to eat very cheaply and very well—a group is best because you may want to try lots of dishes. But make a reservation: The place can get crowded at peak lunch and dinner hours.
Insider tip: Bring cash; the restaurant doesn’t take credit cards. And the daily lunch special—three dishes and a soup for $18.95—is meant for two but big enough for three, and it’s one of the best deals around.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.