June 2006 Cheap EatsEven on weeknights Bob's small, white-walled dining room is packed with regulars--Chinese expats and Westerners who've moved beyond Chinese-American fare into new territory. Prices on the sprawling Taiwanese menu are low enough to take risks, so go ahead and order those duck tongues with ginger and basil. They're fabulous little slivers of crunch. But you don't have to indulge in oddities to tap into what's good here.
Taiwanese hamburger--really a savory hunk of pork--in a steamed bun with greens is easy to love. So are a meaty pork chop with scallion sauce, five-flavor snapper, and peppery sautéed riblets of beef called "veal chop." Then again, loofah with salty shrimp is one of those love-it-or-hate-it plates. It looks like honeydew, has the texture of cucumber, and tastes like okra. When in doubt, ask owner Bob Liu, a chatty ex-journalist.
There's a full bar, beer, and a short wine list. Kids will love the papaya milkshakes with tapioca balls and double-wide straws. The sparkling mounds of shaved ice with rivulets of red beans, lychee, and taro will speak to the kid in everyone.