There's a lot to love at these always crowded Hong Kongstyle eateries. The new Hollywood East Café on the Boulevard features an outdoor patio and dim sum on weekends–order off the menu during the week–with classics like pork buns and shark's-fin dumplings, plus special tidbits like deep-fried lobster roll and mango-shrimp roll.
Beyond dim sum, the regular menu of flavorful soups, delicious roast meats, and offbeat casseroles is available at both locations. You might linger over a plate of crispy pork or soy-sauce chicken, or nibble on snow-pea leaves with garlic and Chinese watercress with shrimp paste. The spicy eggplant-and-ground-pork casserole is one of the more memorable bowls of comfort around. And crispy shredded tofu might make you see bean curd in a whole new light. Lovers of funky plates like cold jellyfish with shredded duck have a whole roster of esoterica to choose from.
Hollywood East Café, 2312 Price Ave., Wheaton, 301-942-8282; Hollywood East Café on the Boulevard, 2621 University Blvd. W., Wheaton, 240-290-9988.