Cuisine: Taiwanese cooking in all its depth, complexity, and funkiness—steaming tureens of soup, feed-a-village noodle dishes, rich, layered casseroles, and assorted exotica such as stir-fried loofah, duck-blood soup, and crispy duck tongue.
Mood: You’d hardly think a place as spare as this one could generate such excitement, but a sense of anticipation pervades the room, with happy families gathered around lazy Susans and everyone turning to see what succulent morsel is being rushed from kitchen to table.
Best for: Anyone bored with the same old stir-frys and egg rolls.
Best dishes: Taiwanese “hamburger”—soft, tender hunks of pork stuffed into a steamed bun with a bit of sautéed greens; a soft, eggy pancake studded with oysters and sided with Chinese ketchup; fried duck tongues with garlic and basil; a teeming fish hot pot; ginger-chicken casserole; veal chops in black-pepper sauce; for dessert, a volcano of shaved ice with a lava flow of lychee, peanuts, and red beans spilling down its sides.
Insider tips: One of the best dining deals in the area, the $18.95 weekday lunch special—a bowl of soup for two plus three entrées (easily enough for four)—provides an excellent introduction to the cooking at Bob’s. Bring cash; the place doesn’t take credit cards.