Why go: You’ll find lots of dishes—noodle bowls, Taiwanese street foods, soups for three, roasted meats, complex casseroles—and the authenticity and quality of the cooking are equally impressive at Bob Liu’s bare-bones gem.
What to get: Crispy egg pancake with dried radish and scallions; “Taiwanese hamburger” (actually braised pork, mustard greens, and cilantro in a steamed bun); ginger-chicken casserole with Chinese basil, ginger, and garlic; sha cha, beef with hand-cut noodles and yu tsai, a type of green; sautéed short ribs with black pepper and onion; shaved ice with such toppings as lychee, red beans, and ai yu—jelly made from fig seeds.
Best for: Fans of authentic Asian cuisine that isn’t dumbed down. To less intrepid diners, a menu that includes pork-stomach-and-herb soup or duck blood with chives may sound more like a dare than dinner.
Insider tip: Bob’s doesn’t accept credit cards or checks, but don’t panic if you forget to pick up cash on the way—there’s an ATM in the convenience store next door.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
>> See all 2009 Cheap Eats restaurants here