Cheap Eats 2011: China Jade

It may seem odd to sit among Chinese families and be handed a menu featuring sweet-and-sour pork. Ask for the “other” menu. From this traditional Cantonese and Szechuan menu–enhanced by a recent partnership with the owners of Falls Church’s Hong Kong Palace–try an appetizer of spicy dan-dan noodles or ginger-infused pork dumplings. Among the larger plates, this kitchen’s version of delicate, creamy shrimp with walnuts or sweet pork with mild green chilies had us craving them long after we were finished. As with many bargain restaurants, the decor is less than remarkable, but the fish tanks, light-rock tunes, and smiling servers give it a cheery, family-friendly appeal.

Also good: Wontons in red-chili oil; pickled cucumbers; Kung Pao chicken; chicken with ginger-scallion sauce; cumin fish.

Open daily for lunch and dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.