There are no bad food bets in Chinatown

A bowl of everything savory and good is only $7 at Three Village.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

I made a bet with myself, and I won. In the mood for Asian eats—an omnipresent craving—I hypothesized that if I wandered into any little Chinese joint along Spring Mountain Road and gave it a try, the food would be as great as my regular spots. I figured it’d be cheap, tasty and authentic, and probably unique, at least a little different from any other restaurant along our ever-changing three-mile Chinatown strip.

The Details

Three Village
5115 Spring Mountain Road, #208, 425-2159.
Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

So I parked in the sardine-can lot at the Pacific Asian Plaza, hiked up some stairs and found Three Village, a small, unmarked eatery specializing in Shanghai-style cuisine. I ordered what might be considered a lunch special but is par for the course here: a heaping dish of Eight Treasure, chewy noodles in a slightly spicy, satisfying sauce with diced pieces of pork, shrimp, peanuts, green onions, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and other crisp vegetables, and a huge, steaming bowl of some of the best hot and sour soup I’ve ever tasted. Seven bucks.

I went back for more of that soup, soothing and thankfully not sweet like so many Chinese takeout restaurants do it. Though there are plenty of more exotic, lesser-known dishes on the Three Village menu, you can get there from here by transitioning with juicy pork dumplings or Jin Dang meat pie, a bubbly, flaky crust filled with savory pork. Experimenting in Chinatown has proven to be a pretty safe bet.

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