Chin Chin

With a tip that Chin Chin in Brentwood, part of a small California-based chain, had a number of vegan choices, we visited tonight only to find that our waiter had not quite gotten with the program. Cautioning us that virtually every dish had chicken bouillon, he seemed unprepared for our demurral. The Szechuan string beans, at least, turned out to be an option, though an unimpressive one. Pan-fried and crisp, in a light brown sauce, they tasted mostly of garlic, while our other entrée, Fragrant Vegetables in Vegetarian Sauce, tasted mostly of ginger. Though our vegetable potstickers had an appealing texture, crisp and golden on the bottom, tender and white on top, they were stuffed with a relatively bland mixture of chopped vegetables, mostly carrots and mushrooms, and the sweet-and-sour apricot sauce on the side did little to help. Even the steamed rice was lackluster and dry. We have already lamented that good Chinese food is hard to come by in Los Angeles, especially for vegetarians (see June 23 review of Mandarette). Though affordable and inoffensive, Chin Chin gave us no reason to think otherwise.

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