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House of Kim

On one plate...

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Disclosure: I love House of Kim, so when BW decided to review it, I was thrilled at the opportunity to wax gastronomically rapturous over the pleasure of a meal there.

Here's the part where you expect the big "but ..."; I'm happy to report: there isn't one. We (that's my perennial 'Kim date and I) had dinner at House of Kim on a Saturday night. It was good.

Just through the door, we were surprised by changes. Long-time frequenters know that HOK serves high quality Chinese and Thai cuisine (none of the grease or flavor-hiding soy-soaking you might get elsewhere) in a casual setting. With round red booths, a long bar running the narrow room and lazy fans suspended from a high ceiling, HOK had a '50s film noir atmosphere. In recent weeks, though, they've ripped out the bar, put in more tables and constructed a wood staircase leading to a soon-to-be-open second floor. We found out that HOK had obtained a liquor license and would be opening a bar upstairs, perhaps with occasional live classical or jazz music.

We arrived before the dinner rush and so didn't lack for friendly, solicitous service (even though our favorite waitress wasn't there). We ordered the "family dinner," with Mongolian beef and Thai chicken, pork fried rice, sizzling rice soup, egg rolls, pork and seeds and tea for $12.95 apiece-a deal, especially if you like leftovers.

The soup came first. With chicken and veggies in a delicate broth, it was delicious. The egg rolls that followed were hot, fresh and ungreasy and, along with the tasty pork and seeds, garnished to maximize plate appeal.

Once we were almost full, the rest of our meal arrived. The fried rice was delicious, full of veggies and pork and eggs. I love Mongolian beef, and HOK's is the best around. With slivers of onion and mushroom on a bed of crispy rice noodles, the smell was enough to make my tummy rumble. The Thai chicken was spicy but not too spicy and sliced into bite-sized chunks mixed with peppers and onions. Conversation ceased as we dug in. We ate until we were both stuffed and still had three takeout boxes to cart home-leftover heaven.

It's pretty obvious that we'll go back to House of Kim. But if you haven't been, you're missing out.

-Sara Beitia refuses to share the leftovers.

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