In America, Taiwanese food isn't always easy to come by. Even a large city like New York has just about a handful of restaurants specializing in the cuisine, and not all of them are the best that they can be.
So it was a great delight to discover China Taipei, a restaurant in Centennial, CO serving up reasonably authentic versions of some of my favorite Taiwanese dishes. Drunken chicken—chopped wings and drumsticks steamed with scallions and ginger and then marinated in wine—was tasty and flavorful,
and so was ES's bowl of rou gen mien (pictured also at top), featuring thick wheat noodles and slivers of pork and bamboo shoots in a thick, savory broth.
But it was the lu rou fan that really won China Taipei my unadulterated love. The mix of ground pork and chopped mushrooms had a meaty, deeply layered flavor and its rich juices soaked into the mound of rice below; the soy sauce egg was tender and perfectly marinated. The whole thing was a far cry from the version that had accompanied my fried pork chop at Tao Tao Noodle Bar. While it might be cliche to describe a dish as comfort food, I found each bite deeply soothing, homey, and familiar—and if that's not comfort food, I just don't know what is.