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Leslie Brenner Gives Royal China Three Stars

Plus, Scott Reitz finds tasty Thai in an unexpected place.

Preston Hollow stalwart Royal China.
Preston Hollow stalwart Royal China.
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Leslie Brenner reviewed Royal China: This Preston Hollow stalwart has been a neighborhood favorite for decades, and a new chef is shaking things up — in a good way. Wei-Gou Cai's new menu debuted in January, and standouts include pork ribs Wuxi-style ("meltingly tender, meaty braised ribs, redolent of star anise and cinnamon, atop steamed baby bok choy on a pool of super-aromatic braising liquid") and Sicuan gon bao pork, "a saucy, spicy stir-fry of diced pork, scallions, dried red chiles and roasted peanuts." Besides the new additions, Cai "has also upped the quality noticeably on old favorites." The bad news? Zhang Xue Liang, the "exuberant noodle chef" that provided hand-pulled noodles with a side of showmanship, left the restaurant last month. Whether you opt to try Cai's new dishes or stick to the classics, "just about everything’s tasting fresher and more vibrant." Three stars. [Dallas Morning News]

Scott Reitz found noodles at the Buddhist Center of Dallas: Was Reitz seeking a little spiritual enlightment, or was he just following his nose? Who knows. Either way, he found some darn tasty food here — but only one day a week on Sunday afternoons. It's then that, "behind the temple in a small parking lot," you'll find vendors selling all sorts of authentic Thai cuisine: meats on sticks (including "thin sheets of pork fan-folded on bamboo skewers"), papaya salad heavy on the fish sauce, and "stir-fried fat noodles" that are less sweet and more vibrant than what you're probably used to. Overall, here you'll find "bold and aggressive cooking" that's "anything but your average strip mall Thai food." [Dallas Observer]

ELSEWHERE: The Star-Telegram reviewed World of Beer and Mi Cocula Mexican Grill, both in Fort Worth; Fort Worth Weekly tried 24 Plates replacement Fixture; City of Ate tried McDonald's terrible new burgers and checked out Grapevine's Meat U Anywhere BBQ; SideDish taste-tested hot dogs and scoped out Lark on the Park's new late-night menu.

Royal China

6025 Royal Lane, Ste 201, Dallas, TX 75230 214-361-1771

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