It's tiny, and before 3 PM all you can get is dim sum, but in my book Shui Wah serves the best in town: made to order and consistently flawless. There are no carts languidly lapping the room; diners use an order form with prices and easy-to-understand translations. Standouts include sticky rice in lotus leaf, steamed bean curd roll stuffed with pork, shark fin dumplings, fried taro cake, and any of the rice noodle crepes (wide, soft noodles encasing pork, beef, or veggies). In late afternoon dim sum ceases and the restaurant owners cede Shui Wah to Tom Tong, who rents the space each evening. The odd arrangement works: Tong turns out reliable, plentiful, and often elegant renditions of Hong Kong standards. My jumbo shrimp in lemongrass and tomato sauce included a delightful carrot sculpture and sprigs of cilantro, and I had a remarkable dish of pea pod greens, the tough stems removed and only the delicate, vegetal leaves remaining. Two picture menus featuring oddities like fried whole squab and pig intestines call for a return visit.
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