One of our great foodie friends, who wishes to remain anonymous, but whose initials are Amy Blair, said to us recently: “ELV….”
ELV said: “What?”
Amy said: “ELV, it seems to me that you really love Asian food for your everyday eating out.”
ELV said: “Why yes we do, Almost Anonymous Amy, because it’s the best, tastiest, most flavorful food you can eat for a small amount of money. The bang for the buck is tremendous…and you’re eating waaaay healthier than you will in any American or European-style restaurant. Take for example, the newly opened Da Sheng restaurant….”
“Tell me more,” said Amy Blair.
And so we will.
Da Sheng is located in the original shopping mall (opened in 1992) in the original Chinatown Plaza. You can’t see it from the street and you have to walk around the back of the first floor to find it. Like most Chinatown restaurants, you will have difficulty finding anything on the menu costing more than fifteen bucks, with most items under ten.
Wine distributor/gourmand/lover of all things Asian Joe Muscaglione called us last week to tell us Da Sheng was opening that day, so we hightailed it to lunch and let the staff guide us to some Fujian specialties like the oyster omelet and fish ball soup. As good as they were, it was the splayed and frayed Peking pork chop that blew us away — coming as it does coated in a deeply sour sauce. “It gets right to the edge (of excessive sourness), but doesn’t go over it,” he said.
As did all that potato starch starchiness in the oyster omelet. Depending on how you feel about these things, those slabs of gelatinous starch on the surface of the eggs either provides some much needed heft and texture to the egg/oyster mixture, or is a gummy intrusion into your enjoyment of the main ingredients. Texture often matters as much as taste in Chinese food, so we can appreciate its authenticity without exactly being crazy about the concoction.
You won’t have any such cognitive dissonance when it comes to the briny, sweet clams in black bean sauce, or that tart and juicy pork chop. The fish balls in the fish ball soup come stuffed with ground pork — greatly tempering their fishiness — and the broth alone is worth winding around the back of this little slice of the Orient for a taste.
Don’t know much about Fujian food?
ELV is here to help with this highly helpful video:
Our feast for two came to $40 including tip.
DA SHENG CHINESE CUISINE
Inside the Chinatown Mall
4255 West Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89102