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Chinese Restaurants East and West

My first Chinese restaurant experience was as a kid in Cleveland, Ohio. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the place, but I do remember it was a very special occasion when I went there.

I just did a quick search of Chinese restaurants in the Cleveland Ohio area and the names that ring a bell with me are Chin’s Pagoda and Pearl of the Orient.

The reason I bring this up is because my love of Chinese food has only intensified over the years.

When I was living in New York City, Chinese food was so abundant that I learned to differentiate between Hunan, Szechwan and Cantonese although I didn’t experience Thai style cooking until I moved to L.A.

It became a tradition of sorts if one of us actors had a particularly good audition or part offered, we would celebrate by “going Chinese.” I quickly moved on from chicken chow mein to dishes indigenous to the various provinces in China.

When I moved to L.A. to pursue my acting career, a favorite hangout was a place onFairfax Road in the heart of West Hollywood which normally had traditional Jewish delis called Genghis Cohen. I guess you could say they had a mixed clientele.

Anyway, what struck me most about Genghis Cohen was the attached cabaret style theater that featured singers and comedians. It seems to me the live performance venue was separate from the restaurant so the food serving didn’t take away from the music venue.

A favorite singer of mine who I first heard at Genghis Cohen is singer, song writer Danny Peck. I used to see him regularly, sometimes weekly, and I note in the Web site’s calendar he played June 5, so he’s still singing there. I have several of his CDs and I recommend him to you.

As for our area here in Fulton County, I started with Peking in Johnstown with Kim and Christine Young owners. The Youngs have been very involved in community events and outreach and have a long tradition of more than a quarter century here. A favorite of mine there is their sesame noodles and Herman likes their bourbon chicken.

But I have to say, I am a newly devoted convert to the new Asian Delight Restaurant inGloversville on Elmwood where the former Ruby & Quiri furniture store was. Owners Anna and Kevin Ho have added Thai style foods to the traditional Chinese venue. Some of my favorites include Chicken Pad Thai, spicy won tons, their shrimp egg rolls and unusual soups like their chicken corn soup. Kevin said they had restaurants in Corinthand Flushing before coming here and have a very nice dining area as well as take out.

Check them out and tell them Kathryn sent you.

About Kathryn Spira

Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland, OH who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County, New York. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site