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Chu on This

Chef Chu's

A plethora of veggie possibilities abound at Chef Chu's

By Judi Blackwell

LONG CONSIDERED one of the top Chinese dining experiences in the South Bay, Chef Chu's is currently celebrating 26 years of turning out killer chow mein, mu-shu, seasonal vegetable delights and billions and billions of pot stickers. In fact, Chef Chu's is the only dining establishment I've ever been to that offers vegetarian-style pot stickers, which are indeed exquisite.

On my last visit, the opulent restaurant was bustling with hungry patrons and hurried waitstaff. The wait was 90 minutes, but thankfully we had reservations and were promptly seated and served beautiful pots of tea.

Offering the gamut of multi-regional Chinese all-stars, Chef Lawrence Chu is out please, with a classic menu long on carnivorous dishes that can also be prepared for vegetarian and low-sodium diners. Kung pao chicken ($7.95) was our first choice, and when it finally arrived we were not disappointed. Plush tofu replaced the chicken, and was sautéed with dried whole chile peppers, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts and covered in a mouthwatering, spicy kung pao sauce. The all-vegetable mu shu ($7.50) also proved notable, with its paper-thin pancakes filled with shredded cabbage, tiger lily buds and tender tree mushrooms.

Entrees at Chef Chu's are generous and range from pineapple chicken and curried prawns to tangerine beef to hunan-smoked pork sauté, all of which are available with tofu instead of meat. It's all about experimenting: For those who would prefer a strictly vegetable dish, Chef Chu's offers succulent seasonal vegetable delights cooked to order--stir-fried, steamed or blanched--and served with a light seasoning sauce, black sauce or spicy garlic.

With speedy service, superb preparation and the ability to cater to a variety of diets, it's no wonder that Chu has kept his landmark in business for more than a quarter-century. Chef Chu's is located at 1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos. Open weekdays 11:30am­ 9:30pm and weekends noon­10pm (415/948-2696).

Send tips to 550 S. First St., San Jose, 95113, or email.

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From the November 21-27, 1996 issue of Metro

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