I grew up in a competitive family. We made everything into a contest: Monopoly, chess, backgammon, grades, kids, jobs. I hold my own on most fronts, but in one arena I have got to say I am thoroughly trounced. With one brother living in Seattle and another in Los Angeles, I admit to severe sibling jealousy when it comes to Asian food. So, when I heard that 3 Chefs had opened near the Arsht Center, I was eager to check it out.
With more than 150 items, the menu is vast and includes Vietnamese fare as well as a “secret menu” written in Chinese without translation (or, it turns out, a translator). Most items fall into the American Chinese category that includes crab Rangoon, barbecued spare ribs and sweet and sour pork. It seems 3 Chefs, which also has menu items in Spanish, is trying to be all things to all people. Two visits are not enough to fully explore the virtues and vices of such an ambitious undertaking, but what we’ve sampled so far won’t earn me bragging rights at Thanksgiving.
Ambience: The spot is clean and pleasant with its gold vinyl chairs, flat screen TVs, black faux marble tabletops and slightly wilting bouquets. For those who prefer outdoor dining there are aluminum café tables on the sidewalk. An enthusiastic waitress whose accent is more Queens than Canton is eager to help, though her knowledge of Chinese cuisine could fit in a fortune cookie.
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