The first Chinese restaurants in this country were opened with the intent to serve immigrants from China working during California's gold rush. When American miners took an unexpected shine to the food, a new dining phenomenon was born. By the Twenties, Cantonese chop suey houses had become part of our culinary and cultural landscape (a 1925 hit song was titled "Who'll Chop Your Suey When I'm Gone"), and by the Sixties, the whole nation was "going for Chinese." A decade later, after immigration restrictions were loosened, an influx of Hunan and Szechuan chefs spiced things up considerably, and the popularity of Chinese cuisine continued to escalate -- until other Asian alternatives arrived. Our collective egg drop enthusiasm has subsequently waned, a trend reflected in the upswing of sushi and Thai eateries around town and the correlating dearth of Chinese joints. It's likely this lacking led Toni Takarada to convert his long-running Thai Toni restaurant on South Beach into Mr. Chu's Hong Kong Cuisine. Toni,... More >>>