On your first trip to Forbidden City, you may think that you’ve made a mistake. You may think that this Chinese restaurant is closed for business, that the sign out front is just a remnant from an old tenant who no longer slings the hot and sour, that the weed choked parking lot is not, in fact, a recommended place in which to park a family vehicle. I would not begrudge you any of these thoughts. You would, however, be wrong. Forbidden City is indeed open for business. Had the owners named the restaurant Forbidding City, it might support the exterior dÃƒÂ©cor, (or lack of) but, trust me, the place is still open.
Before I get going on this one, I would like to take a moment to investigate a common grammatical problem. There are three common English words that are frequently misused, misplaced or substituted for each other incorrectly. These words are Ã¢â‚¬Å“forbidden,Ã¢â‚¬Â forbiddingÃ¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“foreboding.Ã¢â‚¬Â So, here you go:
Forbidden- adj. not permitted or allowed
Forbidding- adj. 1: such as to make approach or passage difficult or impossible <forbidding walls>
2 : disagreeable, repellant <a forbidding task>
3 : grim, menacing <a dark forbidding sky>
Foreboding- n. an omen, prediction, or presentiment especially of coming evil
Ok, now that that’s settled, let’s move on.
Here’s the scary part, the interior is more frightening than the exterior. A remnant from when LA Law topped the ratings, the interior of
Forbidden City makes almost every new diner cringe. Salmon colored walls, tattered faux-leather maroon chairs with rounded black tubular backs, a mirrored cityscape on the south wall, purple neon running in a path 10 feet off the floor and surrounding the room, light fixtures of concentric frosted glass plates with halogen bulbs. Truly foreboding. I could go on, but you probably want to know about the food.
The menu at Forbidden CityÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Ok, I can’t say enough about the horrible interior. The bare tables were sticky to the touch, the dusty, cob-webbed silk flowers in the center of the room had probably been purchases made in the Reagan administration, the art on the walls ran to Nagel prints and sexy photos with roses and a saxophone against a black background with smoke drifting out of the bell. It was horrifying.
Ok, the food. The food is decent. The hot and sour soup was not the best I’ve ever had but definitely not the worst. It did have foreign and unidentifiable objects floating in it though. The basil chicken was palatable. The Emperor’s beef (or chicken or pork, up to you) was very tasty, sweet and spicy, tender and succulent. It is, by far, the place’s most popular dish. I would guess that it accounts for more than half of their total orders. The reverence they give it on their menu is the type of adulation usually reserved for Catholic saints and
Victoria’s Secret models. It is, in my opinion, the only reason to go to
Forbidden City. In my last visit, the service lacked punch, the atmosphere frightened me and the other dishes failed to impress. The Emperor’s beef, however, made the visit almost worth it.
Basically, it’s not a joint worth going out of your way for, but if you live in the neighborhood and feel like a break from reality, drop by, sit down and order the Emperor’s. You’ll
thank me… appreciate…acknowledge my existence.
Forbidden City-Corner of Marconi & Eastern,
Food* Atmosphere* Service*