After being in business for 13 years, the owner of Hunan Garden thinks she knows what customers expect from her restaurant.
"I think it's quality, consistency and good service," said Linda Lee, who opened Hunan Garden in 1995. "We always listen to the customers."
That means that if a customer orders kung pao chicken and asks for a medium level of spiciness, said customer will get a plate with plenty of fire, but manageable, with some beverages nearby.
Kung pao chicken is one of the more popular dishes at Hunan Garden, Lee said, along with General Tso's chicken, chicken salad, Mongolian beef and yu hsiang shrimp, which is shrimp sautéed with water chestnuts, bell peppers and bamboo shots in garlic sauce.
Ordering an entree for lunch means not only a generous helping, but a mound of white rice and a bowl of soup.
The lengthier dinner menu includes beef, chicken, seafood and pork dishes, along with appetizers, soups, fried rice and noodles, vegetable dishes and Hunan specialties.
That specialties list includes a sesame chicken, deep-fried in sauce and served with sesame seeds, and two delicacies, shrimp and chicken sautéed with peppers, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots in a garlic sauce.
A group also can order a family dinner, with spring rolls, fried won tons, sweet and sour pork, chicken fried rice and chicken chow mein. Bigger families can add mixed vegetables and Mongolian beef.
Numerous dishes on the menu for both lunch and dinner are hot and spicy, so make note of that when you order. Nothing ruins a good meal faster than a mouth scorched by tasty — but hot — spices.