Great Shanghai Opens
Though the ownership has changed, the chef is still Zhang Xinghai. Lopez proudly takes down from the wall a plaque from a Chinese cooking school. "This says he's--what, thirty-seventh best chef in the country? Something like that?" he asks Xiu Li, trying to speak slowly and carefully enough so she can understand, but she couldn't quite confirm that. At any rate, Lopez says of the chef: "So many Chinese people know him. Sometimes we receive a call, and they say 'Is that guy around? OK, then we need to order.'"
What do Chinese people order? "I see they order a lot of the drunken chicken. You heard about that one? And the bok choy with black mushrooms." He says a few words in Chinese to Xiu Li, and she answers him. "Some spicy shrimp with chilis," he translates. "Frog legs too. She's teaching me Chinese, and I teach her English. We are learning together," he explains.
Great Shanghai, 2541 Jackson (Westgate Shopping Center). 998-0600. Sun.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. for buffet (open till 10:30 daily for menu dishes).