Jonathan Kauffman Burns for Mission Chinese Food's Danny Bowien

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At Mission Chinese Food, Danny Bowien cooks up a short list of searing tributes to his favorite Chinese dishes.
​Maybe Danny Bowien couldn't thrive anywhere else but in San Francisco. Maybe the same is true of Mission Chinese Food, the Chinese-restaurant-in-a-Chinese-restaurant Bowien orchestrates at Lung Shan. SF Weekly critic Jonathan Kauffman puts himself in Bowien's hands for this week's "Eat" column, getting his ass kicked and his face melted by a series of mostly Sichuan dishes.

As Bowien proved in the waning days of Mission Street Food ― also at Lung Shan ― when he forged a pop-up series devoted to Great World Chefs, Bowien is an avid imitator. At Mission Chinese Food, that means copying dishes Bowien's tasted at Spices II and Old Mandarin Islamic. Kauffman:

The result of his hyperkinetic experimentation is a rich, spicy, palate-slamming food. Sometimes Bowien's restlessness ruins a dish. Sometimes you wish he'd try a little delicacy. And some of his food is so good he seems to be inventing a new culinary genre. It's not East-West fusion: It's more like detonation.

Burn your lips on Kauffman's Bowien exegesis at SF Weekly.com. Extra credit: Rifle through Mary Ladd's two-part Bowien Q&A from last April, while he was still frying up patties at Mission Burger in Duc Loi (Bowien Part 1 here, Bowien Part 2 there). And for a more recent scan of Bowien's brain, check out Kauffman's "Eat" Extra on SFoodie.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow Jonathan Kauffman at @jonkauffman.

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Mission Chinese Food

2234 Mission St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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