A few weeks ago I was giving a tour of downtown Flushing’s Chinatown. I had forgotten that the Lunar New Year Parade was being held that day. It was an unexpected treat for both me and my guests when we exited New World Mall to the pulsing beat of Gangnam Style from a passing float. As if the parade and its lion dancers weren’t enough good fortune for one day we encountered one of my favorite chefs. Just as we got to the bottom of the stairs of the Golden Shopping Mall Food Court, Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food came into view. He and his posse were digging into a meal at Chen Du Tian Fu. Danny was kind enough to let me ask him Seven Questions . . .
What’s your favorite way to eat bone marrow?
Where’d you get the dragon that graces the dining room at the Mission Chinese Food in New York City?
We ordered it on-line from Beijing. We crowd-sourced it as part of a low-budget remodeling effort.
How many pounds of Sichuan peppercorn does MCFNYC go through in a week?
In a caged death match, which Chinatown wins San Francisco or New York City?
New York City! This is not really even close, by the way.
How would you characterize the cuisine at Mission Chinese food?
Whimsical, Szechuan-influenced Chinese food.
Do you think most people get it?
Probably only two-thirds, but I think for some people it is a home run.
What’s your go-to comfort food?
Samgyetang or salad.