I'd like to add one more wish to yesterday's list: It would be great if we could convince Chef Chun Keung Li at Grace Garden to bring his skills back to Howard County. Grace Garden really is serving some of the best, most authentic Chinese food in the area. The reviews and comments from HowChow (and here), Chowhound, Baltimore City Paper (see the review and 2008 Best Chinese Restaurant winner articles), Baltimore Sun and Washington Post have been glowing for good reason.
Chef Li cooked at the Hunan Manor in Columbia for 13 years before leaving to open his own restaurant in 2005. The buzz for Grace Garden has grown steadily, especially in the past year. The food really is quite good and worthy of the plaudits and enthusiasm. It rekindles my faith in the quality and variety of true Chinese cuisine.
The location of the restaurant, however, in a rather seedy part of Odenton is not very inviting, and it's certainly a hike from my neck of the woods. I'd love to try more of Chef Li's specialties on a regular basis, but the location and storefront ambiance make it an infrequent destination. It would be so much nicer if Chef Li's talents were on display in a more pleasant and accessible location, and as long as it's my wish I'd prefer that it be in Howard County.
It would also be wonderful if Chef Li's ideas of serving quality Chinese dishes would raise the sights of a few other local chefs and restauranteurs. But maybe that's asking too much all at once.
So, what do you say? Anyone willing to start a petition? Or an investment group?
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