Here in the Bay Area there’s no shortage of good food. No matter what you want, it’s probably not far away. By the same token, that density of restaurants makes it competitive enough that you’re good, or you’re out. One strategy though, is to keep a menu of decent food, with a section that everyone knows is fantastic. How often do you go out for Vietnamese food and not end up at Phở This or Phở That, your ideal dinner option right there in the name of the place? I think that’s the gambit that’s being played well, every Tuesday through Sunday at Pot Sticker King. (Online at http://www.potstickerking.com/ )
On Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, this place is in a plaza with plenty of restaurants. The best bang for your buck is on Mondays at Gyu-Kaku (my review linked at the end of this short), and since Pot Sticker King is closed on Mondays, I’d suggest it as an ideal situational alternative. Any other day of the week though, and Pot Sticker King is a solid place to sup.
The menu has a somewhat lengthy feel to it, which is a somewhat unfortunate trademark of Asian-American restaurants- a thousand dishes that all have the same five or so flavors. I took my cue from the name of the place, and hunted for potstickers.
With a name like Pot Sticker King, I was surprised, on my first visit, to see very few potstickers (or dumplings in general) on the menu. Even if they’re right at the start of the Appetizer menu, it’s still an unusual state to be in. They’ve got the standards, in beef, pork, chicken, and veggie. All above average, and some quite delicious. I’m partial to the beef and chicken myself, both distinct and different in flavor composition. The vegetable dumplings are a touch weak though, and benefit from the sauces at-table. Also available are what they call Shanghai Pork Dumplings- somewhat lighter, with a different blend to the filling. Those are my personal favorites of the selections on offer.
Among the soups, the Hot and Sour is fairly standard, if a bit more pungent than some of the safer examples I’ve eaten in my day. The Sizzling Rice soup is quite tasty as well, particularly the seafood incarnation.
There are lists of Taiwanese and Mandarin specials nearer to the end of the menu- when I’m not there just for dumpling-like food, those are typically the pages I go to. If you want something simple and tasty, the Beijing Beef Sandwich is delicious. Thinly sliced hoisin glazed beef with scallions and other flavor boosters, wrapped tight in a sesame seed pastry. Sometimes hot at the outside but still cool in the middle since the pastry burns easily, I’m still always happy with it.
As to the service, I’ve never had a problem. It probably helps that I order nonstandard food and tip well. But if you don’t do that anyway, you’re not likely to get an experience worth remembering. The sky’s untouched without the reach, after all.
All in all, I’m not devoted to this place. It’s good, solid, middle-of-the-road food. It’s a good place in the off hours, and ideal for anything from ten people to just yourself. I haven’t found a proper home for my dumpling fix yet, but in the short term, Pot Sticker King suits me just fine.