Photo by Houston Press Staff

Chinese American Restaurant

Situated in a funky strip center, this place is well worn and badly in need of updating. But despite the lowly atmosphere, the quality of the food is excellent. Lunch specials start at under five bucks and include all the usual suspects like kung pao chicken, Szechuan beef and so on; the regular menu will surprise you. Seafood is one of the specialties here, and there are lots of choices, such as stir-fried cuttlefish, soft-shell crab, lobster and salt-toasted sea bass. Or perhaps you're ready to try the beef tripe with black bean sauce. The place is frequented mainly by Asians, so you know the food has to be good.