I greeted last week's news of a second Banana Leaf with a bittersweet kind of joy. It's sad to lose the only good Chinese halal restaurant in Chinatown, but if the trade-off is getting another Banana Leaf location...then I guess it's almost an even trade. Because -- hopefully -- this means not having to endure a one-hour wait for the city's best Malaysian food.
Currently, the only way to avoid the interminable wait at Banana Leaf is to go during its off-peak hours. Which means you'd better be hungry for lunch/dinner at 3 p.m. Its new location is roughly four times the size of the original in the sprawling Dun Huang Plaza just across Bellaire Boulevard, which could mean those long waits at Banana Leaf will soon be a thing of the past.
Or not: The opening of a second Tiny Boxwood's location has yet to lessen the wait time at the original bistro in River Oaks, ditto the downtown location of Niko Niko's and the still-hopping original on Montrose.