The Chows are less interested in showcasing their dishes and flavors than learning what the diner enjoys, matching that with what they have and using the ancient cooking techniques to connect diner to chef.
They do have a menu, much of which is in Chinese with both Vietnamese and English translations, but it’s only a starting point.
"We really just want to make food that the individual will like,” he said.
Asked if he could make chicken-fried steak for the less adventurous, Max said, "Sure, I could probably make it.”
Of course he could. Max is a family man, who raised a family with a family restaurant. His daughter Matty said she grew up, with her two sisters, in the office in the top of the A-frame.
"I had my piano up there. I had my violin up there,” she said. "And when people brought their kids to the restaurant, I was running a baby-sitting service.”
Matty, 24, pulled a reversal on her parents, who both came to this country for their education. She got her master’s degree in Hong Kong thanks to a program at Oklahoma City University.
"When I was living over there, I really missed my mom’s cooking,” she said.
Matty said she also suffers when her parents take periodic vacations back home that last up to a couple of months.
"I’ve tried to cook their food, but it’s just not the same.”
This is why the restaurant closes when the Chows are gone.
"You think buffalo wings are good?” Matty said. "You have
to try my mom’s wings.”
"Wings are the favorite part of the chicken for the Chinese,” Sindy said.
So, this Valentine’s Day or sometime during the next couple of weeks when the Lunar New Year will be celebrated, learn about the one you love by putting aside your selfish desires and opening up yourself to a more profound connection with Chinese food.
I’m not saying General Tso has to retire, but I’m sure he could use a little R and R.