Offering cheap Chinese food at its finest, Kau Kau’s atmosphere is the perfect balance of interesting/odd decor and unpretentious functionality. The counter up front slings delicious barbecue lunches to go, usually chopped up as you wait. The full menu is worth sticking around for as well, and not just because the barbecue at this International District mainstay is best enjoyed with a bottle of Tsingtao. Their hot-and-sour soup is my favorite in the city, the barbecue duck is a delight, and their Chinese broccoli is exactly the umami bomb that any self-respecting cheap Chinese vegetable side should be. TOBIAS COUGHLIN-BOGUE
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