At China Mex, the Dream of Fusion Power Is Still Just a Dream
China Mex Grill
8367 Park Lane
Times I shook my fist at the China Mex menu: 25.4
Number of shrimp I ate (out of a possible 500): 2
When China Mex opened in the old Taco King location on Park Lane, I was optimistic. I have giant-lazy-Susan love for Chinese food, and Mexican food knows that if I see it on the street, I'm definitely going to chest bump it. I've always said that if there's one thing this town is lacking, it's (a soul -- but I digress) a restaurant that serves chicken lo mein tacos. Fuck yeah, I hope China Mex serves up al pastor Rangoon.
What? You're judging China Mex for combining Chinese food and Mexican food and then also being relatively lazy with the restaurant-naming thing? I'm not. In a town filled with restaurants named The Porch and Stephan Pyles that don't even serve the porches or the Stephan Pyleses on their menus, China Mex's name has that doughnut-shop-named-Donuts comfort to it.
But all my optimistic fusion hopes were crushed with one look at the menu. (Including the optimistic fusion hope in which Jet Li and Salma Hayek are the host and hostess of China Mex and the gimmick is that they're constantly making out and taking forever to seat each customer, but nobody cares because, "Oh my Sweet Cultural Fusion Jesus, is that Jet Li licking face with Salma Hayek?") Nope. Menu told me, "Just regular-type Chinese foods and regular-type Mexican foods with absolutely no Chinese-food-plus-Mexican-food food-baby creations for you." Dammit, China Mex. I'll have the shrimp fried rice and two al pastor tacos.
The al pastor tacos were all right, but pretty dry, though they were certainly much more tasty than the shrimp fried rice. I'd advise sticking to the Mex side of China Mex. Although I did get a feeds-an-entire-DART-load-of-people portion of shrimp fried rice, I ate only three bites of it. And none of those bites tasted like shrimp. Or fried. Or rice. The dish was ridiculously bland -- it was sexual-tension-of-Hayden Christensen-and-Natalie Portman-in-Star Wars boring.
All in all, I really hope China Mex revamps its menu and starts serving some more fusion-y items. If they add that chicken lo mein taco or the Salma Hayek and Jet Li host stand, I'll definitely go back.