Tai Ke

Price: $$

Owners Calvin Koong and Brian Hsia opened Tai Ke to showcase the vibrant cuisine of their native Taiwan. The University City restaurant is wholly authentic, and balances esoteric dishes with approachable fare for wide appeal. The restaurant is known for its “Street Snacks,” hand-held dishes that are typically found in Taipei’s vibrant night markets. The gua bao, or pork belly buns are the highlight of the street snacks. A fluffy, pearlescent sticky bun, overflows with succulent pork belly, crushed peanuts and cilantro and pickled mustard green. Some of the more exotic offerings, like pork blood rice cakes and intestines are deliciously prepared so that even conservative diners could enjoy them. However, the less adventurous will be just as happy with the excellent sizzling beef -- strips of tenderloin, peppers and onions served in a searing hot skillet with crushed black pepper gravy. Like the city that inspires it, Tai Ke has a little bit of something for everyone’s taste.

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