I have been in California for 2 years and this is the second time I’ve had Chinese food in that time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Mongolian, Philippino, and other Asian cuisine’s which would all be lumped together under one roof and called “Chinese” in Colorado. Chef Chu’s in Palo Alto was delicious, but like the other place I went to, they didn’t even have what I would call Chinese food staples such as Sesame Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, etc. The menu was slanted towards seafood, even the hot & sour soup had shrimp in it. I’m sure there’s something to be said for authenticity, but sometimes you crave what you’re used to.
On the other hand, I am much more sensitive to regional food now. When someone asks if I want to eat Indian, I usually ask whether the restaurant is North or South Indian (I prefer the vegetarian South Indian food). If someone wants to go to a Brittish Pub, I look forward to curry because it’s going to be the best thing on the menu (besides the beer).