Eat this now: ComBao and Chili Cheese Fries
Our favorite recent dishes that have us coming back for seconds
Ox-tail chili cheese fries at Bachi Burger
Few would imagine chili cheese fries as a fine-dining appetizer, but Bachi Burger dresses up this lowbrow American classic with sweet ox-tail meat chili, bright green rings of sliced peppers, and a sunny-side-up egg, turning what was formerly known as a gloppy mess reserved for theme parks and greasy spoons into a layered dish of surprising complexity. Each bite provides bursts of contrasting flavors (with the egg and the peppers playing particularly well together), all anchored by a thick bed of fries. It’s a dish big enough to serve to an entire table, with so much going on that no two bites are the same, except for the fact that it’s all kinds of delicious — and just $11.50. My advice: Pierce the egg right away, letting the creamy yellow yolk mix with the warm, sweet ox-tail chili, and make sure there’s at least one slice of green pepper in each mouthful. — J.J. Wylie
Bachi Burger 470 E. Windmill Lane, 242-2244
ComBAO lunch at Great Bao Asian Café
Hidden in the center of the Touch Salon & Spa at Tropicana Avenue and Decatur Boulevard is a magical place called the Great Bao Asian Cafe, where chef Sheridan Su engages in alchemy, working on a tiny stovetop to hand-craft delicious meals. His best is the ComBAO plate, which includes three bao, chips and a drink for $10. The bao are meat and vegetable fillings wrapped in pillows of white, airy dough. While the roast duck and pork belly bao are succulent beyond reckoning, for sheer flavor, the tofu bao — in which slices of tofu are cooked in sweet soy and then paired with roasted mushrooms and daikon sprouts — is the clear winner, if only for the way its flavors pop on your palate. Of course, the ComBAO plate allows you to get all three (or substitute the no-less delicious beef or chicken bao), so there’s no need for anxiety. For an epic finish, order an “Elvis” smoothie for dessert. — J.W.
Great Bao Asian Café inside the Touch Salon & Spa 4965 W. Tropicana Ave. #105, 900-2168