While I can wrap a nem or suck up seaweed with the best of them, I occasionally get a yen for the simple Chinese cuisine that began most Americans' Asian odysseys. Born too soon to have grown up with dinners served from white cardboard boxes, I experienced my Cantonese epiphany years later, when a restaurant opened on West Broadway in the early days of Soho chic. It boasted scrubbed golden oak tables on multiple levels, brick walls, and enough pizzazz to provide my first brush with urban sophistication. Menus noted that MSG was used only upon request, the jukebox played a mix of everything from r&b to jazz, and the bar poured heavy drinks. The tastes of barbecued spare ribs, plum duckling, and braised fish with ginger and scallion became... More >>>