Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ba Guo Bu Yi

Photo by Milos Kravcik, on flickr. This is bian lian, a traditional mask-changing show.

Recently I've been making an effort to have more regional Chinese food, instead of the typical stuff you see most often in the United States (I think it's typically Cantonese food, but I could easily be mistaken.) The last time we were in New York City, we had some Yunnan food, and DC has a very good Sichuan place in Great Wall Szechuan. But I'll take more, so I was excited to read this in the Washington Post:
Washington has never seen anything like Ba Guo Bu Yi, a Chinese chain dedicated to spreading Sichuan culture outside the province. That could change next year if all goes as Oren Molovinsky plans; the veteran restaurateur and partner in Mala Tang in Arlington has been talking to the parent company of Ba Guo Bu Yi to open a location in the District, possibly in the Penn Quarter area.
They're apparently avoiding Chinatown so that they don't look cheap. What is Ba Guo Bu Yi like?
Each location is large, usually two stories, and serves not only authentic Sichuan cuisine but also authentic Sichuan culture on stage, including the so-called “face-changing” performances from Sichuan opera. According to the Theatre Beijing Web site, face-changing involves a performer who “whips through half a dozen or more fearsome and brightly colored face masks seemingly by magic.”
Sounds great, I can't wait to try it.

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