More Than ‘Just Takeout’

A new generation of Chinese American chefs is celebrating the inventiveness, resourcefulness and deliciousness of American Chinese food with menus dedicated to the classics.

Mamahuhu in San Francisco is looking to change the way people think about Chinese American classic dishes like sweet-and-sour chicken.Credit…Peter Prato for The New York Times

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By Cathy Erway

In 1983, Tim Ma’s parents opened Bamboo Garden in Conway, Ark. It was a side hustle — his mother was in graduate school, and his father worked full-time as a medical technician. As owners of the only Chinese restaurant in their small town, the Mas made good money in their first year. But it wasn’t without setbacks. There was the brick hurled into their family’s home, the drunken driver who crashed into the restaurant’s dining room and the eventual arrival of competition, when their talented chef opened his own restaurant across the street.

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