Genre

The New American Chinese Food: The Restaurants Redefining a Genre

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.

The struggles the Mas endured informed their

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