With Genius Recipes correspondent Kristen off for a few months trying to raise a genius newborn, we’re hearing from a few special surprise guests—and revisiting the column’s Greatest Hits with brand-new videos. Wish her luck! (And keep sending those tips.)
In the late 1980s, when I was an undergrad at the University of Southern California, I met Teresa C., a Hong Kong–born food lover and daughter of a Monterey Park Chinese restaurant manager. (Monterey Park, east of Los Angeles, is renowned for its vast array of Chinese eating options.) We hit it off in finance and statistics, and hung out a lot at her favorite restaurants where I gobbled up foods like Chinese-Islamic sesame bread with stir-fried lamb with green onions.