Wong Gonzalez is the latest culinary adventure by the folks who brought you The Blue Goat, Boulevard Burger Brew, Fat Dragon, Foo Dog, Osaka and Wild Ginger. It’s a “rousing and exciting blend of Asian and Latin cuisines. The best of both worlds—not just Chinese…not just Mexican, [they] call it affectionately and playfully Mexinese,” according to their website. At a recent soft opening, owner and manager Chris Tsui gave some insight into his latest venture at a newly renovated space downtown on Grace Street. He touts Wong Gonzalez’s menu items as “affordable and accessible” to everyone, with nothing over $15.00.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will notice the artwork on the right wall and the industrial interior design. With both wooden and metallic accents, it definitely has a city vibe reminiscent of some of the hot spots I’ve visited in cities like Chicago or Nashville. This restaurant is sandwiched right between Pasture and The Rappahannock, which makes it an excellent destination for a night out on the town. At times the acoustics of the restaurant made things rather noisy with a crowd, but that only adds to the restaurant’s upbeat and energetic vibe.
The food that we sampled was all delicious. I can be honest when I say that I didn’t quite know what to expect from a “Mexinese” restaurant. We sampled the Wong’s Guac, Tequila Shrimp, Fiesta Bites, Chashu Pork Nachos and Spicy Chorizo Fried Rice. All five were unique, tasty and I would order all again in a heartbeat. Every time I went to get a plate of the Tequila Shrimp or Fiesta Bites, I can’t say I was too excited about sharing with my table. I’d prefer to have enjoyed them all to myself. Not much of their food was that spicy, so it’s friendly for all palates, plus most menu items can be made with tofu for all the vegetarians out there!