I had a lot of questions on my first visit to the new Kublai Khan Crazy Mongolian Stir-Fry on Milam: Why is there a weird indoor-outdoor bar greeting customers when they first walk into the heavy double doors? Why did a waitress take our drink orders and then claim that she didn't? How can having so much raw meat piled up on a buffet be a good thing?
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
But one question troubled me most, and it was this: What if I love the stir-fry dish I come up with but forget the ingredients I chose? I'll never be able to recreate that dish again.
Indeed, there are thousands upon thousands of possible recipes one could create by walking his tray down the cafeteria-style line, filling his stainless steel bowl with everything from raw octopus and cabbage to Thai curry powder and rosemary. It feels a little like an episode of Chopped, in which you're both creator and judge of your final dish.