First Look

First Look: Music and Asian Cuisine Collide at Wok Star

Ziro C
Chef Charlie Zhang puts on a noodle show in the dining room at Wok Star.
Over in The Hill, Wok Star offers Chinese-inspired cuisine in a space honoring music legends, past and present. The space previously occupied by Nazca Kitchen has a bright red aesthetic with colorful paintings of icons like David Bowie, Lady Gaga and more.

Even the cocktails take inspiration from music; all of their signature drinks reference classic Top 40 hits. There’s the sweet I’m Too Sexy made with Deep Eddy lime vodka, Malibu watermelon rum, lime soda and grenadine, adorably topped with an arrangement of Sour Patch kids ($13). A more groovy concoction is the Uptown Funk made with rum, Cristal, blood orange liqueur, lime and pineapple ($14). The menu also offers a selection of sakes, beers, wines and classic cocktails.

Those not wanting to consume alcohol can enjoy the appropriately titled Like a Virgin mocktail, made with strawberries, club soda and heavy cream ($5).
click to enlarge Taiwanese roasted pork noodles - ALEX GONZALEZ
Taiwanese roasted pork noodles
Alex Gonzalez
As for food, strive to be a little adventurous. Yes, they have traditional Chinese dishes like orange chicken and beef and broccoli but the real winners here are the hand-pulled la mian noodles. These noodles are made in-house daily and chef Charlie Zhang is known to put on noodle shows where he tosses, spins and stretches the dough for the noodles and shapes them in front of diners.

The la mian noodles come in varieties like dan dan combo stir fry and Taiwanese noodle soup. For something flavorful yet easy on the palate get the Taiwanese roasted pork noodles made with slow-braised pork, shiitake mushroom, scallion and shallots ($18). If you want something spicy try the dan dan with carrot, cabbage and scallion, seated atop a pool of sweet and spicy dan dan sauce ($15).

Overall, Wok Star is a fun place to hang out and vibe over good music and drinks. Although the neighborhood slightly approaches suburb territory, Wok Star is a pretty cool place that folks both young and old will enjoy.

Wok Star Chinese. 8041 Walnut Hill Lane (The Hill). Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.