Ma Jong’s is a little diner that’s attached to the contemporary restaurant Mason’s, a place where the trendy and pretend -to-trendy mingle. Though I have to admit what drew me to it in the first place was the name. I can’t help it; I have a fetish for puns.
The décor inside is sleek, spacious, and simple. Large wooden tables, with comfortable low back seating, each table decorated with some tall standing grass and a jar of nice wooden chopsticks (not the snap-apart kind that splinter). You can also eat outside which has soft wooden chairs, covered, tables, and even couches and beds to chill on whilst you nosh.
It being diner style, you walk up to the counter and order what you want. Afterwards you fill your drink, collect some silverware and napkins, and seat yourself. The menu isn’t up for display anywhere, so be sure to grab a menu once you step in. The menu is diverse with flavors from China, Thailand, and Vietnam and so on so your whole party should be content with the diversity of the menu.
The hot and sour soup was delicious. Filled with straw mushrooms, large chunks of tofu, chicken, egg and scallion it was deliciously spicy without being too hot. It was lacking a bit in the sourness but my dining companion enjoyed the balance, so it’s all a matter of taste. Pass on the crab wontons, they’re mostly fried smears of cream cheese with no discernable crab.
The noodles are nothing to complain about and make for a simple yet filling meal. The main entrees are customizable allowing you to choose chicken, beef, shrimp, veggies or tofu, and white or brown rice (go for brown).
The chicken is given a quick tempura treatment before it goes into a dish. In the orange peel entrée (read: upscale orange chicken) the tempura and sauce get a bit pasty together. The ginger honey soy entrée is fantastic with the chicken or shrimp, and paired with a beer it’s as if you were transported to an Osakan izakaya.Service is accommodating and they earned their tip. The food comes very quickly, so if you’re hoping to get in and out, Ma Jong’s is a perfect dining selection if you need to rush to the dance floor (located next door, natch).
They’re open late (2:30 am Thurs-Sun) and if you call ahead they’ll bring your order to your car curbside. It’s upscale Chinese takeout to sum it up. A nice change from wherever you might usually go. My best advice is to go during the downtime on weekends before seven you’ll be the only one there and have the choice for the best seating.
Ma Jong’s Asian Diner
1116 15th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814