Above (not absolutely in focus) is the Sa-Wooei Special Duck: “double cooked,” crispy, salty, intense, with a not-too-sweet, homemade plum sauce.
It would certainly be reason enough to go to the Sa-Wooei Thai restaurant, 10621, San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito, California. But you know, food is never the whole or the only reason why you go to a restaurant. I was attracted to the Sa-Wooei because it had a fine (if not easily legible) neon sign:
And perhaps even more because it was on stilts. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen, much less eaten in, a restaurant on stilts before.
And then there was the garnish – a butterfly carved out of a beet. Edible for sure, but nobody else in the restaurant seemed to be eating theirs.
All good reasons to go to Sa-WooEi, but really, above, all the duck.