Whenever possible, show up at a Chinese restaurant with a family-size group. Often, tables of six (better yet, eight) have an edge over couples in the quality of service as well as the freedom to fully explore the menu. Chinese menus are designed for groups sharing food, letting each diner taste many dishes rather than just one large, protein-centered entrée. Choose your dishes to span a breadth of primary ingredients (seafood, poultry, veggies, noodles) and cooking methods (stir-fry, clay pot, deep-fry, roast). At restaurants authentic enough to draw Chinese as well as guei lo customers, there may be a Chinese menu that's not translated into English. Peek at other tables and when you see something that looks good; just say, "I'll have what they're having." On English-language menus, look for "chef specialties" and keep an eye out for uncommon regional dishes -- odds are, the chef comes from that region and cooks its food best. (Besides, if your group orders not just one but several less-common dishes, you'll be less likely to hear the dread refusal, "You don't want that.") And at each meal, try something you've never eaten before.