P. F. Chang's China Bistro stands so far above the rest of the local Chinese restaurant scene that it's hard not to love it, despite it being a chain. At least Chang's is an Arizona native, having started in Scottsdale in 1993, before spreading nationwide. The concept is a mix of traditional formal dining and bistro casualness. The menu is pan-Asian, the emphasis on Mandarin and Hong Kong styles with a touch of Thai thrown in. The proof of its popularity is evident in the long lines virtually every night. Everyone seems to love the chicken lettuce wraps--self-made lettuce burritos--and the coconut curry vegetables are heavenly. The interior decoration, with its terra cotta replicas, is similar to all the P. F. Chang's, and if you're afraid of horses, watch out for the two plaster giants that dominate each end of the bar. Chang's may be a chain, but it's still delicious, and what other Chinese restaurant in town offers valet parking?
2. Guilin, 3250 E. Speedway Blvd.
3. Golden Dragon, Various locations