WonFun

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Located in the old J.P. Graziano grocery warehouse, a beckoning red neon sign above the door reads “Chinese Food.” The doors you enter through were found inside the warehouse drywall during demolition and were repurposed for the entryway. Once inside, you can pop up the stairs to 2Fun, a karaoke and dim sum bar featuring a 60-foot paper dragon sculpture imported from China, or you can turn right and find yourself in WonFun, a palace filled with blood-red and black lacquer tones. There’s a half pagoda built over the kitchen, and 280 Chinese globe lanterns hang from the ceiling. The dark worn wooden floorboards are the original Graziano warehouse floors. WonFun feels like a clandestine back-alley opium den or the kind of place where you might procure a Mogwai (“Gremlins” reference). The massive booths feel like private dining areas, and once in, you’ll see nary another patron. The speakers hum with garage rock. The beer list is solidly craft, featuring Four Hands Brewing Co. Dakine tropical IPA. There’s also a strawberry daiquiri ($12) brimming with rum, pisco, lime and real strawberries. Chef Ruiz has long been a student of Chinese cuisine, having backpacked through China and returned later for a 10-day guided tour with Baker, where they tried up to 12 restaurants a day and took cooking classes.  Dry chili prawns ($13.99) are fried with their heads and shells on and coated in chilis that don’t blow your palate, but instead, numb your lips and exude a tingly buzzy chili high. The shells crackle like potato chips, and the flesh is briny and sweet. Chongqing fried chicken is served with a shatteringly crispy crust spiked with sugar, chili heat and dried mushroom crystals.