Genghis Khan Restaurant
1422 First Ave, 682-3606

Mon-Thur 11 am-10 pm; Fri 11 am-11pm; Sat 5 pm- 11 pm, Sun 5-10 pm

There is a speciFic delight to eating Chinese food at home, something that you miss, when deprived of it, with a sense of entitlement. You have a right to sit in your PJs and watch crap TV and eat out of a carton emblazoned with a dragon. You have a right to leftovers. And one of my greatest regrets is that I live in a city where it's hard to have great Chinese food delivered to your door at a moment's notice. I have been waiting for someone to remedy this.

Certain neighborhoods, it's true, are serviced by Pandasia, and by Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon (which as I recall is good). But I have spent many hung-over Sunday afternoons leafing through the telephone book looking for a Chinese restaurant that would deliver to me. When I learned that Genghis Khan would deliver to Capitol Hill, I was thrilled; I made my husband call in the order, while I changed my clothes, and warmed up the television.

The food arrived promptly, and in the requisite red-and-white cartons, with plenty of condiments and extra fortune cookies.

I had ordered the most standard Chinese meal I could think of, and was both gratified and disappointed by the results. The egg rolls ($3.25) and chicken wings ($5.25), which my husband added without telling me) were both crisp, golden, and greasy, exactly how you want them. The mu shu pork ($7.95) was pretty good, with a nice savory mix of meat, mushrooms, and crunchy vegetables, plus those pancakes that give the dish that parchmenty flavor that is so essential (it was even better the next day). But the kung pao chicken ($7.95) and Szechuan eggplant ($7.95) were almost interchangeable, full of stir-fry filler (onions, green pepper, hot peppers), and the chicken seemed terribly naked without the usual crunchy coating, just a few bland peanuts floating around in the sauce.

I am still, as it turns out, waiting.