Since ABC’s hit sitcom Fresh off the Boat (Tuesdays, 8/7c) is inspired by the life of star chef Eddie Huang, we thought it’d be cool to ask Constance Wu about food.
The Richmond-born beauty, who plays Eddie’s tiger mom Jessica, moved to New York to study acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and now lives in LA.
“I don’t need to have doors opened for me but it’s a nice gesture if it’s sincere.”
What are you favorite eateries in LA?
I like restaurants that have really good food, that’s key. I also prefer places that are more neighborhoody, not like Cheesecake Factory. I love this little place in Silver Lake called Speranza, really low key, really great food, and mostly just locals. It’s not a place where tourists would go. I go to Alcove in Los Feliz for lunch meetings, a great place to do that. Little Doms just up the street is always really good, I really like the rice balls, delicious, and their pizzas—from a wood burning oven—are good. Their salmon is also good, in fact, everything they have is really good. And their cocktails are great. And they have a little deli in the back if you’re into that. Pine & Crane also in Silver Lake is good Taiwanese food, and I have a Taiwanese background. I really like the minced pork on rice, sounds kind of boring but it’s pretty tasty.
You attended drama school and acted in New York, so you must’ve gone out to dine a lot, what eateries do you remember from there?
I haven’t lived in New York in five years and things change so much there. The restaurant I used to work at, and I really loved but it just closed, was Ouest, on the Upper West side. Miss that place. I like Blue Ribbon Sushi and their sashimi. Also, what I really love in New York, I always go to Mamoun’s Falafel, and that’ll be there forever. It’s got like a two-dollar falafel sandwich, and it’s all over the city, but I usually go to the one in Astor Place. A hole in the wall, you can sit in a small booth or take it out with you. One of those almost greasy spoon places but it’s wonderful.
If you’re heading out to dinner on a first date, give us guys some tips on how to impress?
Be yourself but the best version of yourself — the kindest version of yourself. Kindness is always good, humor is good, and being on time. And being whatever the opposite is of being anxious. Not like calm that you put on. But sometimes guys can be so anxious and eager to please, it’s like their anxiety is contagious—it spreads and it just doesn’t feel good. I don’t need to have doors opened for me but it’s a nice gesture if it’s sincere.
On that first date, do you go Dutch or what?
In the past, I usually tried to go Dutch on a first date—I haven’t been on a first date for a long time—but I feel more comfortable if it’s Dutch the whole time. I have a lot of close male friends who are straight men, who are closer to me than my girlfriends. And not going Dutch builds up this resentment that, like, they have to pay every time. I don’t want that to happen. So, I’m proud that I can pay for myself.
What’s the recipe for a romantic date, a great venue with a view, something intimate or what?
Any of those ideas of what could be a romantic dinner, they often fall very flat, because there are expectations built in. The most fun is when you have an authentically really good, connected time with somebody, and usually that happens when you’re not planning for it. When you’re just doing the opposite of anxious. That phrase again.