What draws me to Blue Koi are all the things that go into its atmosphere... It's close to my house, has a cozy, smallish dining room filled with a varied group of patrons and art from local artists featured on the walls. The service is amiable on average, above average when the owner is in. It's dark and, even when busy, the buzz of sound and activity from customers chatting, chefs cooking and servers serving only gives you and your companion(s) assuredness that you can speak freely without the people at the tables close-by listening to the intimate details of your conversation.
Po's just a few doors down (east).
On this trip we did enjoy the pork dumplings, pan fried, though a little too lightly fried this time, evidenced by the picture above in which you can see glistening, translucent skins and very little crispy brownness from flash-frying. A full portion is 8 dumplings, which is nice and filling (portions are another plus I concede to Blue Koi).
I've encountered this recurring problem with other Blue Koi entrees such as the shrimp (chicken or tofu) with black bean sauce, shrimp (chicken or tofu) with Chinese curry sauce and ants on a tree. In each case, the ingredients were cooked well, served warm and with a nice overall appearance, but were slovenly covered in gooey, sugary, sweet sauces.
Admittedly, I'm a salty guy who likes salty food, and I've found Chinese sauces sometimes do fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum of Asian cooking. But I'd be surprised if other Blue Koi patrons didn't agree that too many of the dishes on this menu are sweeter than they should be.
Oh, and before I forget, one other word of caution: most dishes at Blue Koi are served with the customer's choice of rice, noodles or as a soup. I love noodles. Especially Asian noodles - soba, udon, rice vermicelli, Lo Mein... but the thick noodles Blue Koi's entrees come with are the gummiest variety of noodle I have ever encountered (probably made gummier by the glucose-rich sauce in which they're served). So stick with rice or soup.
One can definitely enjoy a night out at Blue Koi. Good atmosphere and good service keep me coming back again and again. Just do what you can to avoid falling victim of their "sweet spot" and you should be okay.
Rating: one napkin