As mentioned in an earlier post, I gave a talk at a Chinese church in Northridge, Ca., with the aid of a Mandarin translator. The topic was about about Chinese laundries and Chinese groceries. Afterwards, a audience member asked me to have lunch with him the following week. Turns out that he liked my prior books, on laundries and grocers and wondered if I might now be ready to write one on Chinese restaurants. My first through was, no way... what do I know about them, often than as a customer. My host was a retired Chinese restauranteur, and he offered to lend his expertise as a consultant. I promised to mull it over. My mulling did nothing to discourage me, and began what is tentatively to be titled: Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants, which I hope will be available in early 2010.