Pulau Pinang

Pulau Pinang should be on your short list of useful places for a last-minute group dinner without the logistical migraine. The Elmhurst restaurant has plenty of big tables, as well as a parking lot that's shared with a supermarket—and they serve a pretty solid selection of Malaysian-style Chinese and Taiwanese food, with most dishes under $30. Pulau Pinang is a no-frills spot, but it gets lively, with people passing around large platters of crispy lobak, and hokkien mee with a rich soy sauce gravy. Keep Pulau Pinang in mind for your Lunar New Year celebrations too: they serve lo hei, a celebratory raw fish salad, during the festive season.

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