Until now, I didn't realize that mock chicken was part of an international cuisine. Like the name indicates, it's a substitute for real chicken, and you make it out of other types of meat or game (in Australia, it's even used like a spread on bread and crackers and such). I have no idea why it's called what it is, because it doesn't taste anything like chicken, either. At first, I thought maybe that was the point to the name—if the eatery effs up your order, it can cover its butt by claiming the food was fake in the first place.
If you order mock chicken at Tao, however, chances are you'll have no complaints. This Normal Heights Japanese-Vietnamese restaurant has the goods on its preparation—imagine a turkey loaf seasoned with mango sauce, and you're on the right track. The flavor combination might sound odd, even off-putting at first; then again, bologna and peanut butter are ill-matched until you taste them. Tao also makes its own tofu, which has little flavor of its own, as it's kind of designed to sop up the taste of the foods around it—but when pressed into service against the “chicken,” the sensation is out of this world and its moon. And the very best part is that the staff pays a portion of your bill, as in the complimentary pre-dinner salad and the free ice cream (with fruit) at the end.
If you like spicy food and are vegetarian, you're in luck, as this eatery has a flair for both. If you're poor, your luck has just doubled—the entrées are a measly $10 to $15 and are big enough for two. The only thing you need to do is show up at 3332 Adams Ave. Tuesdays through Sundays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and again at 5 to 10 p.m. (phone is 619-281-6888). All in all, there's no potential for mockery here, whether you order the chicken or not.