Though it began in San Francisco as a pop-up inside another Chinese restaurant, Mission Chinese is now an established and exciting part of the New York restaurant scene. Its fare draws on varied sources, including imaginative renditions of cheap dishes from the plastic-covered menus of American-style Chinese restaurants, superbly executed translations of traditional Chinese—particularly Sichuan—dishes, and Bowien’s own imaginative melding of East and West. A meal at Mission could easily include choosing between beef with broccoli, sizzling cumin lamb, and kung pao pastrami. This highly personal cookbook, full of Bowein’s life story and rich with details about his inspirations for his versions of all these dishes, is remarkably revealing and very generous in crediting offered those who have influenced and supported his career. Smart and fun.