"A cursory sampling of the rest of the menu at both locations revealed unremarkable Chinese-American fare." Huh? When you're at a Shanghai-ese restaurant, order the Shanghai-ese dishes. There's a large variety of buns, all of which are good to excellent. Lion's head meatballs. And any number of regional dishes, such as chili and potatoes.
I have to think the person doing the sampling was the unimaginative one.