I cannot believe there are negative reviews for this place!! We've been going here for three years and have never once been disappointed. My husband and I love Chinese food and have been to a lot of chinese restaurants. While I can't claim to know the exact aspects that make it authentic or not, I do know what tastes good and this restaurant is good! Since we discovered them we have hardly eaten Chinese any where else. We joke around that they ""ruined"" other restaurants for us because ""well, it was ok, but not as good as Essence."" The waiter may be quiet but he is friendly, polite and always helpful and fast. He makes us smile and the service is great! During the dinner hour they have 2-3 other staff there, which is plenty for a small place like this. There are only about 10 tables in the place. All the staff are friendly and helpful, they remember us when we come in and make us feel so welcome and comfortable. It does not have fancy decorations, mood lighting, music, fishtanks, fountains or other things that have come to be expected at a typical asian restaurant, but it has excellent food, in large portions for a low cost. For drinks, 4 entrees, a side of eggrolls and egg flower soup (like everything else, it's the best I've had!) it generally costs us around $30. Tea and white rice are complimentary with any order. We are dainty eaters, we fill ourselves up with a large portion and still have enough to take home for lunch and sometimes dinner as well the next day.