When Chinatown Express placed a giant banner outside its front window, the eatery apparently assumed it would make this year’s Washingtonian list of 100 Best Bargain Restaurants, no doubt because it has regularly enjoyed the recognition in recent years. The banner, hung before the magazine’s Cheap Eats issue hit the stands last month, included a reference to a 2006 honor.

Only one problem: Chinatown Express didn’t make the cut this time around. “The house special chicken is a terrific dish, and if one dish could vault you over the top, this is the dish. But it’s really just not enough,” says Washingtonian Dining Editor Todd Kliman, a former City Paper food columnist. “It’s kind of a likable little spot, but it wasn’t enough to kind of get them in there.”

When I brought the matter to the attention of Saubing Tsang, manager and co-owner of the 6th Street NW restaurant, she expressed confusion. “Maybe somebody talked to him,” she said, referring to her husband and co-owner. “I don’t know.”

Asked if she planned to remedy the situation, the manager wasted no time. She walked up a short flight of stairs, leaned over a metal railing, and scraped off the “2006.”