I become mesmerized in the presence of cheap Chinese food steam tables (you know- the ones where you point to what you want), and I know there are some of you who are with me… after all, how else would so many of them exist in L.A.? How do you know if you’re afflicted with cheap Chinese food-itis? It’s pretty simple actually. At mall food courts, do you find it difficult to choose anything but the place that has the best free samples of orange chicken? When you travel, have you ever walked to another terminal hoping for Panda Express (but willing to settle for Manchu Wok)? Do you find yourself wanting to try every single crappy looking Chinese place you drive by? Well, I’m here to help.
Last month, after a particularly mediocre meal at Patty’s Chinese Express downtown, I agreed to eat at any of the cheap Chinese food dives that dot our wonderful city… not just as an excuse to eat at all the gross Chinese fast food spots that dot our strip malls, but also because I wanted to serve my community! Oh, who am I kidding. I just wanted an excuse to eat gross Chinese food. So I was pretty excited when I got this email from Lunch’er “Cathy” (who also happens to run Gastronomy Blog):
“I passed by this awful looking chinese restaurant on Santa Monica the other day and thought of you. It’s called fortune cookies. please go there without me one day.”
How could I not?