In a nondescript little stretch of Lankershim in North Hollywood, there is a restaurant called Dragon Street. It’s Chinese, no wait, it’s sushi…no wait…I’m not really sure what they are, but I do know they serve Chinese food and sushi. But screw sushi, I have no need for that, so when I went to Dragon Street, I was all about the Chinese food. Like any good Asian restaurant, Dragon Street had itself a nifty little lunch special. As usual, I looked right at the Kung Pao Chicken.
Their lunch special came with a choice of fried rice, white rice or brown rice, an egg roll and choice of hot and sour or egg drop soup or salad for only $6.95. The deal sounded amazing, but it would only be good if the food tasted good. I chose the fried rice and egg drop soup. When I went to pick up my carry-out, I was a little surprised to find the meal was a bit pricier. Then I saw on the menu that there was an extra 50 cent charge to carry out soup. Seems like a strange extra charge, but maybe the price of carry-out bowls is steadily rising like stamps and Canadian Dollars.
When I was given my carry-out bag, I was surprised to find that it was pretty damn heavy. By the time I got back to my office to open the thing up, I had given my arms a nice little Chinese take-out workout. I opened up the main course styrofoam and found the thing packed to the brim with chicken and rice. It was beautiful and I was ready to eat. I started with the soup, which was a bit on the salty side, but still pretty good. It actually had a nice gelatinous texture that some egg drop soups fail to maintain, so this made up a bit for the saltiness. The egg roll wasn’t bad, but sadly it was pretty dominated by vegetables. By the time I made it through these, I was already pretty full, but I hadn’t even made it to my main course.
The rice was pretty much the most perfect fried rice I had ever seen. There wasn’t a trace of peas, corn, carrots or any other sort of dastardly vegetable to be found. It was simply egg and soy sauce. The kung pao chicken was pretty good, too. There were a few green onions scattered about, but they could be pretty easily avoided. The chicken had great flavor, but the peanuts seemed to be pretty much a different entity from the rest of the food. They looked like they had been tossed on after the cooking, rather than being a part of the cooking process, which left them lacking in flavor. In addition, Dragon Street tossed some water chestnuts into the mix. I thought this was a nice addition, especially because there weren’t too many.
Midway through the meal, I was stuffed and ready to make a second meal out of my lunch special. My complaints about the peanuts were small peanuts. The deal was great and while it wasn’t the best kung pao I’ve ever had, I certainly got my money’s worth.