photo credit: Jakob Layman
When it comes to eating Chinese food in LA, you have several options. You can pack up the car and make the journey to the dim sum and dumpling palaces of the San Gabriel Valley, go all out with fancy classics in Beverly Hills, or stick to your local neighborhood joint because it’s Tuesday and your feet hurt and you need something fast. Fat Dragon in Silver Lake is here to provide another option LA could use more of: a casual Chinese spot worth traveling for.
The people at Fat Dragon are making affordable, accessible Chinese food better than just about anyone within LA city limits. It’s technically order-at-the-counter, but at the same time, not at all fast casual. This cool, modern space is equally great for hanging out with friends, or housing your chow mein in under 20 minutes so you can get back to your Netflix queue. But Fat Dragon isn’t just about a flexible space inside an Eastside stripmall. It’s also about the food coming out of it.
The best things at Fat Dragon are the wontons, the spicy eggplant, and the steak with broccolini, but it honestly doesn’t matter. It’s all comfort-laden, familiar Chinese food staples - and Fat Dragon hits each and every one out of the park. This spot is hardly some sort of moon juice health yurt, but none of the food here feels particularly heavy. Fat Dragon is that rare combination of fresh ingredients and the soul-curing flavor you need to get you through the rest of the week.
Every neighborhood in LA wishes they had a Fat Dragon, and if this casual spot keeps playing its cards right, they just might get one.
Szechuan Spicy Wontons
Shrimp and pork wontons doused in homemade chili sauce, these are an absolute must-order. This is the kind of dish you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about.
Eggplant With Spicy Garlic Sauce
This plate isn’t going to win you over with curb appeal, but you’d be wise to order it. How they made a plate of eggplant taste this good, we’ll never know.
Step aside, frickle. The frushroom has arrived.
Steak With Broccolini
The simplest dish on the menu is a standout because that steak is actually angus beef and that broccolini is fresh and cooked perfectly. Definitely order this.
Dragon Fried Rice
This is a house speciality at Fat Dragon and more or less a giant plate of fried rice. Except way better than most plates of fried rice you’ve had recently. Get this for the table.
The orange chicken isn’t our favorite dish here, but it’s still orange chicken, and if that’s what you’re craving tonight, you won’t be let down.