New Luck Toy
There’s a reason you always hear about Thanksgiving cooking disasters—people are trying to do way too many things at once. And when that happens, at least one thing tends to get screwed up. Like a pumpkin pie made with salt instead of sugar, an under-defrosted turducken with an ETA of 11pm, or a gravy grease fire really killing the festive mood. Don’t worry, eyebrows usually grow back.
So when we learned that there was a bar in West Seattle with skee-ball, karaoke, pinball, tiki drinks, and Chinese food, it seemed like a similar situation: too many different balls in the air for it to actually work out.
But somehow, New Luck Toy delivers on all fronts. Coming here on a night out is like stepping into a trippy, dimly-lit Chinese spy movie dream sequence, and it’ll be the most fun you’ve had at a bar in a while. The whole place is a happy explosion of paper lanterns and golden waving cat ornaments, along with the previously mentioned skee-ball machine, a private karaoke room reminiscent of a woodland sprite’s grotto, barbecued ducks hanging from little harpoons in a display case, and possibly the last thing you’d expect at a such a kitschy place: some truly delicious Chinese food.
There are two dining rooms, and once you grab a table and submit your order on a paper slip, the dishes you’ll eat here are excellent riffs on Chinese (and Chinese-American) classics. From salt and pepper spare ribs with an addicting five-spice dipping sauce, to shrimp and pork fat dumplings, to perfectly-fried General Tso’s chicken, just about everything here is memorable and tasty. The cocktails, like pink guava palomas, come in tiki mugs and pair really well with the food.
Come to New Luck Toy with a group, take a number to get in line for a table, and put your phone away. You’re going to need everyone’s undivided attention to eat and accomplish as much as you can, and have an excellent time while you’re at it. As long as you save room for sometimes-available soft serve sundaes in flavors like Rice Krispy Treat or Oops! All Berries, you’ve done it right. If only this place could cater your Thanksgiving, too.
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Shrimp & Pork Fat Dumplings
Minced shrimp dumplings tossed in a smoky-spicy-sesame Sichuan sauce and topped with fresh green onion, cilantro, and crispy shallots. These are rich, and a must-order.
Salt & Pepper Spare Ribs
If, for some reason, you black out and forget to check off the spare ribs on your ordering slip, find your server and rectify this immediately. These bite-size ribs are super tender, and taste great dipped in the sticky five-spice sauce.
General Oh Tso Good Fried Chicken
Yes, the pun in the name is terrible. But they’re right. This chicken is...oh so good, and the batter is fairly light, so you can really taste the sweet, spicy sauce. It’s our favorite entree here.
Shiitake Pork Egg Rolls
A valiant effort of an egg roll, with cabbage, ground pork, and shiitake mushrooms—but it trends on the bland side. You can skip.
Honey Pecan Prawns
Behold, delicious shrimp tossed in creamy honey glaze, some fresh scallions and spiced pecans for crunch, and oh, would you look at that, they’re all gone.
Mongolian Beef & Bitter Broccoli
The steak they use in the Mongolian beef is a great cut, and the sauce would taste good on an old shoe.
NLT Fried Rice
This large side of fried rice has cured Chinese sausage, pineapple, and basil. The fragrance and smoky sliced pork works well to share with a group if you’re ordering a few other things, but not noteworthy enough to get as a carb-based entree.
Spicy Pickled Cucumbers
These spicy, crunchy cucumbers with fresno chili, pickled onions, chili oil, scallions, and cilantro, have an awesome sesame flavor and are probably the healthiest thing on the menu. Well, besides water.
Soft Serve Rice Krispies Treat Ice Cream
The soft serve isn’t always available, but when it is, no trip to New Luck Toy is complete without a cup. We’ve had creamy vanilla with rice krispies spiced honey-drizzled pecans, as well as purple ice cream steeped with Cap’n Crunch Oops! All Berries. All hits.