When the only Chinese restaurant in the Palisades closed its doors last month I was devastated. Their moo shu shrimp was so delicious.
Then I noticed that a new Chinese restaurant had taken over a restaurant that had been part of a Chinese chain that was not too exciting, but I decided to try the new iteration. And whenever I go to a Chinese restaurant, I try to take a Chinese person with me. In this case I invited my gourmand friend Bryan and his beautiful wife Ming. And I asked them to do all the ordering.
The result was an incredible Chinese feast. We started with a cucumber salad, very tasty although a bit more marinating was called for. I then had the wonton soup, one of my favorite Chinese dishes, and it was very flavorful. Next, we had the battered crispy shrimp appetizer, which was one of my favorites (and enough to serve for a main course). The pork Xiao Long Bao was very authentic, fresh, and delicious. We ate many different dumplings, some fried, some steamed, and some in little tinfoil cups.
The two dishes that we picked as our favorites were the Singapore Style Noodle and the Minced Chicken Lettuce. The noodles had a lot of complex flavors. The minced chicken dish came with a half loaf of lettuce which we used like a tortilla as a wrap for the diced chicken.
On the table were a nice selection of sauces, including soy and chili, which we carefully added to many of the dishes.
This whole feast for three was just over $100, and there was enough to take home for one more meal.
The restaurant provides a menu with a checklist on it so you can order by checking off the items you want. Be sure to look on the back of the menu as well, where there is a list of fried rice dishes (which we didn’t try) and six vegetable dishes which look wonderful, and I will try next time.
Also on the back is the drink menu with beer and wines at reasonable prices, including “Kungfu Girl” sparkling wine, and some cocktails such as “lotus lychee” martini – which I might try.
The Lotus is on the southwest corner of 4th and Wilshire and is worth the trip.
326 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Merv Hecht, like many Harvard Law School graduates, went into the wine business after law. In 1988, he began writing restaurant reviews and books. His latest book “The Instant Wine Connoisseur, 3d edition” is available on Amazon. He currently works for several companies that source and distribute food and wine products internationally. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org