Los Feliz: Chi Dynasty
I recently checked out Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz. There are also locations in Studio City and Glendale as well. The place was bustling though I heard the owner lament to a regular the other locations weren’t faring as well. Chi Dynasty serves slightly upscale Chinese food with heavy, fancy plates amidst a dining room of red lacquered furniture.
After looking over the appetizers, my vegetarian friend and I decided to just order the Szechwan garlic string beans to go out with our meals. I started with the seafood chowder. No, not the kind of chowder you would expect from the East Coast but perhaps from the Far East Coast. This soup is more typically known at Chinese restaurants as a “thick” soup that is fortified with tofu and egg white. Think of it as an egg drop soup with seafood. Here’s another version I had recently at New Dragon in Chinatown.
Our server tried to talk my veggie friend out of the vegetarian Beijing duck, not understanding she really wanted it. He tried to talk her into the real duck but eventually he got she was vegetarian and scribbled down her order. The faux duck in this case seemed to be compressed tofu wrapped in what the server called “tortillas” but are more like the wrappers used for moo shu.
My friend liked it while I cast a doubtful look at the brownish substance they were calling “duck.” I like tofu to look like tofu.
We agreed though the string beans were neither spicy or garlicy. A good dose of chili paste would have helped but it’s just as well because I then had to contend with my meal.
I grew up eating family style so having to eat an entree by myself felt a bit weird. I probably should have saved half to take home but we were heading to a bar afterwards and I didn’t want to hang on to my leftovers.
Again our server tried to talk us out of this dish. He wanted me to order another of the shrimp dishes but I was liking the idea of an eggy sauce (hence why I seem to order a lot of thick, chowder-ish seafood soups). The Lake Tung Ting shrimp came with quite a bit of fresh veggies along with plump shrimp and dabs of scrambled egg whites. I got this with rice and it was perfect on this chilly evening.
I eyed the bar. I expect I’ll do some sort of dive bar crawl in Los Feliz soon and Chi Dynasty will be on the list!