The Chinese food scene is growing in the U.S., with offerings and styles from different provinces becoming commonplace. Fat Dragon is taking an interesting "back to basics approach" serving some of the items we've come to expect from take-out Chinese joints with a new level of quality.
When asked about the design of the menu at Fat Dragon, manager Ivy Wei mentioned that the idea was to take the familiar and put in a dash of novelty. "We're trying to bring some of the styles out from the San Gabriel Valley, but nothing too strange," she said. This approach becomes very clear when looking at the menu, which is packed with items that even neophytes in Chinese food may be familiar with, like steak and mushrooms, including shiitake, king oyster mushrooms or portobello mushroom. Another example is Mary's Orange Chicken or the Dragon Noodles with mixed veggies. However, even here, there is a taste of the rare and new, like five-spiced quail, bone broth cooked over 24 hours, or a pork jowl stir-fry. All, of course, are delicious, as reviewers are quick to point out.
However, calling Fat Dragon your run-of-the-mill Cantonese style joint is doing it a huge disservice. Perhaps the biggest thing that sets it apart is the tea bar. Each tea here is made from loose leaves and garnished with fresh flora and fruit. Some of the options include classics like milk tea, ginger lemon iced tea, or cold brew organic green tea lattes. Health-conscious people can enjoy a variety of herbal teas, featuring popular healthy ingredients like goji, ginger, ginseng, and chrysanthemum. For a more flavorful type of tea option, try some of the fruit infused green teas, like the blackberry lemon mint, lychee lime, strawberry basil, and passion fruit cucumber goji berry. With combinations like these, the tea bar easily stands as a draw all its own for those who may not have the time or interest in stopping in for a bite to eat. Many reviewers are doing just that, raving about the tea even if they haven't tried the food yet! Fat Dragon does a great job of living up to its concept of trying to sprinkle in bits of the unfamiliar to its Chinese cuisine rather than overwhelming with it. In this case, it looks like the simpler approach may very be the one of the best in Silver Lake and the surrounding area.