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Name:Chan's Dragon Inn: ENDANGERED
This place dates back to 1965 and actually has good food and generous drinks at reasonable prices. Duck for $15, anyone? That buys you two meals' worth for the lightweight lady diner. And $7.50 for a fake coconut full of a pina colada type concoction that somehow lasted the whole meal. The decor features bamboo booths, blowfish lamps, mod Lucite-chunk lamps and an impressive giant clam fountain in the lobby. It simply lacks a critical mass of clientele. Location is its doom...the whole area has lots of recent Asian immigrants who simply don't have this kind of restaurant on their radar, and Chan's is hard to reach from even nearby towns. I live in Jersey City, a mere 5 miles away, but it takes about 1/2 an hour to reach Chan's on the old, congested roads. Anyone trying to go there from points north or west will have similar traffic woes. So any regular folks looking for an exotic and fun night out will go somewhere more convenient. Maybe the TC ohana can at least forestall the inevitable by making a special effort to visit this fabulous place before it's too late.
Here's a really nice little video of the place..
Why does NY/NJ have so many of these amazing Cantonese Tiki Restaurants and LA has None ?
Kakalin...you need to go there and take document this place....lots of pictures. Also, steal a menu (get one for me while you're at it !)
Thses places are really rare....Reminds me of Kin Yum in Queens...Same color scheme on the tikis.
There is already a Locating Tiki thread started for the Dragon Inn, you should post your messages to that thread rather than create a new one.
Maybe a moderator out there can fix this double posting.
Nice find on that video. The link you posted does not work however. I tried posting it as you did and it does not connect to the video.
Here is a link to the video search page so you can click on the Chan's Dragon Inn video and watch it. Maybe some smarter computer folks can figure out a better fix to the video link.
Not to derail this thread but I think the days for most mid-century Chop Suey restaurants (Tiki or not) are numbered these days. This is especially true in an area like Los Angeles where recent Chinese immigration has introduced the "real deal" to discerning diners.
Just this last year we lost Paul's Kitchen in Monterey Park, and the (historic) Far East Cafe in Little Tokyo never really got back on its feet after its reopening from a few years ago.
One might argue that this slice of mid-century "Americana" is as significant as Tiki. I miss my pressed Almond Duck, Egg Foo Young, and Sweet & Sour Pork. Also a lot of these newer authentic Chinese restaurants don't even give you a fortune cookie, you get orange slices instead. :( Someone needs to write a "Book of Chop Suey Joints" !!
Yes, some kitschy cool places like Hop Louie in Chinatown still exist but the food there (as well as the "Tropicals") are pretty sub-standard.
[ Edited by: JOHN-O 2010-09-26 11:13 ]
Before you go sounding any alarms I think it may be worth your while to visit Chan's at another time. Since this is your first post and the fact that you just noticed the Christmas decorations, which have been up there for at least the last 7 or so years that I've been going there, my guess is that this is your first visit there (?). Don't misunderstand my tone, I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Chan's could be on the endangered species list, but since I've been going there, my last visit less than a year ago, the place is always surprisingly busy. I don't think their business is going to take a nose-dive in that short amount of time. Nonetheless, your posting is a good wake up call to get over there again sooner than later. I've turned on so many non-tiki friends to that place that would hate to see it go as well. If Chan's goes, we always have King Yum in Queens.
donho said it!
Whenever I'm in the place they always shake their heads about shutting down but that's been about the last 5 years - they also never have "old stuff" like s&p shakers but always find me a set labelled with CHAN's when I'm there - new in box!
So in the nicest way don't post this as your first post with no clue. The decorations have been up and will stay up. They have great drinks, good food and most excellent waitstaff and people - as well as the right music.
Check the older thread with pics to confirm!!!
See you at chan's this saturday early!
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