Shanghai Restaurant: Fortune Cookie

I hit the new Fortune Cookie restaurant last night for a quick dinner with colleagues.

First off, I know it sounds pretty crazy to think that American Chinese food had any place in, y’know, China, but after years of eating through the different regional and local cuisines of China, learning from Fuschia, Fiona and Carolyn, and more than a few Chinese history books, I can totally appreciate American Chinese Food as a cultural concept.  The devil is in the details, of course, and I worried a bit that we’d see Nuclear Orange Panda Express syle Orange chicken in kitschy digs with some puns on the menu.

well there is Orange Chicken, the place is a bit kitschy, and there are some puns / jokes on the menu, but all in all, I think Fortune Cookie is a place to admire.  The place strikes balance between acknowledging every american’s childhood memories of American Chinese restaurants and channeling the actual American Chinese culture and experience, where generations of families developed a new style of Chinese Cuisine that stands on its own and should command its own respect.  We met the co-owners while we were there; we got the impression that this is generally their mission, which is awesome.

The space has some elements of the old Chinese diner chic, but the place looks good.  They have Mai Tais, and the Mai Tai was really good.  We had Beef & Broccoli, Orange Chicken & Their Ribs.  All of it was really, really good.  Especially those ribs.  I will be back for those.  The Orange chicken was definitely not the Nuclear Orange variety, did not look deadly, and was really good. The orange flavor didn’t quite come through, but hey — it’s their soft opening.

Highly recommended, and someone tell me how the Dragon Bowl cocktail (enough for 5!) goes down.