Restaurants & Bars 5

Gettin' lucky at the Lucky Dragon in Aptos

Matt | Jan 17, 200606:42 PM

I got dinner to go from the Lucky Dragon this last Thursday. It's a casual "old school" Chinese restaurant on Soquel Drive. The interior is decorated with lamps and fans but there is otherwise no attempt to be elegant or upscale.

I ordered pork fried rice and Kung Pao Chicken. I really liked the rice. The pork was a bit sweeter than what I've had at most places and I liked that. They gave me a generous portion of rice and it was packed with peas and carrots. The rice itself was of a fine grain. This was much better than the weak fried rice I had at Uncle Kwok's awhile back.

The Kung Pao Chicken was quite different than what I've had elsewhere. Other than a little green onion and the little black peppers, there were no veggies. It was just packed with chicken and peanuts. I had never seen no many nuts in a Chinese dish before. It gave it an unusual "peanutty" quality. You may want to pour this over steamed rice if you ever order it. The sauce was fairly mild despite the usual claim that it's super-spicy. Not sure If I would order it again, but I liked it better than the Kung Pao Chicken I had at Mayflower last week. I may try the Kung Pao Beef sometime.

Within the world of Aptos Chinese food, I definitely liked the food at Lucky Dragon better than what Uncle Kwok's serves. I have not tried Panda Inn or Hong Kong Garden yet.

Compared to other parts of the county, I like Lucky Dragon better than anything I've had in Capitola, the eastside, or central Santa Cruz. But, I think I like Chopstix in Felton better.

If you live in Aptos or La Selva Beach, Lucky Dragon is a good place to get some straight-forward, "Nothin' fancy" Chinese food. If you live in another part of the county, there is probably someplace just about as good or better closer to you.

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