The words “great food” and “Palace Station” usually don’t collide in the same sentence. But when the folks who run Food Express Chinese Restaurant (yes, that’s the official name) on south Decatur decided to lease space in O.J.’s favorite casino, ELV was all in, as they say.
Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but we did have one fine and tasty lunch there recently, and we can attest that the food is every bit as savory and authentic as it is at the original (at 2003 South Decatur Blvd.), and that the surroundings (despite the surroundings of the low brow casino surrounding it) are much nicer.
The small space on the western side of the casino seats only about 50 or so, but it’s clean, and comfortable (unlike the hotel if memory serves), and they have those fish tanks full of fish, giant prawns and crab ready to make it onto your plate in a flash just like in Hong Kong.
Seafood is the thing to order here, and if you’ve got the hankerin’ for it, the abalone and sea cucumber specials are the specialties of the house — running about $60 an order for what ELV must candidly describe as acquired tastes. And by that we mean they are best acquired by having Chinese parents.
Penny pinching gaijin love the $7 lunch specials — you get a mountain of food consisting of American-Cantonese standbys like sweet and sour this and kung pao that — but peer into the menu a bit and you’ll be rewarded with excellent versions of salt and pepper shrimp, diced chicken in lettuce cups, wine-stewed beef, and sauteed squid.
So impressed were we by all of the above, that we’re almost prepared to ignore the faded carpet, toothless gamblers, second-hand smoke and third-rate seediness that gives the PS that certain je ne sais quoi, and make a beeline here the next time we need a Chinese food fix. Almost.
The $7 lunch specials are a real bargain, but are not the things to order (unless you prefer boring, American-Chinese dishes). A meal for two of a couple of appetizers and a seafood dish (excluding the aforementioned abalone, sea cucumber or shark’s fin) will run around $40.
FOOD EXPRESS II CHINESE RESTAURANT
In the Palace Station Hotel and Casino
2411 West Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89102