Why do people order fried rice in Chinese restaurants?
It’s never very good and rarely justifies the six or seven bucks charged for it.
The only question that haunts ELV more is why all the tea in all Chinese restaurants never tastes like anything but warm, muddy water.
At its best, fried rice (made with day old rice that has lost some moisture) is a caramelized delight, chock full of tasty tidbits of egg, ham, shrimp or whatever minced veggies the cook has lying around.
What you usually get is stuff that is hardly crispy and sweet, speckled with a few meagre strands of egg and a dotting of barely-there proteins. (As you can see from the not-so-tasty snap above, what they usually throw at you is warmed-over rice with a few chunks of this or that thrown in to justify the price.)
But still, bad fried rice is better than no fried rice at all, so we soldier on, hoping against hope that one day we’ll find one that comes close to what we used to make in our own kitchen. (We’ve given up on finding any good tea in any Chinese restaurant anywhere but Hong Kong.)
That quibble aside, you can do a lot worse than the barbecue platter of Chinese meat at BBQ King (although the ma po dofu isn’t as good as that at Emperor Szechuan down the street, or J & J Szechuan in the same shopping center), and it only takes cash.
Regardless of these low points, our lunch with uber-writer/personality Danny (“Bunny”) Axelrod was most pleasant, as between bites of toothsome, candied pork, succulent duck and salty chicken, we discussed everything from voter fraud to spicy foods to the European debt crisis. How many foodies can you do that with?
In fact, the conversation was so good, it almost made us forget how tepid the fried rice was.
Just thought you’d rike to know.
ELV’s meal for two came to $43 including a $7 tip.
5650 West Spring Mountain Road
Las Vegas, NV 89146