The No. 1 seller at Chino Chinatown is the duck fat fried rice. Like most items on the menu, it was inspired by chef Uno Immanivong’s upbringing. “Fried rice was my mom’s version of goulash; she just threw everything in there with a little pork fat,” Immanivong says. “But I love duck fat, so this is my version.” Her version has shrimp, Chinese sausage, barbecue pork and a fried egg on top. When Immanivong was growing up, her mom had a side business as a caterer, and she used to help make food for Lao and Thai weddings with as many as 300 guests. The chef also was inspired by Anthony Bourdain, with whom she worked on the TV show “The Taste.” Bourdain told her, “Stick with what you know.” And she has, she says, along with business partner Adrian Verdin, who added Latin flavors to the menu. “We really pull our recipes from our families,” Immanivong says. Other favorites include the drunken noodles, a flat-noodle dish named for its reviving powers as a late-night meal. These come with Coke-braised short ribs and candied peanuts. Chino Chinatown also serves house-made desserts, including the piña colada upside down cake, which comes with salted-rum caramel and pistachio brittle.
3011 Gulden Lane, Suite 110
Ambiance: Casual but posh
Price range: $5-$39
MONDAY-THURSDAY 11 A.M.-11 P.M.
FRIDAY-SATURDAY 11 A.M.-1 A.M.
SUNDAY 11 A.M-9 P.M.
Did you know?
Chino chinatown is open for lunch.
Three more places for an Asian food fix
1. Pho 88
For the best Vietnamese food in Dallas, drive to Garland or Carrollton. If you’d rather stay in Oak Cliff, try the pad thai or bahn mi at Pho 88, from the owners of Chan Thai.
312 W. Seventh
2. Somphou Market
This Asian market has a kitchen in the back that turns out some of the best Thai food to be had in Dallas south of the Trinity. It’s takeout only, and they go heavy on the Styrofoam, but everything on the menu is good, including excellent spring rolls. Because of its location near a rowdy pool hall, Somphou closes at dusk.
4444 W. Illinois
Do you know what we mean by “good-bad Chinese food”? Try the sesame chicken with fried rice or something equally good-bad.
526 E. Jefferson