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my visit to the namesake LTH (Little Three Happiness)

my visit to the namesake LTH (Little Three Happiness)
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  • my visit to the namesake LTH (Little Three Happiness)

    Post #1 - December 12th, 2005, 11:20 pm
    Post #1 - December 12th, 2005, 11:20 pm Post #1 - December 12th, 2005, 11:20 pm
    I just wanted to thank everyone with great Little Three Happinsess postings, which prompted me to go there with my hubby for dinner on Saturday. We ordered the Salt & Pepper shrimp and a special dish that was mushroom, chicken, and Chinese sausage. We both really enjoyed our meals.

    The only downside was when I asked one of my favorite questions during my first visit to restaurants.."What's good/what do you recommend?" The waiter mentioned sweet and sour something which was totally the wrong answer for my palate, as that's the only preparation that I really don't care for. Secondly, my husband is clearly Asian, grew up in Singapore, and we've eaten Asian food all over the world, and I expected a better answer than that when dining in at a true Asian restaurant with my obviously Asian husband. My hubby disregarded the whole exchange, saying that it's not the type of restaurant with a maitre'd.

    We had given up on trying random Chinatown places after some mediocre experiences, relying on our couple favorites just for security sake. Can't wait to try more chow there! Maybe we'll do some noodles and more seafood next time at LTH.
  • Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 10:27 am
    Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 10:27 am Post #2 - April 28th, 2006, 10:27 am
    i finally made it to "little" three happiness last night... and i must say, i really wasn't impressed. i was actually a little let down. :cry:

    a few things about what we ordered..

    sesame soy chicken... flavorless and mushy
    sweet and sour chicken ... OK, not exceptional.
    crab rangoon was more crabby, less cheesey... i kinda liked it, my friends didn't.
    ...no fortune cookies?

    outside of the food, the place was crowded... apparently a group of 15 teenagers thought it'd be a good place to bring their friend for a birthday... they brought in their own jewel cake and everything.. they were just leaving as we arrived.. another table was full of kids, one of which had peed her pants and the pee was all over the back of her jeans.. we were only there waiting for takeout, i'm kind of glad we didn't actually dine in.

    one thing I did notice... we were in china town, yet I don't recall seeing anyone that was actually of asian descent eating there...
  • Post #3 - April 28th, 2006, 12:15 pm
    Post #3 - April 28th, 2006, 12:15 pm Post #3 - April 28th, 2006, 12:15 pm
    My better half and I went to LTH last night, too. Sad to say, but we had the same experience. We've enjoyed LTH immensely on countless prior occassions, and this was the first time that nothing really worked. Crispy skin chicken was merely ok - and forget about asking for extras like cilantro - it was hard enough getting napkins, chow fun (extra crispy) with shrimp and scallops ($5 surcharge for this combo) was ok, and lettuce in oyster sauce was absolutely poor. And there was one waitress (that we didn't recognize) for the entire, jam-packed restaurant. We assume that this was only an anomoly, considering the number of truly exceptional meals we've had at LTH.
    But more importantly, GWIV, we ate the last of your chili oil! And wow are we thankful there were a few dregs left - it really does lift the dishes, when they are on their game or not.
  • Post #4 - April 28th, 2006, 4:30 pm
    Post #4 - April 28th, 2006, 4:30 pm Post #4 - April 28th, 2006, 4:30 pm
    My husband and our friend were at LTH yesterday evening, sometime after 7 pm and I have to say that our meal was very good. One thing that I do think might have been an issue was that our server was a young girl, and she seemed to be a bit nervous and possibly new or not used to waiting tables. She had some problems understanding what we wanted, however a different server came back to us and clarified our order to us. When we were there they had two waitresses working

    We ordered Pot stickers and the fried crab meat dumping, where it is more crabby than cheesy which I think is a good thing.

    We also ordered the lemon chicken, black pepper chicken with thin noodles, bbq pork with tofu (our waitress came back to ask if we wanted it fried or steamed) and a vegetarian fried rice. All of our dishes were very good. Normally I'm not a fan of lemon chicken but I enjoyed this dish because the chicken was very crisp and the lemon sauce wasn't over powering. Our stand out dish was the bbq pork with tofu, nicely fried tofu, bbq pork, straw mushrooms and very tender baby bok choy.

    We had no problem getting refills on our water or napkins. The only complaint that I have is that we could have used a bit of a bigger table to comfortable move all our dishes around.

    I'm not entirely sure what the mention of people in chinatown being of asian decent dining there has to do with anything, but if it's some sort of sign, there were two different asian families in there enjoying their dinner while we sat there.
  • Post #5 - April 28th, 2006, 5:09 pm
    Post #5 - April 28th, 2006, 5:09 pm Post #5 - April 28th, 2006, 5:09 pm
    Namesake or not little Three Hapiness is not worth a visit. Each reastaurant i bn Chinatown has it's specialtiies nad LTH has none to speak of. Try Emperor's Choice for anything seafood: salt and pepper soft shell crab. scallop-stuffed shitake mushrooms, fish of the day steamed w/ black bean and garlic sauce. Phoenix (on Archer) is great for Peking Duck (w/out advance notice) and dim sum on the weekends. Otherwise, I miss Hong MIn's Mr. Weil's Shrimps(sic) and the Mongolian Chicken Chow Fun...and also the pot stickers...
  • Post #6 - April 28th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    Post #6 - April 28th, 2006, 6:01 pm Post #6 - April 28th, 2006, 6:01 pm
    CTB wrote:Namesake or not little Three Hapiness is not worth a visit. Each reastaurant i bn Chinatown has it's specialtiies nad LTH has none to speak of.

    CTB,

    Yep, you're right, LTH has no specialties at all*. Salt and Pepper Shrimp isn't all that special
    Image

    Neither is Clams with Black Bean sauce Evil Ronnie style, heavy on the jalapeno, light on the sauce.
    Image

    Crab dry stir fried with ginger and scallion, ~shrug~
    Image

    and Crispy Skin Chicken is not really one of the best dishes in Chicago.
    Image

    Pan fried noodles don't do much for me, either plain
    Image

    or with Roast Duck and BBQ pork.
    Image

    Not to mention shrimp toast and a host of other dishes which can be found in the 'Little' Three Happiness LTHForum Great Neighborhood Restaurant Award thread.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    'Little' Three Happiness
    209 W Cermak
    Chicago, IL

    *Good humored sarcasm intended
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - April 28th, 2006, 6:24 pm
    Post #7 - April 28th, 2006, 6:24 pm Post #7 - April 28th, 2006, 6:24 pm
    I miss Hong MIn's Mr. Weil's Shrimps(sic)


    << ahem >>

    Und der Haifisch....

    Der hat Zaehne....

    Und er benutzt die,

    Um Shrimps zu essen...


    All apologies to Bert Brecht (The Seer of Augsburg), the Berliner Ensemble, Ernie Kovacs (Trenton's pride and joy), and Mackie Chopstick, err... Messer.

    --The Threepenny Rebbe
  • Post #8 - April 28th, 2006, 6:26 pm
    Post #8 - April 28th, 2006, 6:26 pm Post #8 - April 28th, 2006, 6:26 pm
    And Miss Lotte Lenya!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #9 - April 28th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    Post #9 - April 28th, 2006, 6:31 pm Post #9 - April 28th, 2006, 6:31 pm
    Gary,

    Are the pan fried noodles with roast duck and bbq pork on the regular menu?

    I'm asking because if so I must be missing it somehow and it's a dish I would definately like to try next trip there.
  • Post #10 - April 28th, 2006, 6:49 pm
    Post #10 - April 28th, 2006, 6:49 pm Post #10 - April 28th, 2006, 6:49 pm
    Those noodles look positively scorched, like the ones at Katy's.

    Delicious.
  • Post #11 - April 28th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    Post #11 - April 28th, 2006, 9:39 pm Post #11 - April 28th, 2006, 9:39 pm
    dddane wrote:i finally made it to "little" three happiness last night... and i must say, i really wasn't impressed. i was actually a little let down. :cry:

    a few things about what we ordered..

    sesame soy chicken... flavorless and mushy
    sweet and sour chicken ... OK, not exceptional.
    crab rangoon was more crabby, less cheesey... i kinda liked it, my friends didn't.
    ...no fortune cookies?



    My initial reaction to this is that if these are the kinds of dishes you like, LTH is probably not the restaurant for you. While I've never tried the above dishes there, they seem like more of the American Chinese items that would probably be prepared more to your liking elsewhere. Not sure if everyone knows this, but fortune cookies are not authentic, traditional Chinese, but an American invention.

    I've only been to LTH twice. My 1st visit is described in the initial post on this thread. My 2nd visit was probably even better. I saw that they had "market price" lobster. I inquired as to the price, and it was about $20, I took a leap of faith, figuring that Chinatown is probably the cheapest place to munch on lobster around town, and hoping that the lobster was super fresh. They have different preparations, and we opted for the stir fried style. Heaven on Earth is the best way to describe it. It was a sizable whole lobster with a savory brown eggy sauce which prefectly complimented the sweetness of the lobster and was very nice accompanied by the rice. We also ordered a noodle dish, which was super large. For the two of us, it was way too much food. Next time, we'll go for the lobster and either a veggie dish or appetizer as a 2nd dish, so we don't have so much excess.

    Based on my LTH experiences and other postings, I'd go to LTH with the intention of ordering seafood. If that's not what you have in mind, try your luck with a different dish, or probably better yet, pick another restaurant.
  • Post #12 - April 29th, 2006, 5:59 am
    Post #12 - April 29th, 2006, 5:59 am Post #12 - April 29th, 2006, 5:59 am
    I not only miss Mr. Weil's shrimps (sic), but the way Hong Min's menu misspelled or misused every third or fourth english word. Hong Min has a second joint in Palos Hills, but it's not a dive and it's not as good.
    While the photos of the LTH dishes looked good (O.K., the chow fun looked great...just the way I like it: pan-browned to a crispy outside with chewy inside), I have never had a wonderful meal there like I have at Emperor's Choice (ordering off the menu by looking at what other tables have) and the now closed Hong Min.
  • Post #13 - April 29th, 2006, 11:37 am
    Post #13 - April 29th, 2006, 11:37 am Post #13 - April 29th, 2006, 11:37 am
    kithat wrote: Not sure if everyone knows this, but fortune cookies are not authentic, traditional Chinese, but an American invention.


    Not only are they an American invention (institution?), but the largest fortune cookie manufacturer is based in Brooklyn, they may well have been invented by a Japanese-American and there wasn't even a fortune cookie factory in all of Asia until a decade ago (it has since closed)
  • Post #14 - April 29th, 2006, 4:16 pm
    Post #14 - April 29th, 2006, 4:16 pm Post #14 - April 29th, 2006, 4:16 pm
    This thread finally - FINALLY - got me off my duff and into Little Three Happiness today. That's right, it was my first visit to LTH. Accompanied by my most favored dining companion, Mrs. JiLS, we stopped in around 1:00 today to find the place packed but handling the rush with ease. We decided to "over order" -- and ended up devouring almost every morsel of the following:

    Three Happiness Special Soup -- Simple, salty chicken broth, cornucopia of ingredients (sort of the "Meat Lover's Pizza" of Chinese soups) and good enough noodles. Can't argue with that; this was a very tasty starter. But it was not the highlight of this lunch, by far.

    Clams in Black Bean Sauce - Served in the "standard" mode (no noodles, light application of jalapenos). Fantastic. Mrs. JiLS, of Northeastern extraction, often bemoans the lack of good clam options in the Midwest ("All you people ever eat is mussels!"). Well, she finished over half these clams, and loved every one. I also found them quite delicious, tender and no funkiness (see, that's the reason we like mussels here in the Great Unwashed Plains, dear...no funkiness!) But none of that unpleasantness in these clams, for sure, nor any grit, which is something even Mrs. JiLS won't tolerate. The clams were enhanced by a dip in some chili oil. (Note to GWiv: This was not Gary's Chili Oil; we asked for it to find they were basically out, but they made up some house version chili oil just for us).

    Salt and Pepper Shrimp: The highlight for me. We took the standard, whole-body (head, tail and all) version. Unbelievable bargain at $9.75 for a dozen or more giant prawns, beautifully prepared. Past words and pictures here do them no justice. Without question, the best version of this dish I've tried. I took a few home, with the assurance they reheat nicely in the microwave. I'll find out as soon as I finish this post.

    Crispy-skin Chicken: Ordered the half chicken, which was plenty in the context of this meal. This was just a very good fried chicken, plain and simple. Appears to be deep fried, not pan fried (correct?). Skin is crispy as advertised, meat (even the white parts) moist throughout. A definite winner. Couldn't figure out the bowl of dipping salt, though; the bird was already well-seasoned and salty enough without the added saline dip. The lemons also seemed an odd addition to this Hoosier boy...But overall, this is a lovely dish. If I had one criticism, it would be that they apparently cook the whole bird, then chop it up, seemingly at random. At the risk of being un-PC, I'll state that Hoosiers (and other U.S. fried chicken cooks) get it right by dismembering the bird into natural parts (2X of the following: breast, wing, thigh, leg) and then frying it up. The Chinese method of cooking the whole bird then hacking it up with a cleaver (viscerally exciting as that action may be) results in nice looking pieces of chicken that are loaded with tiny bits of bone; the Hoosier way results in awkward-looking pieces from which the meat is easily and delectably removed with almost no effort. That said, "so what!" LTH's fried chicken is great; go eat lots of it!

    And yes, we did get fortune cookies.
    Last edited by JimInLoganSquare on April 30th, 2006, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    JiLS
  • Post #15 - April 30th, 2006, 8:21 am
    Post #15 - April 30th, 2006, 8:21 am Post #15 - April 30th, 2006, 8:21 am
    Erzsi wrote:Are the pan fried noodles with roast duck and bbq pork on the regular menu?

    Erzsi,

    Truthfully, I have no idea, it's been years since I used the menu. I simply ask for rice noodle, crisp, with BBQ pork and roast duck emphasizing the word crisp. 'Little' Three Happiness will, within reason, combine any meat, fish or fowl with either rice or wheat noodle.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - April 30th, 2006, 8:52 am
    Post #16 - April 30th, 2006, 8:52 am Post #16 - April 30th, 2006, 8:52 am
    Do the plain noodles come with a chicken head?

    8)
    Last edited by pdaane on May 3rd, 2006, 7:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #17 - April 30th, 2006, 11:10 am
    Post #17 - April 30th, 2006, 11:10 am Post #17 - April 30th, 2006, 11:10 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Erzsi wrote:Are the pan fried noodles with roast duck and bbq pork on the regular menu?

    Erzsi,

    Truthfully, I have no idea, it's been years since I used the menu. I simply ask for rice noodle, crisp, with BBQ pork and roast duck emphasizing the word crisp. 'Little' Three Happiness will, within reason, combine any meat, fish or fowl with either rice or wheat noodle.

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Thanks for your response Gary. I'm going to ask for that the next time we go in. LTH has fast become our favorite place to go. My husband who is a notorious picky eater enjoys most of the menu we've tried so far.
  • Post #18 - April 30th, 2006, 2:14 pm
    Post #18 - April 30th, 2006, 2:14 pm Post #18 - April 30th, 2006, 2:14 pm
    Since Moon Palace doesn't open till 11 on Sunday, and since I had a hankering for salt and pepper smelt and a son-in-law who would share them, I ordered my carry-out dim sum from LTH today. Pork and shrimp sui mai, pot stickers, wu gok, beef and brocolli chow fun, hot and sour soup, plus the smelt. I've learned that the smelt can be rehabilitated after the trip home by dumping them in a hot skillet to crisp up, and though they weren't as peppery as they are at their best, they were still excellent, as were the sui mai (especially the shrimp) and the pot stickers. LTH is where my late sister-in-law first introduced me to wu gok, and I'd forgotten how terrific their version is. I'd put it high on the "recommended items at LTH" list. It's an excellent transition dish for people who are graduating from egg rolls but are not yet up to sucking at chicken feet.

    I don't care for LTH's hot and sour soup, though others ate it without complaining. I should have held out for soup from Moon Palace, since by the time we'd picked up our order at LTH, Moon Palace was open so we stopped by there for a couple of orders of green onion pancakes, an order of pan fried noodles with bamboo shoot and black mushrooms, and some more pot stickers, just as insurance.

    $70 total for all this food and it easily fed six adults plus a two year old who can pretty much eat his weight in potstickers.

    Probably others have already commented on the decor changes at LTH. Quite a move up from all the posters with menu items on walls!


    Image
    Smelt in foreground. Shrimp sui mai and wu gok on the other side of the niece. Two year old and potstickers at the end of the table. Notice that I have my own sauce dishes. An excellent investment.
  • Post #19 - May 1st, 2006, 11:14 am
    Post #19 - May 1st, 2006, 11:14 am Post #19 - May 1st, 2006, 11:14 am
    Gary,
    After you posted those delicious looking LTH noodles in response to my suggestion that a poster try Emperor's Choice, I am required to try LTH yet again. So, my eatin' buddy and I head over tonight. Any other recommendations? We will probably also try the salt & pepper shrimp since we like that dish at EC. May I be so brazen to ask to try your chile oil? Thanks.
    Cheryl (AKA CTB)
  • Post #20 - May 1st, 2006, 4:23 pm
    Post #20 - May 1st, 2006, 4:23 pm Post #20 - May 1st, 2006, 4:23 pm
    CTB wrote:May I be so brazen to ask to try your chile oil?

    CBT,

    Please feel free, as I hope any and all LTHers will, to ask for 'Gary's Chili Oil' though, as Schatz mentioned upthread, 'Little' Three Happiness is currently out.

    Here are some of my favorites. Of the somewhat lengthy list, I suggest starting with Shrimp Toast, then Salt and Pepper Shrimp, Crispy Skin Chicken and a crisp rice noodle dish, duck/BBQ pork is an especially good combination (ask for the rice noodle crisp, light on the sauce).

    -Shrimp toast, somewhat pedestrian, but LTH makes a particularly good version.

    -Crispy skin chicken, served with cilantro, lemon wedges and a Sichuan pepper salt mix for dredging.

    -Squid with sour greens. Fresh squid with slightly sweet sour, almost pickle like, bok choy

    -Clams with black bean sauce. LTH is slightly uneven with this dish, ranges from good to exceptional. Always has a nice heat level from sliced jalapenos.
    -Evil Ronnie Variation: On crisp flour noodle, light sauce, extra jalapeno

    -Dry stir-fried crab with ginger and scallion. Blue crab simply sauteed with ginger, scallion and a few hot peppers. My favorite part is digging the crab goodness out of the crab back and, occasionally, there will be loads of roe in the backs and on the plate.

    -Salt and pepper shrimp. Typically served in the shell, can be ordered out of the shell, which is then lightly breaded (very lightly) and sauteed. Salt and pepper squid is also a wonderful dish.

    -Pan fried rice noodle with beef and vegetables. The beef can be a bit of concession to the less adventurous people at the table, LTH's beef, while good, has a slightly over marinated mushy texture that is common at many Chinese restaurants. Ask for the rice noodle crisp.

    -Pan fried thin (flour) noodles with mixed seafood. The mixed seafood consists of standards like shrimp and squid, quickly delving into the more exotic such as fish maw and Sea Cucumber (sea slug)

    -Pan fried rice noodles with roast duck, I find myself craving the subtle flavoring of the 5-spice on the duck, not to mention rich duck and crisp skin.

    -Any of the sour green dishes, chicken, tripe, squid, etc.

    -Beef Short Rib with X/O sauce

    -Pea pod leaf w/garlic

    -Ong choi with fu yee w/hot pepper

    -Salty fish w/diced chicken and eggplant casserole

    -Any of the 'with' bitter melon dishes.

    -Shrimp in curry sauce, out of the shell shrimp and onion pieces in a rich Indian style yellow curry. One of my wife's favorites.

    -Saute snails with black bean and garlic. Small snails in a light sauce, a pain in the a** to eat, but delicious.

    -Lobster in the shell either dry stir-fried with ginger and scallion or in black bean sauce.

    -Pike filets steamed with ginger and scallion.

    -Duck, Chinese sausage cured pork in rice casserole.

    -Stuffed tofu casserole

    -Large bowl of wonton soup with roast duck, shrimp dumpling and thin noodle (Large bowl, great for lunch)

    -Chicken puree with sweet corn. Almost like creamed corn soup, thick, rich, filling, comfort food. One of those types of dishes you either love or hate, I order it, maybe, one out of 20 times I am at LTH.

    This is getting quite long, suffice to say that I like most items on the LTH menu, with a particular emphasis on rice noodle dishes. Always ask for the noodle crisp.

    LTH also has very good dim sum, congee and lunch specials during the morning and noon hours.

    Two other thing I probably should mention, there can be a bit of inconsistency to the cooking at LTH, which is due to the long hours they are open and chef shift changes and LTH is NOT affiliated with the horrid excuse for a restaurant on the NW corner of Wentworth and Cermak of the same name.

    I have a few 'Little' Three Happiness pictures up at LTH Pics

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    'Little' Three Happiness
    209 W Cermak
    Chicago, IL
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #21 - May 1st, 2006, 8:33 pm
    Post #21 - May 1st, 2006, 8:33 pm Post #21 - May 1st, 2006, 8:33 pm
    To ensure that I order properly I have kept a copy of Gary's post above on my PDA, which I find to be a great resource at times. In fact, I keep a list of places to try when I visit Chicago.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #22 - May 1st, 2006, 8:47 pm
    Post #22 - May 1st, 2006, 8:47 pm Post #22 - May 1st, 2006, 8:47 pm
    Gary,
    Just got back from LTH and I hate to admit when I'm wrong...so I won't, but we'll agree that I didn't order well before. This time:
    Potstickers-outstanding, although the sweet plum-like sauce, instead of vinegar threw me off at first
    Egg Rolls- ordered only because my friend loves them-not worth reordering because the wonton wrapper was thick and hard, and the filling bland. Oh well...this was our only disappointment.
    Salt and Pepper Shrimp w/out shells- tasty, but next time I'll order with shells for a "shrimpier" flavor.
    Baby clams in blackbean sauce (extra spicy)- delicious. The blackbean sauce was the perfect consistency, with plenty of garlic and plenty of heat. The clams were not overcooked. Outstanding.
    Duck and BBQ pork over crispy rice noodles-This was heaven on a plate. I loved the combination of flavors: the gaminess of the duck with the succulence of the pork over noodles that are just like I remember Hong Min's. This dish was the best of the night.

    Next time: Shrimp in blackbean sauce (extra spicy) over crispy rice noodles and crispy skin chicken. And Gary's chile oil if available.

    LTH will become my new Chinese takeout and dinner joint. I've been searching for a Hong Min replacement since their fire. I've now found it. Thank you.
    Cheryl
    P.S. Does anyone know how Sun Wah on Argyle makes their spicy soy sauce? I know it contains serrano chiles, soy sauce and I think some sacallions. Maybe a touch of fresh ginger? I'd like to make it at home and bring it in to LTH.
  • Post #23 - May 1st, 2006, 9:21 pm
    Post #23 - May 1st, 2006, 9:21 pm Post #23 - May 1st, 2006, 9:21 pm
    -Pan fried rice noodle with beef and vegetables. The beef can be a bit of concession to the less adventurous people at the table, LTH's beef, while good, has a slightly over marinated mushy texture that is common at many Chinese restaurants. Ask for the rice noodle crisp.


    Undoubtedly my favorite dish at LTH, though I suggest just Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) instead of mixed vegetables. The slight bitterness and crisp, snappy texture of the greens perfectly melds with the chewy beef and crisp noodles, and also allows the sauce to get watered down somewhat and thinned out to make it less gloppy. Think I've had this a few times, or at least enough to hyperanalyze every element? Naah.

    HR
  • Post #24 - May 2nd, 2006, 2:41 pm
    Post #24 - May 2nd, 2006, 2:41 pm Post #24 - May 2nd, 2006, 2:41 pm
    My LTH experience:

    Best potstickers in chicago!! At least the best that I have had :)

    Being allergic to shellfish, no shrimps, clams, etc for me. The rest of my meal was average, nothing special (I can't even recall what I ordered... this being several months ago). But the potstickers, oh the glorious potstickers....

    I'll just eat an order of those as my meal next time

    :shock:
  • Post #25 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:00 pm
    Post #25 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:00 pm Post #25 - May 2nd, 2006, 4:00 pm
    My initial reaction to this is that if these are the kinds of dishes you like, LTH is probably not the restaurant for you. While I've never tried the above dishes there, they seem like more of the American Chinese items that would probably be prepared more to your liking elsewhere. Not sure if everyone knows this, but fortune cookies are not authentic, traditional Chinese, but an American invention.


    my initial reaction is... if they can't make simple chinese food staples "right" -- why have them on the menu? ... if they truly aren't chinese, but are some american invention, don't put them on the menu if its important to be authentic.

    one thing i should also add... we ordered carry out, and after glancing at the carry out menu I didn't really even notice anything unusual (a la lobster, salt/pepper shrimp, etc) that can't be had at plenty of other chinese joints in town... perhaps the "carry out" menu is the culprit here. the "regular" menu looked like it may have been more extensive, but getting to one of those would have required hobbling over hordes of 15 year olds taking pictures of each other...

    but either way, i say if they can't make it right, don't serve it.

    as for the fortune cookie... yes not american... nor is the very american huy fong Sriracha hot sauce that i'm pretty certain was on the tables at LTH... ? but many other chinese establishments serve them, so why not?

    next time maybe i'll dine in
  • Post #26 - May 2nd, 2006, 11:36 pm
    Post #26 - May 2nd, 2006, 11:36 pm Post #26 - May 2nd, 2006, 11:36 pm
    I totally agree that restaurants should not include any sub-par items on the menu.

    However, I must say that I feel there is a distinction between the chili sauces and fortune cookies and their true authenticity. I am friends with many Asians, who were born and raised in Asia. The hot sauces and all sorts of similar condiments, including the Rooster sauce, are common in their homes, but I can't say I've ever seen any fortune cookies in the cupboard or been offered one after a homecooked Asian meal. I've known my husband for 12 years, and the only fortune cookies we've had were dining out at Asian restaurants, no fortune cookies in his shopping chart, and yes, he is the shopper. However, we have no shortage of different chili sauces, the Rooster one, slightly sweet ones, chunkier ones, I lose track. Maybe a photo of my frig would say it best.

    Do I love fortune cookies? No, but I usually eat the ones included with my bill when I dine out.

    My general suggestion is "when in Rome, do as the Romans do." So, when at Little Three Happiness, go for the more authentic entrees. I try to follow this more generally by always trying to order the more true and authentic items off every menu, rather than items that might be included for the less adventurous eaters. I'm a regular at 3 different Thai restaurants and while there is a lot of overlap in the menus, I order completely different things at each restaurant, as each menu has its highlights and underwhelming selections. Unfortunately, most restaurants have some traditional dishes that are very disappointing. Sad, but true.
  • Post #27 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:28 am
    Post #27 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:28 am Post #27 - May 3rd, 2006, 7:28 am
    HI,

    Fortune cookies are part of the legacy of Chinese in America. A fortune cookie factory has opened in China to supply the tourist trade who expect fortune cookies.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #28 - May 3rd, 2006, 8:21 am
    Post #28 - May 3rd, 2006, 8:21 am Post #28 - May 3rd, 2006, 8:21 am
    dddane wrote:my initial reaction is... if they can't make simple chinese food staples "right" -- why have them on the menu? ... if they truly aren't chinese, but are some american invention, don't put them on the menu if its important to be authentic.

    kithat wrote:I totally agree that restaurants should not include any sub-par items on the menu.

    I think it's somewhat common in ethnic restaurants to find American or Americanized items on the menu -- be it Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, you name it. I'm not exactly sure why they do it, but perhaps they figure if they offer such items, they'll be able to expand their customer base (by appealing to the masses) or appease less adventurous diners who join their more adventurous dining friends for a meal.

    I also think that when immigrants arrived in the US, they developed new styles of cooking and and new dishes to suit ingredients found in the US (or not found in the US as the case may be). And some chefs simply do a better job with one style of cooking than another. For instance, I generally avoid ordering hot and sour soup in a Cantonese restaurant -- it's not that it won't be any good, but rather, it's not a dish from that region of China and the risk of it being sub-par increases.

    I recently dined at LTH and loved the meal, particularly the salt & pepper shrimp (w/ head and tail on) but my dining companion hated it -- but I think he mostly hated the fact that it was served with the head and tail. He didn't complain about the flavor. I think it just depends what type of food and dishes you like.

    This all reminds me of the Seinfeld episode with Babu Bhatt, a Pakistani, who opened up the Dream Cafe, offering rigatoni, tacos and franks and beans (among other items). Although exaggerated, I assume the writers were thinking of food and in particular, all of the ethnic restaurants serving dishes not native to their home land.
  • Post #29 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:19 am
    Post #29 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:19 am Post #29 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:19 am
    OK, one question: the S&P shrimp in the shell...are you eating the shell, too, or peel & eating at the table? I love fried shrimp shells when they're done right (w/ ama ebi, or the baby river shrimp at places like Itto Sushi), but at other times a shrimp shell is just a barrier to your dinner :) .
  • Post #30 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:53 am
    Post #30 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:53 am Post #30 - May 3rd, 2006, 9:53 am
    chgoeditor wrote:OK, one question: the S&P shrimp in the shell...are you eating the shell, too, or peel & eating at the table? I love fried shrimp shells when they're done right (w/ ama ebi, or the baby river shrimp at places like Itto Sushi), but at other times a shrimp shell is just a barrier to your dinner :) .


    Eat the shell!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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