I've been hooked on watching Bones, a bunch of nerdy anthropologists and scientists linked with the FBI to solve murder cases usually through the use of their high-tech labs that analyze bones, they constantly eat Chinese food in this show, so naturally after watching show after show I've been craving Chinese food... with a vengeance! Chopsticks and Chinese take-out boxes totally get me in the mood.
After 3 days of staving off the craving I finally caved and drove to Mao's Kitchen on Melrose for some Chinese food. My first choice would have been ChinChin's- I haven't been there in a long time and have yet to do a review on their food but it's also all the way on the west side where traffic is pretty heavy during this time of day (rush hour) and so decide to venture a bit closer, Mao's Kitchen on Melrose should do.
A slight, attractive, soft-spoken waiter named Josh takes our order, he suggests I have the ginger-ale which is "very good" says he, I take his suggestion and order the ginger-ale. And... IT IS QUITE GOOD. Sweet, ginger-flavorful, carbonated too, refreshing. Apparently the secret is Sprite mixed with fresh ginger juice, the drink is fantastic and I highly recommend it to ginger-ale drinkers and/or ginger lovers.
One of the things that always sticks out in my head about Mao's Kitchen is the complimentary Fried Wonton Skins and sweet & sour dipping sauce. These fried crunchy things are one of the reasons I come to dine at Mao's, it's simple and obviously plain but there's something about it that makes you want more, I try to eat healthy most times but the crunch of these fried wonton skins definitely is an exception.
A second item I always order when I'm at Mao's is the Chicken Lettuce Cups. Flavorful small bites of chicken and vegetables that you roll up into fresh iceberg lettuce, the Chicken Lettuce Cups is also a great example of how much (and I mean quantitative) Moa's can feed you for your money. While I may like the Chicken Lettuce Cups elsewhere just as much the Chicken Lettuce Cups at Mao's always seems to be a little bit better here from the sheer joy of getting a good deal. The chicken lettuce cups can easily feed 4-5 people, and the amount per price is extended to all the other dishes at Mao's as well, except maybe the pot stickers.
I always eye the Commune eggs on the menu when I come to Mao's, it's a very odd occurrence as the dish doesn't sound all that appetizing on the menu: scrambled eggs, tomatoes, fresh green onions served with rice. Hmmm... I decided to get it anyway (I'm a true adventuror!)
The Commune eggs weren't bad but it wasn't fantastically good either. "I should have stuck with my usual Mapo Tofu" is what my first thought was. Tomato-ish scrambled eggs with green onions over rice, I have to admit, hit some kind of spot- I'm just not all too sure what that spot was. I suppose if you really love scrambled eggs and tomatoes then this is dish for you, as for me? There's only so much scrambled egg I can eat, so... not so much for me. Besides, I prefer my eggs sunny-side up if I'm eating it over rice.
Mr. Borscht's is trying to be a little bit more adventurous lately I've noticed, and I do commend him for that for I know how hard it is for him to stray from his usual comfortable habits. In his endeavor to be adventurous Mr. Borscht opts to order something from the Specials, Dan Man Noodles, which consists of wheat-noodles tossed with ground pork and sauteed vegetables such as carrots, spinach and bean sprouts. I found this noodle dish to be quite flavorful and light, the texture of the wheat-noodles wasn't to my liking and probably would have much rather have the Dan Man Noodles with flat rice noodles instead (which you can ask them to do btw).
Total Damage: $30.00 +/-
1 Ginger ale
1 Chicken lettuce cups
1 Commune eggs entree
1 Dan Man noodle special
7313 Melrose Ave
LA CA 90046