I went to Lucky Creation on Washington in Chinatown today for the first time and enjoyed it. I got there around 11:30 or so and watched the dim sum being brought out every couple minutes while I waited for my meal. A lot of it looked good, especially the steamed buns, which I'll go back for.
I was in the mood for clay pot so I asked the nice waitress which was the best and she said "number 40", which is the Braised Bean Curd with Assorted Vegetables. The tofu was fried, not braised (or maybe fried then braised?) and has a really lovely, light texture inside. The gluten was also very flavorful as were the mushroom slivers but the sauce was pretty bland. I probably wouldn't get it again unless I was sick and needed something soothing. I was surprised too, that they don't serve brown rice there, which I really wanted today.
There were a few tables with parties of older women eating together so I got to see a bunch of different dishes come out. In fact, everyone was checking out everyone else's orders as they arrived. The women next to me had the Sauteed Black Mushrooms with Bean Curd Rolls and they liked it. It looked really good too and had a few whole, steamed baby bok choy around the plate. I noticed that all the Chinese people had green tea while mine was a different color and had jasmine in it. Curious.
So does anyone eat here often and have suggestions...especially for spicy dishes?
In San Francisco dim sum places, jasmine tea is for some reason the assumed order for non-Chinese customers. I don't like it so I always specifically order something else.
The ladies who work there are very helpful, and once they pointed one of the items on the special menu when I asked for recommendations(which rarely are in dual languages, but this one is on every table and has Chinese on one side, English on the other).
My all time favorite is the mushroom, wheat gluten, and Shanghainese greens (ching jiang cai) stir fry which is around $8 to $9 (good to share or for someone with a big appetite). I custom order to add e-fu noodles and tofu ($2 to $3 more I believe) and it makes a super tasty meal. I'm sure you can add to any custom order to tell the kitchen to add spicy sauces or make it as spicy as you want it to be.
My favorites are the pseudo-meats in the refrigerated case in the front. Faux BBQ pork, duck, various innards. We get them to take out.
This place is Buddhist-vegetarian: completely vegan, also no onions or garlic. It's closed one day during the week (Weds or Tues -- I forget). I don't recall any spicy dishes. I was once told that the onions/garlic were omitted because they were too "stimulating" -- the waitress blushed as she explained.
Last time we were there, it was not very cheap, considering it is a hole-in-the-wall place. Still a good deal, though.
They're closed on Wed. The menu indicates a handful of "hot and spicy" dishes, which I'll try next time and report back. But if garlic and onions are verboten, why would a chile pepper be allowed? We'll see...
My hot pot really would have benefitted from garlic and onions. I guess I'm a lusty eater <blush>!