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China Garden & Lucky 3

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Went for dim sum this weekend (Sunday). Although there was good variety and plenty of turnover, the food was blah.

Dishes were cold, portions were small, and price was high.

BTW, what happened to Lucky 3?

I drove by afterwards, and the place was closed.

I know the manager there has since relocated to Grand Fortune in Gaithersburg.

Lucky 3 had new ownership who is Indian. They raised the price on the buffet, and the staff was rude, so we've not been back since.

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  1. we went to lucky 3 last saturday. it was closed, with a fed -x slip stuck on the door.... we ended up having kabobs at mirage, a few doors down. pretty good food, harried server (one for the entire place!).

    24 Replies
    1. re: alkapal

      Drat! Cheese-n-crackers! Gosh darn it! Dag-nabbit!

      I really liked Lucky 3 - quick lunch, decent price (try getting dimsum off carts for that price), servers who remembered me and where "my table" was, food not too bad.

      Bye bye, old pal!

      1. re: wayne keyser

        What's your favorite dim sum joint now in NoVA?

        Don't say Mark's Duck House, since they have new ownership also, and have jacked up prices significantly too.

        1. re: Chownut

          When did they change ownership? I haven't been in a long time. Did you try the dim sum?

          1. re: chowser

            The previous owner of Lucky 3 used to be the owner of the old Hope Key in Clarendon and currently the owner of Grand Fortune in Gaithersburg.

            I think she sold Lucky 3 to focus her energies on Grand Fortune, which was about 1 year ago.

            The new owners were of Indian descent, but kept the same crew. Food was the same, but they eventually jacked the price up for adults, and started charging for kids too. Also, the staff was mostly rude and were do nothings. As a buffet waitress, they felt they deserved tip for doing nothing.

            The kitchen manager who used to work at Lucky 3 was at Grand Fortune when I was there for a party about 2 months ago.

            I don't now whether Lucky 3 is closed permanently or by the health department, but both myself and another person on this blog have confirmed it was closed when we rolled by.

            As I mentioned earlier, Mark's Duck House has changed ownership also, and that was about 1 year ago.

            1. re: Chownut

              Oy, so the only half decent dim sum left is Fortune at 7 corners? I'm glad Lucky 3 went down in flames, it was terrible (only rivaled by crappy dim dum found in Chinatown).

              1. re: Ericandblueboy

                At 7 corners, there's still Mark's Duck House and Fortune and whatever chinese you can find in Eden Center.

                I never enjoyed my dim sum experience at Fortune, as the food was always cold and the staff indifferent. Also, I don't care for the tacky light purple decor.

                Mark's duck house doesn't use steam carts, so the food is cold unless you're right by the kitchen door.

                Lucky 3 actually had the best dim sum in that general area, but the new owners, I guess, didn't put customer first.

                1. re: Chownut

                  The only time the dimsum has ever been tepid at Marks Duck House is if we've gone too early or too late. It's always been piping hot. Plus, if you're a regular, like MIL was, they bring some special dishes out to you first. Lucky 3 was what it was--good for cheap chinese buffet. I found the dimsum extremely limited and it was a pain to fight your way through the crowds to get a couple of dishes. It was fine to bring my American friends who didn't know better and the kids loved the french fries.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Mark's Duck House...the portions are way small...

                    One shouldn't have to be a regular to get preferential service. Money is the same.

                    For those who wen to Lucky 3 and didn't go early (before 11:30), then you should pretty much expect poor selection.

              2. re: Chownut

                Which one is Grand Fortune? I know the New Fortune on Rt 355 that's been there for a long time but never heard of Grand Fortune. Dim sum any good?

                1. re: ctg

                  i wish hong kong palace did dim sum! "Though the English word "dim sum" refers to the Cantonese variety, the idea of a wide variety of small dishes for lunch also holds for other regions of China." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dim_sum

                  wonder what the equivalent sichuan term is....?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    You can get northern Chinese brunch at Peking Village on Gallows Road. As for Sichuan, I'm not aware of any particular brunch items.

                    1. re: Ericandblueboy

                      Have you had the brunch at A&J's? I was wondering how you thought it compared to Peking Village. Peking Village would be more of a drive. I like A&Js for the most part. It's hit or miss but I've found more hits than misses. Is Peking Village in the Great Wall shopping center?

                      1. re: chowser

                        Yes, it's in the Great Wall shopping center. I haven't been to A&J's in quite some time so I can't really compare. But I can tell you it's much better than the defunct Oriental Regency in Tysons.

                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                          where is a&j's?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            There's one on Little River Turnpike and one on Rockville Pike.

                            1. re: Ericandblueboy

                              thanks, i found a review/address: http://www.tylercowensethnicdininggui...

                              i'm not familiar with "manchurian" cuisine. anyone?

                              is china star better than hong kong palace, or just different?

                              1. re: alkapal

                                Both China Star & HKP are more or less holes in the wall that serve good sichuan cuisine. Maybe one is better than the other but I don't go to either one enough to say that's the defnitely the case.

                                1. re: alkapal

                                  A&J's is northern Chinese. I like the breakfast things, crullers, green onion pancakes, warm soy milk. They make their own noodles, too, I think (or so they seem). I've liked most of what I've gotten (they have a great spicy cucumber salad, wood ear mushrooms, ground pork noodles, most of the breakfast things are pretty good but not the rice wrapped cruller at least the time i got it. Did not like dumplings, any form, too doughy or dry spiced ribs). They only take cash and be ready for a wait on weekends. They also have a decent bubble tea. Decent but not great.

                                  I haven't been to HKP yet but China Star was pretty good. I found it kind of greasy but well spiced. FWIW, my FIL used to like it, they changed owners while back and he hasn't since.

                    2. re: ctg

                      Yes, I mean New Fortune.

                    3. re: Chownut

                      I don't know if the woman you're talkng about is partners but one of the owners (I can't remember which Tony, Tony Chen or Tony Liu) of the old Fortunes in that old location (not the Tony who owns the new Fortunes) was an owner of Lucky 3. I'll have to ask my FIL about it since he was one of the original owners of the first Fortunes. He still keeps up on it but has refused to eat at any of them (Maxims, the new Fortunes or Lucky 3) because he doesn't feel the quality is up to par.

                      1. re: chowser

                        I think when the lady took over, the name changed from "Maxim" to "Lucky 3."

                        1. re: chowser

                          chowser, where does your father-in-law like dim sum? and non-dim sum chinese?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            He's so picky. We can't take him anywhere unless he's ordered the menu himself. As non-dimsum Chinese goes, he only goes where he knows the owner and he talks to them about what he wants (we get much better food when we're with him but that's not often). He does like Mui Kee. But, he will go to Mark's Duck House for dimsum if asked but I would not have consideredaking him to Lucky 3, or my parents for that matter. We have not gone to Maryland with him because they're "Virginia" people--don't ask.

                            As Lucky 3 goes, the lady chownut is talking about is Tony Chen's wife and she was running it, sublet it and now it's out of business. As I said before food was okay for what it was, which is chinese buffet. I'd go if I'd prefer a bowl of ground pork and veggies with home made noodles from A&J's for less. I've heard Marks Duck House quality isn't the same as it was before it was sold but weekends aren't too bad. It's the same crew, though. We need better brunch places in NoVa, both dimsum and other places. There aren't even great donut places. Maybe I'll start a thread to find some.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Mont. Cty actually has some of the better dim sum joints in the DC area. They include Oriental East and Silver Fountain and some include New Fortune in that list although I find them mediocre.

                              Has anyone ever had dim sum at Hunan Lion on Chain Bridge?

              3. Bummer about Lucky 3. I enjoyed going there for lunch. Our office would make the occasional jaunt to Lucky 3. RIP, I hope it comes back soon.