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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm
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Grinnell Lucky that this Dragon landed in town

By Yanling Xu

People who enjoy Asian food should definitely check out the recently opened Chinese and Vietnamese restaurant, Lucky Dragon.

Located at 1108 West Street, the Lucky Dragon features classic recipes both from China and Vietnam.

Owner Sothea Tran of Cambodia and her husband Kevin Son founded the Lucky Dragon this past July.

“We used to own a Chinese café… and my husband had worked for many Chinese restaurants in many places, so we know how to do this kind of stuff,” Tran said.

“China and Vietnam have almost the same culture, so it is good to put them together,” said Savorn Yoeun, waitress at the Lucky Dragon.

A dragon is actually a special symbol of prosperity in China.

“I do know [a] dragon is a special creature in China even though I have not learned Chinese before,” Tran said.

Photo by Devon Gamble


The outside of the restaurant, unlike some other shops, does not have any obvious sign or decoration. But in contrast, the inside is designed to carry a specific cultural atmosphere.

Most obvious are the various decors on the wall, including depictions of Chinese architecture and some Vietnamese drawings. In addition, all the tables have place mats that vividly introduce the Twelve Chinese Zodiac. Surprisingly, one can also hear Chinese songs in the restaurant.

The menu is divided into two separate parts: Chinese & Vietnamese foods. Prices mainly range from 2 dollars to 10 dollars. Unlike with American food, people usually order some rice with specials, which include chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, vegetables and scallops. Tran recommends Yu Shang Chicken and Hunan Beef, which are the most frequently ordered meals in the restaurant.

Drinks are also served in the restaurant. These include Café Den Da, Café Su Da, Bubble Tea and Thai Tea. What is more, soups are an essential part of the menu. The restaurant serves Egg Drop Soup, Hot and Sour Soup and Triple Delight Soup.

For those who want to try something else, noodles could be another choice. The three main kinds are lo mein, chow mein, and pan fried noodles.

When my friend and I dined in this restaurant, I ordered the Shrimp Chow Mein. This special Chow Mein included shrimp, celery, onions, napa and carrots. The unique taste and ingredients, such as chili sauce, certainly reminded me of the food back home.

Everyone at the Lucky Dragon Restaurant is working hard to attract more and more people with all kinds of culinary tastes.

“If the food is good, it really does not matter whether it is Asian or American,” Tran said. “Even though the food has the same name, their tastes can be very different. We know there are two other Chinese restaurants, but we believe we can do better.”

Grinnellians should give the Lucky Dragon Restaurant a try if they are looking to spice their diet up with authentic Chinese and Vietnamese food.

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