The Place: Lucky Panda Restaurant
2311 James Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
Mon. -Thurs : 11am - 9:30pm Friday: 11am - 10pm
Satuday: 12noon - 10pm Sunday: 4pm - 9pm
We decided to order take out chinese food place and after looking at the reviews online we ended up going with this one. There were a few comments on there saying that the food was way better than Best Chopsticks and a few say it was not as good as them. I was interested in finding out for myself since I like Best Chopsticks even though recently their quality has been hit or miss. I didn't take any pictures of the food but I hope you find this review helpful. This meal was my treat to all of us and especially myself since I didn't feel like cooking and was craving chinese food.
Here's what we ordered, we were very hungry so we ordered kinda a lot of food. Lucky Panda has a large menu selection (also a lot of the items are marked as spicy on the menu) which made it difficult to decide and I wanted to try something different this time so I ordered the Empress Chicken even though I had no idea what this dish would taste like since I've never tried anything by that name however she said it was unavailable so I got the sweet and sour chicken instead. My fiance got the Crispy Squid. Of my other two friends with us one ordered the beef and broccoli with vegetable fried rice (at a two-three dollar extra cost to change it which I think is ridiculous but, because it was a treat decided to get her what she wanted) and my last friend had something which I can't remember the name of but involved chicken.
When we called in our order the lady that answered had an asian accent but was understandable and seemed to understand me. At first it was so busy that she had to take down my number and call me back but she called me back pretty quickly. One thing that kinda made the ordering a bit awkward was when I was gathering everyone's orders she actually stopped me in the middle of my ordering and asked me how many people were eating all this. I felt it was a bit rude, condescending and frankly none of her business how many people I was feeding with this food. I did tell her that I was feeding four people and was a bit baffled that she would asked that question since I assumed that each meal I was ordering was made to serve one person. I may have confused her when I was asking some questions about the chef's specialties since a lot of those came with several meat types and were probably made for a few people rather than just one even though this wasn't stated on the menu but possibly implied in a few of the titles.
In addition to those I also ordered us an order of fried dumplings and crab rangoons since we were really hungry and I love rangoons.
Each of the meals came with steamed rice except for the fried rice I paid extra for. There was some confusion when we got the meals because there were only three boxes of rice, one fried and two steamed however when I called them back the lady told me that each order comes with so many ounces of rice so basically the two boxes were to be split among the three of us. It would have been a lot less confusing if they had put everyone's order in a separate box albeit less environmentally friendly. This also could have been avoided if we had checked our order before the driver left and was able to ask him right there about it.
I can say with a totally unbiased opinion that Lucky Panda food is not better than Best Chopstick's food. Not even close in my opinion. The only thing that was good about it were the rangoons and dumplings. Everything else was under seasoned and flavorless. The sweet and sour sauce in my dish was different than the kind they gave us to go with the rangoons and it wasn't as bright and flavorful as I would have liked so I mixed some of that in with my meal. The friend with the unnamed chicken dish had a sauce tasted kinda like dish soap and that was it, I definitely had the best meal of the night from here. The crispy squid was not crunchy enough but only slightly chewy and had no flavor to it and there was no sauce or anything else served with it. He ended up using the rest of the sweet and sour sauce to eat the rest of his food. My other friend ate the beef and broccoli which was over cooked and on the salty side and barely even touched her fried rice which she normally loves and will order as her whole meal often ,after taking one bite of it I didn't like it ether. It just tasted like rice with soy sauce added and that's all, it was also a bit too salty because of too much soy sauce.
All in all it was an all around disappointing meal and experience, none of use really enjoyed our food and our order ended up being over $60.00 not including driver tip so just over $16 per person for something like that! I felt like we were really ripped off. We probably could have gotten food that was twice as good for half the price at Best Chopsticks or other places we've tried in the past. I don't believe I will ever try this place again because there is nothing to even indicate to me that I will like any food they put out. I hope to try yummier places in the future and would not recommend this place to anyone. Also we waited for at least an hour for our food and it wasn't until I looked up the address for this place that I found they are only like five minutes away from where we live. :(
Pros: They deliver and are probably faster than Best Chopsticks in this one regard. Also the dumplings and rangoons were acceptable. The menu has a lot to choose from and there are many spicy options for those who like that.
Cons: The food has no flavor or bad flavor, they take awhile to deliver even when within a short distance and to top it off they are quite a bit more expensive than other chinese places I've been to and charge you extra for something as simple as a change in side which most people give you for free.
On another note I went back to Magdalena's Creperie recently and tried some of their savory crepes and you can read an update of that by clicking here.
The Place: Lucky Panda Restaurant