It’s been there when all you needed from life was a crispy Peking duck, a pair of chopsticks, some Riesling, red lanterns, Sunday morning dim sum to recover... okay, so that’s a lot of things. And Chinatown had them all.
But lately you’ve wondered if there’s any surprise left, something to grab this old relationship by the shoulders and shake some life into it. We’re here to tell you there is. That something is shrimp Jell-O.
Welcome to Lao You Ju, a dark, sultry, red-velvet-wrapped Chinatown den ready for sake-fueled romance and some insanely imaginative Chinese tapas, hoping to open as soon as this Friday.
True, it’s in the ground floor of a squat steel-and-glass office building called the Richmond Center, but things get infinitely more opium den-ish once you step inside. There’s sparkly chandeliers, an alabaster bar that lights up from within—better to see your Pineapple Margarita—and more red velvet than a Sexy Santa lingerie competition.
You and a date will take up at a table in back. You’ll start with something traditional—a crispy egg roll, perhaps. Soon, however, you’ll find yourself exploring Crystal Shrimp (that’s the shrimp, which is suspended in clear gelatin), Golden Shark Fins, Chrysanthemum Fish and Dragon Beef Brisket.
It’s the best part of a dragon.