Arty Nelson Cliff Notes

I’ve decided to post summaries of Arty Nelson’s long-winded, incomprehensible LACityBeat restaurant reviews. Here’s this week’s, paragraph by paragraph. I figure this will save everyone fifteen minutes of wandering through his prose. (My summary sentences in bold.)

I used to eat a lot of Chinese take-out.
As summer rolls in, it’s kind of hard for a sap like me not to get a little bit warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. Especially when it comes to things that remind me of when I was young and stoned and considerably thinner and not really paying much of anything in the way of real hard dues. Back then, life was about a lot of things, but mostly I remember it was a lot about heading off to the party or coming back from the party – both, as they say, literally and figuratively. And even now, hogtied by once-removed obligations and closely circling people I don’t really trust, I find myself carrying out little rituals that specifically reference that cherished time and place. A place that, in truth, may or may not have ever really existed at that very time, but one which now, thanks to the sweet lie of memory, blossoms fully every time I go back there in my head. And when I go there, one dietary element that will forever be linked with being young and strong-willed and stoned to the bee-jesus is Chinese takeout.

To reiterate, I used to eat a lot of Chinese takeout, which is available at Chi Dynasty.

Does it really ever get much better than orange beef and mu shu veggies, the morning after? I think not. And what makes it even better is when you’ve got a top-notch spot like Chi Dynasty to take you there in style. Sitting in its weird, ’80s-style room, waiting for my little box of goodies – there simply isn’t much else I need to bring out the perma-grin. I’m like a Deadhead with a cardboard sign that says “I believe in miracles” getting handed two front-row tickets to the last Jerry show ever. It’s a lot to ask for, sure. It’s like being at a Cure concert in 1987 and being so moved that you’re inclined to consider bisexuality, just to keep it real in that moment. It’s like being at a Rage Against the Machine show in 1997 and punching a hole in a wall in honor of Leonard Peltier. What I’m trying to say is: Do the things that take you back to those fleeting moments when you felt most alive. Turn the banal into the sacred. Don’t look back and whine; look over your shoulder and keep on running until you get there all over again. It can happen. Trust me. It’s like when Neil Young lifted that “No rain, no rain” chanting from Woodstock for his live album just before he rolled into “Needle and the Damage Done” and how when you first heard it at age 12 you thought it was magical.

For those of you who skipped the first two paragraphs: I’m getting old, and I enjoy Chinese takeout.
It’s so easy to start losing the faith not long after you start losing your hair for real, but don’t for one second dare to think that’s hard-fought wisdom, ’cause lemme tell you, brothers and sisters, it’s a whole other ball of wax, one that will give you nothing but yellow skin and bad breath.

And who really knows, anyway? I mean, I guess for me, there is a certain lack of pretension when it comes to Chinese food. Kung Pao chicken is just that, and it’s never going to claim to be something other than that. Which is why, when I order from my local, Chi Dynasty, and roll on over there, on some weird level it feels like I’m doing something pure and anti-bullshitty. Something that, despite everything else in my life that tends to be rife with aspiration and pomp on some slutty and nondescript level, stands on its own two feet of integrity.

Try the ribs.
For those of you who have yet to swear off the swine, I recommend the spare ribs. Super-delish! But there’s plenty here for you fascist veggie-types, and I mean to say that in a loving way. No matter how you like it, one of the real bonuses about Chi Dynasty is that it gives you all the ‘wet courses’ in these really awesome plastic containers that travel incredibly well, no matter how far you have to go or how long you plan to leave them in your fridge. I mean, this damn stuff keeps.

Once again, let me reiterate: I’m getting old, and I enjoy Chinese takeout.
When it’s all said and done – and I know I’ve said this at least a thousand times already, but lemme say it once more – pretty much every single person and every single thing is bound to smash your heart to smithereens before you lie down for the big final rest. That’s precisely why things like highly dependable Chinese takeout should always be held up to the heavens and loved. Ciao…