Lucky Danger adds a twist to Chinese-American cuisine in Arlington


Chefs orchestrate intensive Chinese-American dishes, including Duck Fried Rice where you’ll find tea-infused duck nestled in the dish. Photo by Shirley Ruhe.

Lucky Danger kicked off with great anticipation on July 21 at Westport in Arlington, behind Pentagon City. This is an outgrowth of a pop-up in a small space in DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle that opened last November.

The New York Times and many other publications announced the opening.

Lucky Danger only offers take-out, which can be ordered from a kiosk inside the restaurant – so far no phone orders and a sketchy internet ordering process.

So far, it’s open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

But on a Thursday night, Lucky Danger is full of colorful delivery and delivery bags adorned with cartoons that swarm the counter while awaiting pickup. A line forms at the order kiosk.

Andrew Chiou, Co-Head, tells the customers on hold that the internet may be faster, but the second person tells him it hasn’t worked.

A customer waits for her order outside the sidewalk restaurant in the afternoon at 90 degrees. Another couple waits on a bench across the street. Space is limited inside Lucky Danger, with no-seat service and little room to wait. They take your cell phone number and tell you to come back inside in about 15 minutes or if they see you through the window they will let you know when your order is ready. The first few days it was closer to 30 minutes for the order to be complete.

But there is an effort to speed up the service, and this evening we are getting closer to the proposed 15 minutes. “We can’t stop for a second. We have the system worked out and we can’t stop for the world.

Chef Tim Ma is back on the line with another worker making homemade scallion pancakes, a favorite appetizer. One comment is that the pancakes are very tasty but come out burnt. No one seems to know if they are meant to be like this.

The slogan for their food is “American Chinese by a Chinese American”. Chiou says, “We were both born in America but my parents lived in Taiwan.

The two chefs underwent gastronomic training with Chiou who is studying at the American Culinary Institute before heading to Momo Yakitori. Ma previously worked at Kyirisan and American Son.

The menu is limited for a Chinese restaurant but there seems to be a willingness to try the new place. Some think the portions are too small, the rangoon crab appetizers amazing, the interesting twist on the usual Americanized Chinese food, and the mind-blowing in-person ordering system in today’s technological world.

But then you open the crispy fortune cookie: “A daring and dashing adventure is soon in your future.”

Lucky danger

1101 South Joyce Street B27, Arlington VA 22202

On Instagram @_luckydanger

Kiosk order without appointment

See the menu on

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Mon – Tue: closed

The menu says: “No mask – no honor – no service”

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