Dining With Grace: Pearl Dragon

Dinner at the Pearl Dragon with its Asian kitchen is always a fascinating experience. One may dine at the sushi bar or at a comfortable table in several areas of the restaurant. In addition, there is a bar to the right of the entrance if you just need a bit of post-holiday cheer during this busy season.

My friend and I enjoyed a glass of wine while studying the many selections listed on the menu. These vary from Plates and Small Plates to Salads, Noodles and The Pearl, Chef Ryo Akimoto’s special selection of the freshest fish of the day.

We finally decided to share the Nanjing pork and ginger potstickers spicy Thai green papaya salad ($14.50), before our main plates of salmon teriyaki ($21) and the organic chicken teriyaki ($19).

I must say that each dish was a treat. The small crispy won-ton skin potstickers filled with tasty Nanjing pork were delicious. Especially with a dip into the accompanying sauces: soy sauce, mustard, and a spicy hot ketchup.

Another winner was the Thai green papaya salad with sautéed rock shrimp and peanuts. These gave a pleasing accent to the green papaya with its spicy Thai touch. Both made a happy beginning to our dinner.

The “bone-in” organic chicken teriyaki came with garlic ginger, long beans and white rice. The flavorful chicken was marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger and sugar along with seasonings before being grilled. The “bone-in” chicken was succulent and flavorful, especially with the beans and rice.

The same could be said for the salmon teriyaki with its accompanying garlic ginger snap peas and crispy onions. The crisp texture of the peas and onions gave the superb salmon additional flavor.

The portions were so generous that we each took some teriyaki home for the next day. And, after all this we shared a luscious dessert of rich chocolate cake with a generous portion of vanilla ice cream topped with fresh straw- berries. A delight!

Those who love sushi and special rolls should not overlook the sushi bar with its extensive menu of both sushi and sashimi selections. These include about 17 varieties of seafood including fresh water eel, scallops, shrimp, yellowtail and crab, as well as salmon and flying-fish caviar.

The dozen special rolls vary in price from $12.50 for the spicy crab roll to $14.50 for the lobster tempura roll with avocado, crab, asparagus and tobiko wrapped in cucumber.

And of course, there’s the Wing Ding Burger for which the Pearl Dragon is famous. This burger ($13 without cheese), which enjoyed a popular reputation at the restaurant’s predecessor, the House of Lee, is a delight for many kids.

An inter-generational dining spot where you often see grandchildren with their siblings and parents or grandparents, the Pearl Dragon has been at the center of the Palisades dining life since 2001.

Lunch is served Tuesday through Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Dinner service nightly is from 5 p.m. Pearl Dragon is located at 15229 Sunset Blvd., Pacific Palisades and can be reached at 310-459-9790. It can be found online at https://www.thepearldragon.com

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