Peking Dragon, which bills itself as “Mandarin Szechuan style prepared for a healthy lifestyle,” is an old-fashioned American Chinese restaurant in Dana Point. It’s the kind of Chinese restaurant with 80’s decor where there’s glass syrup pitchers filled with plum sauce – exactly the type of place you’d expect in this coastal community.
Their lunch specials are pricier than the ones in West Los Angeles, ranging in costs from $11.95 to $13.25. Lunch specials come with egg flower soup and your choice of fried chicken or an egg roll.
For a place that says it has food for a “healthy lifestyle,” the deep-fried appetizers may not quite be in line with that philosophy, though deep-fried is always a treat. If you’re a strict vegetarian, you might be best off passing on the appetizers (and maybe the soup too as I’m not sure what kind of stock they use) since the egg roll looks like it contains traces of some sort of meat (probably pork).
Entrees range from the bland to sweet to sweet deep-fried. My picky daughter sticks with the chicken chow mein and then somehow manages to avoid eating any of the vegetable or chicken (it’s a talent).
My pesco-vegetarian husband will usually order one of the shrimp entrees, while I get the chicken with assorted vegetables. The chicken dish is very bland, but it’s probably the healthiest dish on the lunch menu, other than the assorted vegetables. I wish they offered more vegetarian dishes on the lunch menu, like a sautéed string beans or eggplant in garlic sauce or tofu, but no such luck.
If you’re looking for an authentic Chinese restaurant, keep looking. However, if American Chinese restaurants are to your liking, Peking Dragon may be your cup of tea.
Location – 34171 Pacific Coast Hwy, Dana Point 92629
Website – http://www.pekingdragonrestaurant.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly – Maybe? If you’re a strict vegetarian/vegan, it’s best to ask if the dishes are vegetarian and if they contain any chicken stock. Chinese restaurants often do not consider chicken as something that needs to be avoided by vegetarians. I learned this from years of my mom asking the waiter if a dish is vegetarian on my brother’s behalf, only to be asked, “He eats chicken, right?”
Gluten-Free Options – Yes