Let me guess, you are like me and have passed by The Dragon Lady Lounge and thought “interesting, but not sure if it is for me”. The restaurant is known for it’s monthly Vegan Korean Buffet, but what is it like the rest of the time? While I appreciate vegetarian AND Korean food I did not know what to expect going in.
Luckily I did! The owner, Robert, invited me in on a rainy Sunday night and I was very impressed. Not only has he renovated the space beautifully- a former dive bar owned by his Aunt, the official Dragon Lady- but he is very passionate about what he does and treats his customers like friends. In talking with Robert for awhile, he mentioned how grateful he is to do what he does and his passion shines through in the decor and food.
While the space is laid out like a typical bar, the decor has intricate wallpaper and lush lighting. One of the managers is an artist and her work decorates the walls. Another main difference is the food; the menu is split into vegetarian/vegan and non-vegetarian, offering a wide variety of food. I tried the fried tofu (pictured below), fried in the Dragon Lady’s special soy sauce and it was crispy and delicious. Other dishes include vegan or pork dumplings, Bi Bim Bop, Kim Chi Pancakes as well as the good old real cheese sticks and beef burgers.
Another surprise were the drinks, which were certainly above dive bar caliber. On Sundays they serve bright $5 martini specials, but since I had to work the next day I decided to go easy and try the Michaella (a Mexican style drink which is beer + a special tomato juice). It was delicious and refreshing!
Want to try Dragon Lady for yourself? They will be hosting the next Avondale Social June 3rd starting at 6:30pm and are located at 3188 North Elston, at Belmont & California. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org if you will attend- see you there!