"In Taiwan, “lao tao” refers to the word “foodies”- people who are constantly on the hunt for good food; people who can’t get enough from the normal daily 3 meals, but need smaller bites from street vendors, night markets, small street corner cafes, milk tea shops… and the list goes on. Interestingly enough, the word “lao tao” originally came from the name of an ancient mysterious creature whose name is “Taotie(饕餮).” He is one of the misbehaving sons of the Dragon, who ate everything he could find. Until one day, he got so hungry that he swallowed his own body.
Our adventures began in mid-2015, when the founder and chef David Wang quit his corporate 9-5 job, grabbed everything and everyone he could find, and decided to open a Taiwanese street food inspired spot in the heart of old Chinatown. The upcoming restaurant is small (seats 25), but features lots of unique small bites that you’ve never tasted before. From the traditional “Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯 ” (slow cooked braised pork belly with rice), to the “Thousand-Year-old Egg with Tofu in Spicy Homemade Sauce 紅油皮蛋豆腐”, Lao Tao wants to introduce various authentic dishes to people appreciated food and its culture."
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Two factors led me here: Chickenwatch 2k18 from Buzzfeed and the closure of the one place back home that served Taiwanese style fried chicken. After making the crosstown trek to Downtown LA and then a 15 minute march to Chinatown, I found this spot on the second level of the plaza that also hosts Tenren and Howlin Rays Hot Chicken. I ordered the Taiwanese poutine, Taiwanese fried chicken, and the yam infused cold brew. The Taiwanese fried chicken was perfectly seasoned and decently portioned. The Taiwanese poutine could have used more pork in addition to the fries but was overall fairly filling. The yam infused cold brew was rather refreshing as well though I didn’t get the sense that the yam infused whipped cream change the cold brew much if at all. Still, the whipped cream was quite tasty. The service was fairly prompt after you ordered and they go laissez faire after you sit down for your meal. Water is inside to the right of the cash register if you need something to drink while devouring your food. Overall, a comfy, homey restaurant that is worth visiting.