Thanks for the report @J_L.
We ended up eating at the restaurant and found it a bit disappointing.
For those that don’t know, Little Fatty is the new reincarnation of Chef-Owner David Kuo’s previous Status Kuo restaurant, that had specialized in things like Rotisserie Chicken. He’s changed the menu completely (with no Rotisserie Chicken in sight), and it’s now focused on more traditional Taiwanese dishes.
These had a strange smoky funk about them that was off-putting, but the most disappointing part were the use of some older stems (like eating the too mature stalks of Asparagus where you have to spit out the fibrous ends). About 15 - 20% of this dish had older stems that were inedible (too hard to chew through).
Otherwise, it was an OK saute, with nice bits of Garlic. If they’re more careful in the cleaning / separation of older stems, this would be a fine replica of the classic SGV versions.
We were really excited to try this dish! Being able to get good Scallion Pancakes on the Westside would be such a time-saver for us (and our friends out here). Sadly, they were mediocre at best.
They are of the wafer-thin variety, but the the issue is that it lacks the execution of what makes a great Scallion Pancake. These are saturated with oil (feeling greasy), as you can see in the photos, and we didn’t even make it through one slice of the Pancake yet, before it already lost its initial crispness and crunch. It turned kind of chewy and not that pleasant to eat.
Dumpling of the Day: Lamb & Cumin Dumplings:
These were delicious! They were the best dish we had on the menu so far. Handmade Dumplings that are unique from the traditional Chinese Dumplings (strange, given the menu and restaurant’s push towards Taiwanese classics / “soul food”). There are only 2 Dumplings per order and they are HUGE. Probably about 3 - 4 Dumplings worth of Meat & Dumpling Skin, compressed into a giant Dumpling here.
But regardless, the flavors were interesting and spot-on! Fragrant Lamb and Cumin, a nice tangy Vinegar / Soy Sauce-based Sauce. Lovely slight heat from the Pickled Peppers.
Taiwanese Pork Chop:
This was another dish we were excited to try. It had a nice crunchy outer shell (good thing), but sadly, the Pork Chop itself was just disappointing. It was extremely fatty (fat layers in multiple slices of this Pork Chop), and even the leaner parts had strands of fat as well.
The seasoning tasted OK, but it lacked the “it” quality, the expertise, of a great, simple, homely Taiwanese Pork Chop Rice. As old-school as it is, @ipsedixit’s recommended Old Country Cafe is leagues ahead of this execution. We’ve had a few other places over the years visiting the San Gabriel Valley that were much better than this. The Hard Boiled Egg was totally overcooked and chalky.
Ultimately, there’s potential here at Little Fatty. It’s great to see a place on the Westside trying to make Taiwanese classics, which feels underserved in this area.
But what holds Little Fatty back is the lack of the soul and expert execution from decades of doing the same thing over and over for the simple Taiwanese dishes. The Scallion Pancakes taste like it’s made from someone just learning how to make Scallion Pancakes, rather than some old cook that’s been making thousands of Scallion Pancakes for decades. The same goes for the Taiwanese Pork Chop.
I was one of the people that felt Status Kuo was lacking. It wasn’t bad, but it lacked great execution in many of its dishes. Now with Status Kuo 2.0 (Little Fatty), it feels like the same, but with Taiwanese dishes. For now, we’d rather drive out to the San Gabriel Valley for Taiwanese food still, rather than eat at Little Fatty. But we’ll be back to try their menu after a few months to see if they can iron out the kinks.
3809 Grand View Blvd.
Mar Vista, CA 90066
Tel: (310) 574-7610