Little Fatty Take-Out (Mar Vista): A Pictorial Essay


#1

Chef David Kuo has morphed Status Kuo into a take-out offering many of Taiwan’s greatest hits. The next door bar, Accomplice, is a great place to grab a drink while waiting for your take-out order…

Scallions pancakes…

Walnut Shrimp…

Zha jiang mian…

Wok-fired pea tendrils…

Beef & broccoli…

XO “Fatty” noodles…

Sarsaparilla soda from Taiwan…

RECOMMENDED.

Little Fatty Take-Out & Accomplice Bar
3811 Grand View Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
accomplicebar.com


#2

Whoah. My buddy was just raving about this place the other day. I’m so there!


#3

Why does some of that look distinctly not take out?


#4

Thanks for the report @J_L. :slight_smile:

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.

Pea Tendrils:

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). :frowning:

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.

Scallion Pancake:

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. :frowning:

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. :slight_smile: 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! :slight_smile: 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. :frowning: 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.

Little Fatty
3809 Grand View Blvd.
Mar Vista, CA 90066
Tel: (310) 574-7610


#5

thanks for the report @Chowseeker1999

was that egg as dry and overcooked as it looked?


#6

Hi @PorkyBelly,

Thanks for the reminder (I’ll update): Yes, sadly, the Egg was as dry and overcooked as it looked. :tired_face: Super chalky and not pleasant to eat. :frowning:


#7

i wish they kept those damn stuffed squash blossoms on the menu


#8

“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.”

With Silicon Beach attracting so much talent whose roots are in East Asia - many being from China and Taiwan - what Chef David Kuo is attempting to present may or may not work based on its location.

Something like Little Fatty would definitely be a hit closer to this general area. These folks are yearning for the familiar. They also need it to be closer for the sake of time. I hope Chef Kuo can attract this crowd. They will do well to service both themselves and his bottom line as well. Price is always a factor. But each dish’s proximity to their expectations is probably at least as important.


#9

Chef is still tuning the menu around. I gave some constructive criticism on my initial visit last week. I’d give it another whirl in a month or so.


#10

There is sit-down service here, too. Some of my dishes came in a takeout container, while others appeared on a plate.


#11

If there were any one person that could constructively guide a restaurant to success, I’d pick you.


#12

Hit Little Fatty the other night and found it to be a bit of a mixed bag.

On the plus side, the General Tso’s Cauliflower was a hit. I also really enjoyed my cocktail at Accomplice while waiting for the food.

However, the scallion pancake was a little tough. And the mapo tofu was just cold cubes plopped on top of the meat sauce. It felt with like maybe they were maybe cutting some corners to keep up with demand. I wonder if maybe that explains @Chowseeker1999’s experience with the pea shoots, too.

On that note, I will say the joint was hopping on a Saturday night. Far more crowded than I ever remember Status Kuo being.


#13

Did it completely replace Status Kuo ? Cause’ I thought the sign was still there when passed by yesterday.


#14

SK sign wasn’t lit up at night, though. Doing business as Accomplice Bar & Little Fatty now…


#15

I went to Little Fatty last night with a friend. He’s not the dining enthusiast I am, but he is a very sophisticated guy. (his birthday party two weeks ago was like one of the most fascinating salons in L.A. - songwriters, jazz greats,writers, scientists, intel - intellectuals of many stripes). I’ve taken him (along with the scientist and intel guy) to Melisse many times - which they all love.

Little Fatty was on a couple lists of best LA restaurants to open in 2016. (I think LA Eater).

I liked Status Kuo the last time I went. I have little memory of it - but found it promising to check otu this incarnation.

Unlike the poster earlier - I very much liked it.

We ordered a lot of food for two people - could have easily fed three - especially had we ordered a little rice or noodles.

The scallion pancakes - unlike Chowseeker1999 - I thought were terrific. Dangerously so. I’m kinda craving them. (place hasn’t been open long - maybe they weren’t quite up to speed).

Popcorn chicken - also very good. Generous portions. We were starting to filled up from three appetizers and never quite finished these - also good to add to the sauces of the follow meals (this is one of those dishes you can eat with pretty much any sauce).

Dumplings (of the day) were great. I think they were pork (we didn’t ask, we just enjoyed the dish - flavors were big and bold, yet well-balanced. Beautiful presentation (actually every dish kinda popped in this regard).

Walnut shrimp reminded me of Mr. Chow - not a place I hate - but for the scene and the prices. Some of the dishes here reminded me of Chow’s - but considered it a “poor man’s Mr. Chow” in that regard.

Kung Pao chicken - first time I’ve EVER had this dish with properly-cooked chicken (almost always over cooked).

If there was any dish I was expecting more from - it might have been the braised Porky Belly. Wasn’t bad though - the braise was well-done. There has been so much pork belly, on so many menus that you start thinking it had to compete with ALL Pork Belly dishes. not an authentic Taiwanese version. And I’m not familiar with Taiwanese food. I would likely get it again.

All in all we thought the place was quite a score. Check came to around $40 per - but we over-ordered and he did have a nice whisky. (they have a pretty cool, dark, full bar next door - which adjoins the restaurant). We’ll be back. Soon. (I may take my Wednesday lunch group there tomorrow).

BTW - my Chowhound handle was Foodiemahoodie FWIW - I changed it because I had an Irish assistant (who would sometimes help me for dinner parties) and she’d called me Mr. Foodiepants (it’s a UK thing to to add Pants to something). Anyway, thought I’d use it here.


#16

Hi @MrFoodiepants,

Ooh! I remember your handle on our old board! Welcome back. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the report; that’s good to know. We were hoping they were just getting up to speed; it sounds like their Scallion Pancakes have improved from opening week (which is good to hear).

Agree about their Dumplings, that was my favorite dish on our visit (bold flavors and interesting).

I’ll have to give it another try and see how things have changed. Thanks!


#17

This is such a great spot for the neighborhood. Seems like the shift from Status Kuo to Little Fatty was a bright one. The place was full up yesterday for lunch - even spilling into Accomplice Bar, which isn’t open as a full bar at lunch but helps with overflow, it seems.

We split the Orange Chicken and Zha jiang mian. Both were excellent. I’ve actually never had orange chicken as good as this. It was quite crunchy but it was nice light crunch, and the tang of the sauce was full of flavor without being clingy. This was my first ever Zha jiang mian, and it was delicious. Maybe a similar broth/sauce as the Sunday gravy? Sweet, rich and the and noodles had a perfect chew. The only item we wouldn’t return to would be the egg rolls. Not terrible or anything - just not worth it, as it were.


#18

Heads up: Apparently chef is not there on Tuesdays, and neither is his sous. I ordered my usual to go and it was an utter fail tonight:

General Tso Cauliflower: Way too big chunks of cauliflower, soggy, barely there coating, hardly any sauce, and it wasn’t sticky or flavorful. Also, green peppers (no spice) instead of the usual red peppers.

Egg rolls: According to the boy, “Squishy.”

Rice: Dry, yet gummy. The boy ate three spoonfuls and was done. After a two hour basketball practice. And this is a child that will eat a pint of white rice and call it dinner.

But the cocktail was good.


#19

If the chef isn’t there, and the sous isn’t there…who is cooking exactly??


#20

Ex-cons learning a trade? I don’t know.