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Selected restaurants

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published December 19, 2013 at 3:03 a.m.

Weekly theme listings reflect a range of dining possibilities in central Arkansas, across a spectrum of settings and price ranges. To read recent restaurant reviews in their entirety,

visit arkansasonline.com/restaurants/

Chinese, etc.

A.W. LIN’S ASIAN CUISINE Promenade at Chenal, 17717 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, (501) 821-5398 This Tennessee-based minichain, which just enhanced its menu to include more Thai and other Southeast Asian dishes, offers good service and flavorful Chinese dishes, especially among the Chef’s Specials.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar.

Reservations. Moderate-expensive.

CHI’S DIMSUM & BISTRO 6 Shackleford Drive, Little Rock, (501) 225-8878 CHI’S FINE CHINESE CUISINE 17200 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, (501) 821-8000 CHI’S ASIAN CAFE & SUSHI BAR 3421 Old Cantrell Road, (501) 916-9973, (501) 916-9975 Lulu Chi has turned her Chenal Parkway restaurant into a full-service, sit-down establishment (retaining the popular to-go entrance) and opening a Riverdale outlet.

Meanwhile, she has tweaked the menu (and is keeping the dim sum, particularly popular on weekends) at her original “headquarters.” Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar on Shackleford Drive; wine and beer only at Chenal and Old Cantrell. Reservations (Shackleford Drive location).

Moderate-expensive.

FAR EAST ASIAN CUISINE 11600 Pleasant Ridge Drive, Little Rock, (501) 219-9399 The successor to Hunan Oriental serves familiar Chinese fare with some surprises, including the fragrant Senbei or “Three Cup” clay pot meals, quail and duck dishes.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar.

Reservations. Moderate.

FANTASTIC CHINA 1900 N. Grant St., Little Rock, (501) 663-8999 A consistent top choice in reader polls and customer reviews, with food much like its contemporary decor - interesting and bold, yet soothing and not the least bit intimidating.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar.

Reservations. Bargain.

FORBIDDEN GARDEN 14810 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, (501) 868-8149 Run by the folks who operated the now-defunct Forbidden City in Park Plaza, this west Little Rock restaurant emphasizes fresh, quality ingredients and presentation, including some new Thai-influenced dishes like cumin shredded beef and basil chicken in addition to traditional Chinese.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar.

Moderate.

FU LIN RESTAURANT 200 N. Bowman Road, Little Rock, (501) 225-8989 Able. amiable and among the area’s longest-lived Chinese restaurants, offering a lengthy and traditional menu of Chinese dishes, like a truly hot and sour Hot and Sour Soup and zesty Chicken With Orange Peel, still going after many years at its third location on west Little Rock’s Bowman Curve.

Lunch, dinner daily. Full bar.

Reservations. Moderate.

MR. CHEN’S AUTHENTIC CHINESE COOKING Village Shopping Center, 3901 S. University Ave., Little Rock.

(501) 562-7900 Many of the dishes will be a little weird, or at least challenging, for Western tastes, but as the name says, it’s authentic, all right, with the produce and the particularly fresh seafood coming from the Oriental supermarket that encloses it.

Lunch, dinner daily. Reservations for large parties. Moderate.

TASTE OF D-LIGHT 3200 N. Reynolds Road, Bryant, (501) 847-6267 A Bryant fixture, serving generous portions of Chinese and Vietnamese food during the week with a popular Sunday lunch buffet.

Lunch, dinner daily. No alcohol.

Reservations. Bargain-moderate.

WASABI 101 Main St., Little Rock, (501) 374-0777 Michael Choi’s Asian-fusion restaurant offers excellent and inventive “proud” sushi plus American, Japanese and Chinese entrees in a distinctly non-Asian setting.

Lunch Mon-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat. Full bar. Reservations.

Moderate.

Weekend, Pages 39 on 12/19/2013

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