Lona Luo and Pierce Powers got their start peddling silks and bags to Soulard Market-goers. When a food stall finally opened, they decided to take advantage of Luo’s culinary background and start selling handmade dumplings in the side. Word spread of their delicious offerings, and eventually the husband and wife team developed enough of a fan base for a larger venture -- a brick-and-mortar storefront for Lona’s Lil Eats in Fox Park. The pair describes their cooking as Asian comfort food, and elements of Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine are all represented at the fast-casual restaurant. Diners choose from a few protein options (beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, shrimp), decide how they want it served (platter or wrap) and select various sauces and accompaniments. The barbecued beef with smoked vinaigrette and jasmine rice, wrapped in giant rice paper is a must try, along with the chicken and lemongrass pesto tortilla. First-time diners are encouraged to order the comprehensive “Five Star Platter,” which represents a large chunk of the menu. All of the proteins are served with two “staples” (such as stir fried wild rice or rice noodles), two side dishes and all of the sauces. Of note is the “Lona-Q”, Luo’s version of a sweet and savory teriyaki. And don’t leave without trying those famous handmade dumplings. They are what put the restaurant in the map.
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