Let’s welcome CJ Chan to Dayton

Yesterday, I was a day early and got to keep my dollar. I went into a little strip mall restaurant that was due to open in “November” – and got a huge surprise- not your typical Chinese carryout. The decor is sophisticated- yet sleek- and the stainless steel kitchen equipment was gleaming. The people were happy to see me- but, slight hang up- not open until today, Nov. 18.

It’s right behind the Subway on Wilmington between Irving and Shroyer and next to LA Tan and Papa Johns. On their menu it says “A healthy alternative” and no MSG. From their website:

Welcome to CJ Chan Restaurant! Chinese and Japanese cuisine blends traditional Culinary art with the modern concept of fine dining in an elegant contemporary atmosphere. The excellence of our service makes our diners feel the most satisfaction and enjoyment in dining…

Experience our distinctive menu featuring more than 80 sensational dishes ranging from traditional Chinese favorites and innovative specialties to classic Thai foods from across Asia, using only the freshest, most natural ingredients.

At CJ Chan Restaurant, we also offer create-your-own dishes with something that is sure to please your appetite. Come and enjoy our cozy dining room with friendly service…

We welcome any suggestions you may offer in order that we may better serve you.

Tel: 937-259-9866 Fax: 937-259-9867

Add: 536 Wilmington Ave Dayton OH 45420

via CJ Chan.

If you want to stimulate “economic development” in Dayton- here’s your chance- stop in today and help support a small, local business- tell them “Esrati sent me” just for giggles (and no, I don’t expect anything back from it). I’ll be in before the weekend is out- for sure.

I also usually give new restaurants a few weeks to work the bugs out- so unless you get food poisoning- please share your good experiences in the comments here, on Google places, Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare and let’s give them a great jumpstart.

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18 Responses

  1. erg November 18, 2010 / 8:24 pm
    just got some take-out from CJ Chan for dinner.  Overall, it was really good and I hope they stick around! They didn’t have everything on the menu available (first day) but everything we got was delicious.  The bento box came with so much food! the restaurant is nice inside although it was empty when we picked up our order.
    considering how much food we got (definitely enough for two leftover meals) the prices are great. they will def be our go-to takeout place.
  2. Ice Bandit November 18, 2010 / 10:26 pm
    Welcome to CJ Chan Restaurant! Chinese and Japanese cuisine blends traditional Culinary art with the modern concept of fine dining in an elegant contemporary atmosphere.

    Culinary art? Elegant atmosphere? No MSG? What is this place, a Chinese restaurant or a museum? Chinese food junkies know the best Sino chow is made in grim and dimly lit storefronts in the worst neighborhoods in town. The “elegant atmosphere” in these dives is provided by dudes in wifebeater t-shirts loudly berating their luck and each other in guttural Cantonese. Flames and crackling peanut oil fills the air while the cooks keep one eye out for the INS and the other for the Health Department. Yeah, the men’s room has that required sign telling the employees to wash their hands, but nobody on the payroll reads English. And when the cussing, flaming and health violations are done, these dudes whip up Chinese chuck to die for. When the Old Bandito gets the Jones for Chinese, which is never more than seven days a week, his shadow darkens the already poorly illuminated Chef Leo’s Chinese-Mexican at the intersection of Wyoming and Illinois. The lunch special, if Leo and the crew can open by noon, is more than two hombres can eat for less than a five-spot. And during the summer, there is the occasional violent floor show provided by the miscreants in the apartment house across the street. Viva la eggrolls……

  3. David Esrati November 19, 2010 / 12:45 am

    You know Ice- I’m narrowing down your AOR- and I’m going to find you one day and buy you an egg roll.

    Before you dis the Chan- why don’t you try it?

  4. djw November 19, 2010 / 11:50 am
    Now I’ve got two recommendations for Chinese! Thanks both of you.
  5. dnm November 19, 2010 / 4:18 pm
    Tried CJ Chan today.  Outstanding!  When I got there I was taken aback by how clean and cool-looking the place was.  I was expecting something much grungier.
    As I waited for my carry-out order another guy walked past me on the way out.  Said his food was “awesome, delicious!”.  His experience turned out to be mine as well.
    Thanks for the tip, David!
  6. djw November 19, 2010 / 9:51 pm
    Agree with DMM. I got there around 8, they were moderately busy (over half tables in use, plus a few people hanging around waiting for carryout). I ordered two dishes for carry out: Egg Foo Young and Singapore noodles. Both were very nicely executed. I particularly liked that they sent the gravy for the egg foo young home with me in a separate container, which allowed the texture of the pancake to still be just right. The Singapore noodles could use a few more veggies, but there’s a generous quantity of shrimp, and they’re nice and spicy. Better spiced than the same dish at Thai9, in fact.

    They also had my food ready for me about six minutes after I placed my order. They’ve got it together.

  7. larry sizer November 20, 2010 / 7:09 am
    Thanks for the turn on to the restaurant David, Susie and I was most impressed, and will make it a regular when we want to eat Chinese. Not being familiar with Japanese food, what would you recommend, I would like it spicy but not hot, and plenty of veggies not over cooked?
  8. Teresa Lea November 20, 2010 / 7:29 am
    We went last night and they were packed (half of the tables were occupied by South Park residents!) so the service was a tad slow, but for their second night open and one waitress, it was understandable.
    The food was quite delicious. We stuck with sushi rolls, which were good and had some different flavors. Our dinner partners had Chinese which I was lucky enough to taste. The veggies were crisp and the sauces were flavorful.
    The best part was the 20% off you get all this weekend!!
  9. David Esrati November 20, 2010 / 10:22 am

    I was there for lunch and dinner yesterday. The 20% off the menu prices runs until Sunday- so get there soon.

    Had the Sushi Bento box for lunch- nothing blew me away- but the portions were good sized. Thai 9 still has some of the best tempura around- when I do eat it- they win.

    For dinner- there were six of us- so I got to sample a lot. We were there at 6 and there were 4 other South park tables- and everybody liked it.

    Service is spotty- they don’t start out with silverware or chop sticks on the table- but do have both regular and low sodium Soy Sauce on the tables. Egg roll didn’t come with any sauces- but was really robust with veggies- and nice. All I needed were sauces- and I’d be super happy. Cheese wontons did come with a dipping sauce that was really nice- not as sweet or thick as usual red sauce.

    The sushi was super fresh and better than Thai 9-  but the choices were limited. Same sized rolls- which is too bad- since Sushi Cafe and Sushi Hana both give you more for the $.

    The Pork Egg Foo Yung isn’t something I’d order – but it was nice- although a bit bland. Beef and snow peas was also timid on flavor- but beautifully cooked to perfection.

    Fortune cookie makers must be getting slammed by the recession- 3 cookies had the same fortune- they must have cut back on copywriters.

    Our sushi came out one roll at a time- instead of the big plate with all 5 rolls which isn’t my favorite way to eat sushi- I like to graze and mix – but, I’m sure that’s a function of only being open 2 days.

    Go support a local small restaurant tonight- in Dayton. The little funky places are what makes the urban experience differ from the suburban chain food rows.

    We’ll be back.

  10. Ice Bandit November 21, 2010 / 6:17 pm
    On their menu it says “A healthy alternative” and no MSG.

    ……I want to thank all of you for showing up at this demonstration this afternoon. And despite your understandable anger, we beg that you keep your protest civil. To close this historic rally, the Old Bandito would like to play a protest song he wrote occasion. And I had to go to Hauers for a new G banjer string, so you know this is a big deal. The song is entitled….

    Give me my MS (in the key of) G

    From the Canton there in China,
    to the Canton in Ohio,
    I’ve pigged on tasty Chinese food,
    no matter where I go.
    I once asked a Chinese chef,
    if he would pontificate,
    on what secret ingredient,
    made Chinese food so great.

    The question struck him in his tracks,
    he struck a pensive pose.
    Not unlike wise Confusius.
    contemplating an evening rose.
    “If there was just one thing” he said,
    “to put in my wok aflame,
    There is a magic ingredient and I’ll
    tell you its’ name (he said)

    …Give me my MSG.
    Three billion Chinese can’t be wrong,
    so it’s good enough for me.
    It puts the zest in the Moo-Goo plate, and the
    Happy in the Family, so
    give me my MSG.

    I guess I’ll never understand,
    the long and bitter hate,
    that would be Chinese food critics
    have for monosodiumglutamate.
    It’s the cause they say with great dismay
    for depression and obesity,
    headache, heartache, hairy palms,
    schizophrenia and leprosy.

    But for all the names and all the claims,
    there’s no scientific facts,
    to justify a Chinese chef,
    for giving it the ax.
    And for most Chinese cuisine junkies,
    though it makes the nannies pissed,
    eating healthy food of any kind,
    ain’t the top thing on our list so

    Give us our MSG.
    If Esrati doesn’t want his,
    then please give his to me.
    It puts the wow in the General Tsao,
    and makes ginger chicken heavenly, so
    give us our MSG.

    Chairman Mao and his generals,
    once went into a Peking spot,
    the decor there was elegant and the
    waitresses were hot.
    The Helmsman ordered Egg Foo Young,
    and quickly he consumed,
    but he couldn’t hide his anger,
    as he bitched and moaned and fumed.

    “I’m so sorry Oh Great Leader.’
    the head chef said “you see,
    we’re a healthy Chinese restaurant,
    and we use no MSG.”
    What happened next is in the history text,
    the facts just aren’t disputed.
    Mao lined the cooks up against the Great Wall,
    and had them executed.
    (then Mao yelled)
    Give me my MSG,
    its’ use is a Great Leap Forward,
    a Long March to quality.
    You’ve heard our voice it’s the people’s choice,
    keep using it long and free,
    so give us our MS,
    we gotta’ have our MS,
    give us our MSG.

      Thank you. What did you say officer? Disturbing the Peace? Yeah, officer, I realize a chinese restaurant is an usual place to hold a massive protest rally, but ya’ gotta’ understand our lifestyle is at stake…….

  11. David Esrati November 21, 2010 / 7:58 pm

    Bravo Bandito-

    but- some people, like “Dear Davids” dad- can’t eat it- or seafood- without having issues-

    Here’s some reactions to MSG:

    Reactions to MSG have been called the “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome,” referring to that fact that MSG is commonly found in Asian-style foods. Most people who are affected will experience symptoms shortly after eating foods containing MSG. Typical symptoms include numbness on the back of the neck, shoulders and arms; people can have a sense of generalized weakness, and heart palpitations can occur. Other symptoms include facial pressure, headaches, nausea, chest pain and drowsiness.


    Stop being such a hater- and go try CJ Chans- you might like it.

  12. David Lauri November 22, 2010 / 5:08 pm
    I went to CJ Chan for a late lunch today and quite enjoyed it.  The food was good, the decor was attractive and the prices were very reasonable.  My friend Jim had California rolls, I had General Tso’s chicken and we split a bowl of edamame.  I like that they have lunch specials until 3 p.m. — we tend to eat lunch late and a lot of place around town serve lunch only until 2.  We’ll go back to CJ Chan.
  13. cj chan November 23, 2010 / 1:39 am
    thanks everyone’s opinion,the first couple day we  have been little nervous, so….. but we will correct them as soon as possible to serve you better.
  14. David Esrati November 23, 2010 / 8:48 am

    @CJ- thanks for giving us a wonderful, local, independent option for eating great food in the neighborhood.

    We’ll be back.

  15. David Esrati November 26, 2010 / 8:15 pm

    We went back tonight- they recognized me when I came in. This time- we had silverware, the dipping sauces came with the dishes- and they even brought out some gratis shrimp tempura – they are giving Thai 9 a run for their money on the tempura now. The Las Vegas roll is still one of our favorites- as well as the really simple triple roll.

    I’m also the mayor of CJ Chan’s on Foursquare- but I’m sure that won’t last long.

    It’s gotten better with every visit- give them a few more weeks- and look out.

  16. Ice Bandit April 17, 2011 / 9:56 am
    …call it fate, call it kismet. But it was the cosmic collision of chance with inevitability. For it was noon, and the Old Bandito was hungrier than a woodpecker with a migraine, and hampered by a blood sugar level that was approaching the depth of the Marianas Trench. The location was Irving Avenue at Wilmington, and in a starvation-driven delirium so intense that roadkill became beckoning, there was spied the sign reading CJ Chan’s. Struggling thru the door, the Old Bandito was greeted by a cutie who inquired if the dining would be there or carry-out. Not wanting to alarm the sit-down lunch crowd lest the Coroner need be called, the request was for pork fried rice with two egg rolls to go. Not used to the pleasant decor or the courtesy (or the cuties) at the ghetto Chinese outpost he frequents, the Bandito waited for the life-saving victuals. But an even greater shock was the dispatch with which the order was filled. But as that Dayton-Chinese chef, Vic Cassano, was fond of saying, the proof is in the taste. Skeptical, insofar as pork fried rice is the easiest of the genre to do poorly, the Old Bandito was soon cross-eyed with delight as the specialty was tasty and filling without becoming oil-saturated as hastily made noon orders often are. The egg-roll shells were flaky and delicioso and the perfect snack for driving driving around the Gem City. He life saved, the Old Bandito went about the day’s pursuits a better and changed man.The Old Bandito’s shadow will without question darken the door of CJ Chan’s again. The only critique of the fare; it coulda’ used a little MSG…..
  17. Ice Bandit September 23, 2011 / 9:16 pm
    …oh dark, dank, sad and rueful day. For that was not rain that fell upon East Dayton Friday, but the tears of those enamored with ghetto fabulous Chinese cuisine who discovered that Chef Leo’s is no more. Was it the Health Department, for their insistance for clean floors and minimum sanitary standards who provided the padlock? Or perhaps the INS, casting a skeptical eye on the legality of the kitchen help,  who fell the fatal blow. Alas, it matters not, for that corner of Wyoming and Illinois will apparently no longer dispense Leo’s famous stir fried beef and veggies for the unbelievable price of $4.50 with a wonton and eggroll thrown in for good measure. The Old Bandito’s face is so long he got a sympathy card from Jay Leno…
  18. Ice Bandit February 3, 2013 / 2:20 am
    …the Old Bandito will have two eggrolls, a couple of wontons, and large order of vindication to go. Research increasingly supports the theory that bacteria, rather than the much maligned MSG, is the culprit in many if not most Chinese food calamities. One rather serious offender is bacillus cereus, which boiling and covering rice actually accelerates contamination once the rice cools. In fact, the food-police inspired war on the benign MSG was approaching the level of mass psychosis. Sidebar: the Old Bandito’s shadow has darkened Chan’s door several times and has yet to be disappointed…

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