Taiwanese Street Food Inspired
Chinatown, LA



Fresher and Better Ingredients

NO MSG and Preservations

Inspired by Taiwanese Street Food


Who is Lao Tao?


In Taiwan, “lao tao” refers to the word “foodies”- people who are constantly on the hunt for good food; people who can’t get enough from the normal daily 3 meals, but need smaller bites from street vendors, night markets, small street corner cafes, milk tea shops… and the list goes on. Interestingly enough, the word “lao tao” originally came from the name of an ancient mysterious creature whose name is “Taotie(饕餮).” He is one of the misbehaving sons of the Dragon, who ate everything he could find. Until one day, he got so hungry that he swallowed his own body.


Our adventures began in mid-2015, when the founder and chef David Wang quit his corporate 9-5 job, grabbed everything and everyone he could find, and decided to open a Taiwanese street food inspired spot in the heart of old Chinatown. The upcoming restaurant is small (seats 25), but features lots of unique small bites that you’ve never tasted before. From the traditional “Lu Rou Fan 滷肉飯 ” (slow cooked braised pork belly with rice), to the “Thousand-Year-old Egg with Tofu in Spicy Homemade Sauce 紅油皮蛋豆腐”, Lao Tao wants to introduce various authentic dishes to people appreciated food and its culture.


The Chef

Can a thin chef be a good chef? The answer is – YES! Long before David decided to quit his stable full-time job and devote himself fully to the restaurant biz, he had been cooking Taiwanese dishes for years. Many times he was asked, “Why don’t you open your own restaurant?” So after perfecting his dishes and building his reputation from his pop-up food events, David was ready to bring his restaurant dream to reality!

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Reincarnation

You might call it reincarnation, in the sense that when his parents decided to close their old-fashioned restaurant, David decided to have his own spot in Chinatown. So an new idea arose at the end of an old one, almost simultaneously.
Instead of the “American Chinese” old-fashioned fast food (“a safe bet” according to his parents), David wanted to bring out more authentic dishes and explain its culture and origin to western customers. This is a new and really bold move. From each table to everything else in the restaurant, David and his partner them from ground up. The entire restaurant was designed and drafted with aesthetics in mind which will resemble street food and casual dining. The whole restaurant was built with a small budget and the process stretched to almost 9 months. This might seem like a humble spot in Chinatown, but we are hoping to make a big impact and change the way people think about Chinese/Taiwanese food.