It occurs to me that Chinese restaurants really are American restaurants. Back in the days when I thought spaghetti only came out of a can, the culinarily isolated Midwest had a number of Chinese places. For some, they’ve become a tradition—like the place where you have New Year’s dinner, back when Chinese restaurants were the only places open on New Year’s Day. And if you don’t have a Chinese place within walking distance, you really start to feel deprived. Unpretentious and easy for carry out, China One is slowly becoming a staple on Red Bank, an emerging mergeway that connects I-71 and Columbia Parkway. It really fills the need for people looking to pick up something from “that little Chinese place on the way.” The food is good here, more comforting than great. And the menu is everything you’d expect, big and basic. If you’ve had it twice somewhere before, most likely they have it here. Moo Shu, Kung Pao, Moo Goo and Egg Foo: Nothing bold or trendy. If you’re looking for an overpriced Asian dining experience, go elsewhere. China One is good basic fare at prices cheap enough for a weekly family carry out or two. They also serve party size, so if you need General Tso’s Chicken for a dozen, they’ve got you covered. I do have one complaint about China One. It’s the syrupy Muzak-like stuff dripping out of the speakers. Whatever sound service they use had to work really hard to find songs that annoying, with that Michael-Bolton-snorting-Splenda sound. Give me something traditional twanged out on a Zheng any day.
3972 Red Bank Rd.
Prices: $7–$9. Lunch and dinner seven days.
Originnaly published in the October 2012 issue.