Dining on a budget: Starlight Express in Monrovia

By Lafayette C. Hight, Jr., Staff Writer

MONROVIA – I’ve been to Starlight Express on several occasions and one of the things I like most about this establishment is that the food seems like it just came out of the wok.

Which is a difficult thing for some of the “express” -styled Chinese restaurants that offer a dozen or so dishes for lunch and dinner served either under heat lamps or over boiling water.

The teriyaki chicken is always tender and juicy. And most importantly, it’s not overly-sweet like it’s been doused in a ton of sugar. I have to admit, whether I’m going to order it or not, I usually try a sample of it.

I also really love their vegetable egg rolls. My only complaint is that I wish they were bigger – more toward the hot dog side of things, rather than the vienna sausage end of the scale. 

But on my last visit I decided to try something new: Black pepper chicken and broccoli beef with steamed rice and chow mein.

The spices used in the chicken dish reminded me of flavors used in cajun cooking. It wasn’t too spicy, but the blend had a little bit of heat with a touch of citrus somewhere in the mix.

The broccoli beef wasn’t flavored as interestingly as the chicken, but it was good.

On the day I went they didn’t have the lemon chicken I once had, and I hope it isn’t gone from the menu. Starlight also has egg drop soup, and hot and sour soup, which I’m looking forward to trying in the future.

I typically opt for one of their one-item, two-item, or three-item combination meals, which, at $4.29, $5.29 and $6.29 respectively, makes lunch or dinner a pretty inexpensive prospect. Drinks are somewhere around a buck, and two egg rolls can be had for around the same price. 

Another reason I like this restaurant is that it’s one of the few Chinese restaurants I know of that happens to be open on Sundays. 

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