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Fresh Chinese-American specialties at Winthrop’s Osaka Lucky Garden

Among the offerings at Osaka Lucky Garden in Winthrop is yuen-yang spicy beef. Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe

There is a wealth of good Chinese food is the Boston area. Whether you seek the mouth-numbing buzz of fiery Sichuan noodles, handmade Taiwanese dumplings, or the trappings of upscale Asian fusion, you can find it. But what about when you unapologetically crave Americanized beef and broccoli, or General Gao’s chicken, and a spicy tuna roll on the side? Well, you will do fine at Osaka Lucky Garden in Winthrop, where the tiki drinks are tasty, and as someone told us before we headed over, “the food is fresh and appealing, the atmosphere very pleasant.”

The restaurant, owned by Kyle Huang, has been in his family since it opened 13 years ago. Three years ago, when Huang took over, he decided to expand from a takeout-only operation to a sit-down restaurant, replete with a sushi bar and full liquor license. Though the building’s facade is drab, the interior is indeed quite pleasant, with a stone accent wall over the sushi bar, and plush leather chairs flanking dark wood high-tops. On a raw, drizzly evening there are couples at the bar watching sports, families sharing pupu platters, and 20-something women indulging in a post-yoga girls’ night out. Get in the spirit by ordering one of the specialty cocktails, like the mai tai ($7.50) or planter’s punch ($6.95) which are strong, sweet, and go down far too easily.


The menu is expansive, pulling from all over Northeast Asia (which can be a red flag), but here aims to please, in one of the few Asian restaurants in town. We start with sushi appetizers, which are inventively plated, with skillfully cut fish. Yellowtail jalapeno ($8.95) is pieces of sashimi topped with thinly sliced jalapeno and black tobiko caviar on a pool of tangy ponzu sauce. Crispy spicy tuna ($8.95) is the filling of the ubiquitous roll of the same name (chopped tuna mixed with tempura flakes and spicy mayo) shaped into quenelles, sprinkled with more tobiko caviar, topped with spicy sauce, and perched atop a Pringle. How’s that for high-low cooking? Pepper tuna ($8.25) is coated generously in black pepper and seared before being sliced into sashimi and served with a tasty soy dipping sauce. Green dragon roll ($11.95) is rich and creamy, with extra slices of avocado wrapped around an eel and avocado roll.

Singapore noodles.Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe

The Chinese section of the menu has held onto plenty of takeout favorites. General Gao’s chicken ($11) arrives as a cheery, glossy orange — as expected — with a sweet and savory sauce coating breaded rounds of dark meat chicken, encircled by bright, tender-crisp broccoli florets. When we ask for yuen-yang spicy beef ($14) very spicy, our waiter listens. Thin slices of beef are hot (in both temperature and Scoville scale), flavorful and tender, stir-fried with green beans. Pork-fried rice ($7.50) is disappointing; brown and bland with nary a scallion, egg curd, or carrot shred in sight. Singapore noodles ($9) are brighter, full of roast pork strips, briny little shrimp, and chopped veggies in a tangle of curried noodles.


Osaka Lucky Garden is not the place to come for authentic, regional Chinese specialties; but rather for fresh sushi, flavorful Chinese-American food, and a friendly neighborhood feel.

Spicy tuna roll.Erik Jacobs for the Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

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Catherine Smart can be reached at cathjsmart@gmail.com.

Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version incorrectly listed the price of pork-fried rice. It is $7.50.