3-6-9 Oriental Bistro

In my continuing quest to find hidden gems in the restaurant-dense area of Lower Westheimer, I recently visited another "hidden in plain sight" restaurant called 3-6-9 Oriental Bistro. Located in a strip center at the intersection of Montrose and Westheimer, this classic Chinese food take-out joint is wedged in to a sliver of space between an abandoned Eckerd and a Spec's Discount Outlet.

As explained to me by the server, the "3-6-9" name refers to traditionally lucky numbers in Chinese culture. A quick search on the Internet finds that the number 3 is connected with "birth," the number 6 is considered "good for business," and the number 9 is associated with "longlasting." All that luck may be working -- 3-6-9 Oriental Bistro has been open for more than two years and, by all appearances, is doing a brisk business.

A recent visit for a mid-week late lunch found the dining room, which is nicely appointed, clean and welcoming, half full. It's a family-run business -- service is workmanlike and fast, if not overly friendly. I get the feeling if you are a regular here, you will be treated like family.

The menu is standard Szechuan cuisine with favorites like General Tso's Chicken and pepper steak. Apparently one of the signature dishes is the crispy spicy asparagus. Wine and beer are served.

I settled in for a typical Chinese restaurant lunch special -- hot & sour soup, a crispy spring roll and Szechuan Chicken for $6.45. In my one visit, I found all of the food to be above-average. Portion sizes are typically large, and you will walk out satisfied. If you're looking for a quick, inexpensive, well-prepared and filling lunch in the center of Montrose, 3-6-9 Oriental Bistro certainly fits the bill.

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