Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout: From YouTube to Take-Out
Creative Commons: Mykl Roventine
The internet has allowed for the dissemination of stupidity at a rate greater than anyone could have imagined. Witness (now ex-) UCLA student Alexandra Wallace. Her rant, ostensibly about Asians talking on cell phones in the library but touching on subjects as questionably diverse as the closeness of Asian families and the recent tsunami in Japan, got more than a million hits on YouTube and tons of news coverage. The video also hit on another internet-age phenomenon: the parody response video. Hundreds of people, students and otherwise, posted their own take on the original rant, whether in the form of straightforward satire or dubstep remix.
Continuing to fight racism with humor -- and continuing the spirit of all of those parodies -- is Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout, a Chinese food delivery service formed by the partnership of The Palace Restaurant in Brentwood and the students behind UCLA Munchies.
In one of the most ridiculous (and most-mocked) lines from the original video, Ms. Wallace imitates some unnamed Asian language by pretending to talk into her phone. She presses it to her cheek and screeches "Ooh, Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong, Ooh!" This debacle turned into a symbol for the whole video, and something of a rallying cry for responders and humorists, so it's a serious attention-grabbing name for UCLA students.
The partnership came about when Rachel Lee, owner of The Palace, heard about UCLA Munchies, a service run by four students who delivered snacks like burritos and ramen to the dorms into the wee hours of the morning. Sensing an opportunity to better serve the local community -- and expand her business -- Ms. Lee contacted the UCLA Munchies team for some consulting work. And so, Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout was born. At first, says Ms. Lee, she had some reservations about the name, but after Daniel Chen and Kedar Iyer of UCLA Munchies reassured her that it was an acceptable joke she was on board.
The delivery menu is a condensed and student-friendly (read: cheaper) version of The Palace's full menu, with entrees like Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, and plenty of vegetarian options like Vegetable Curry and Ma-Po Tofu. Standouts include the Chicken Chow Mein and the soon-to-be-added special French-style Beef. The same chefs who cook at The Palace do the cooking for deliveries, and they are all from Hong Kong and traditionally trained, hence the gourmet part of the name. Their training shows, and though there are plenty of solid options for delivery in Westwood, Ching Chong/The Palace stands out.
The service is new, though, so there are still some kinks to work out. There is a menu to refine, word to spread, and traffic to negotiate. If it works according to plan, Ms. Lee intends to include more menu items and set up special days where she may add, for example, BBQ sandwiches from another of her restaurants (this one in Manhattan Beach) or Japanese specialties from her spot in Irvine.
Daniel and Kedar, for their part, are looking to expand their consulting business and partner with more Westwood-adjacent eateries. Tracy Morgan's Effeminate Man Kabobs, anyone?