Amuse Bouche: Jonathan Chi

We asked the owner of Chi Dynasty Restaurants, Is Christmas your busiest day?
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Illustration by Jason Lee

Yes. One of the biggest customer bases for Chinese restaurants is the Jewish community. It’s not a myth—there is a real Christmas Day tradition for Jews of going to the movies and eating Chinese food. They bring the whole family. On Christmas here, the average table size is eight if not more.

How do you feel about being part of another culture’s tradition? 
I love it, of course. After more than 25 years, I get to see kids I knew when they were little, and now they’re grown up and bringing in their own families.

Your new branch is in Studio City, which has an even denser Jewish population than Los Feliz. Are you ready? 
We’ll have to be. We used to think Christmas was when we could take it easy, and now we know we have to prepare. We make sure we’re fully staffed. But a business like this isn’t about one night. We have to make people happy every day.

Chi Dynasty, 1813 Hillhurst Ave., Los Feliz, 323-667-3388. Also at 12229 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-753-5300.