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Joy Luck Chinese Restaurant (Closed)

3530 Foothills Rd.
Las Cruces, NM

Joy Luck Chinese Restaurant

Joy Luck can offer quite different experiences depending on the type of item you order. Las Cruces is not known for adventurous Chinese menus, and Joy Luck is no exception. A few dishes here, though, are quite good.

An outstanding item I have found is Tofu in Plum Sauce. This is a savory dish with large chunks of fried tofu, some celery, green peppers, and other vegetables, and it is one of the best Chinese dishes I have found in the Southwest. This is in spite of the fact that the tofu is inconsistent-- sometimes it will be perfectly cooked and other times soggy, bland, and the type of flavor that gives tofu a bad name. Although the generous portions of celery and carrots go well with the plum sauce, the inclusion of large amounts of onions and bell peppers is rather unfortunate. The sauce makes it all worthwhile, though, and I have never regretted this menu selection.

I would not have thought that the Vegetable Chow Fun would be anything special, but this was another very flavorful dish. This had an excellent black bean sauce, and it contained all the mixed vegetables that I wish were included in some of the other dishes.

Except for these two dishes, however, almost everything else I have tried has been disappointing. The lunch menu is full of Americanized dishes, and the items I have ordered have been forgettable.

Kung Pao Vegetables were recommended by the former owner a good vegetarian choice, but I did not care much for it. Although the Kung Pao sauce was excellent, the vegetables were lacking.

Because of my bad experiences trying to sample different items on the menu, I usually stick with the dishes I like the best. The major flaw with Joy Luck is that I do not find many items listed on the menu that look like they are traditional Chinese dishes, and the Americanized items for the most part are not done particularly well.

The Hot and Sour Soup is quite good, but is so expensive that I have almost come to the point that I do not order it. It does not come with the lunch specials, and dinners are usually so filling that a soup is unnecessary.

No MSG is used, and the restaurant is always clean. In 2006 the restaurant changed ownership and it lost the Hawaiian specials that were sometimes prepared by the previous owner. However, the cook is the same and the food seems to be the same as it was before.

Joy Luck is located on the east side of Las Cruces, east of Telshor Boulevard. Foothills Road intersects Telshor on the east side of the Mesilla Valley Mall, next to the Hilton (south of Lohman).



Cuisine: Chinese
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Tea: Jasmine (bags)
Smoking: No Smoking
Buffet: No

Most Recent Visit
Jun. 27, 2006

Number of Visits: 10+

Best Items
Tofu with Plum Sauce, Chow Fun

Special Ratings
Tofu with Plum Sauce:
Chow Fun: black bean sauce
Kung Pao Vegetables:
Hot and Sour Soup: