Finding very good Chinese cuisine on Long Island requires the persistence and nosiness of Jake Gittes. There are a lot of trails leading nowhere except to local takeout. But here are three restaurants definitely worth the pursuit.
THE ORIENT, 623 Hicksville Rd., Bethpage; 516-822-1010
Service can be erratic, even chaotic. But if you know what you want and ask enough questions, it can be the top Chinese restaurant in either Nassau or Suffolk. Some favorites: fried chicken with roasted garlic; shrimp with walnuts and mayo sauce.
HUNAN TASTE, 3 Northern Blvd., Greenvale; 516-621-6616
This Greenvale evergreen delivers good flavors and service in a pleasant setting. Notable dishes: Sichuan wontons, tangerine chicken, lobster Cantonese, shredded beef with carrots and celery.
FORTUNE WHEEL, 3601 Hempstead Tpke., Levittown
The dim sum lunch highlights the selections at Fortune Wheel, a mainstay that also prepares first-rate fried whole flounder and lobster any style. Recommendations include steamed or baked roast pork buns, steamed shrimp dumplings, and pork and shrimp dumplings.