Another thing that annoys some people about Chinese restaurants is the lack of dessert options beyond ice cream, Jell-O, and canned litchis in syrup. Chang's changes that by offering American-size servings of New York-style cheesecake and "The Great Wall of Chocolate," a huge wedge of chocolate-frosted, chocolate-chip-studded chocolate cake pooled in raspberry sauce. "You didn't tell us it was going to be this big," one of my dinner guests joked to the waitress. "Well," she replied with a knowing smile, "I did say it was six layers." She had us there.
Banana spring rolls were more rationally portioned, but with a plentiful bowl of coconut-pineapple ice cream centering the six petite packets of fried phyllo-wrapped bananas, it was still prodigious enough for sharing. Desserts run from $5.95 to $6.95, which is less than other places in town charge for smaller, duller sweets. Chang's prices don't qualify as Chinatown cheap, but appetizers are under $8 and most main courses range from $9 to $15 (none exceeds $19). A California-dominant wine selection is affordably marked as well, with dozens of bottles costing less than $40 (and all wines are available by the glass).
Fortune cookies close the meal didn't think Chang's could get away without serving these, did you? I'd like to say the little white strip of paper read: "Authenticity is overrated." Or: "Hey, yous, cut the cat jokes or else!" But it just complimented me on being a generous person.