Wonton Wednesday at Pick Up Stix

You can find me eating with chopsticks at least once, maybe twice a week if not more often.  But just like many other cuisines, I sometimes get in a rut with Asian food.  The kids like Panda Express; Nicole has an affinity for PF Changs; and I enjoy a few local Thai places.  All of those are great but change is always welcome.

I was ecstatic when I was asked by Foodbuzz to do a review of Pick Up Stix*.  What a great way to try out some new Asian cuisine!  My interest in Pick Up Stix was their approach to freshly made fast food.  Their restaurants cover that space between cafeteria style — where all the dishes are made in advance and served as ordered — and places where everything is made as ordered.

It had been some time since I’d been to a Pick Up Stix, opting for more convenient locations of other chains or pressured by the kids to go to a quick-food Chinese place fronted by a black and white marsupial.  I was eager to try something new.

I started my approach by checking out the Pick Up Stix website to see what coupons and specials were available.  I quickly found out that Tuesday or Wednesday would be good nights to dine in.  Tuesdays feature a two-for-one special, offering dinner for two for $10.99.  The Wednesday special is $0.25 wontons.  My family looooooves wontons.  To sweeten the deal, I also found a “buy one entree get one free” coupon online.  With the plan all set, we headed off to dinner!

We arrived at the Torrance location around 6 PM and the place was buzzing.  There was a line at the counter but the capable staff took orders and prepared them quickly, getting folks in and out.

We arrived just after the rush!

Speaking of the staff, I have to take a moment to give a shout out to Ernie, the manager on duty.  He was the best! He was taking orders, checking on guests, and training a new cashier all without missing a beat.  When I told him I hadn’t been to Pick Up Stix in a while, he took the time to break the menu down and even offered a few samples.  I have to add that he did all of this without even knowing I was doing a review.  Nice!

Because this was supposed to be a “grand tasting” of sorts, we dove into the menu ordering kids dishes, appetizers, some entrees and even dessert.  Oh, and since we were visiting on a Wednesday, we made it rain wontons!

Kids Dishes

The kids ordered Terikayi Chicken, pitting it head to head with the same dish from King’s Hawaiian.  They were happy with it and said it might not be better than King’s, but could be a close competitor.

Along with the chicken and a generous serving of rice, The kid’s meals came with a small side of tangerine sections and a fortune cookie.  They also came with a small cup for the soda fountain.


For appetizers, we selected lettuce wraps and (of course) wontons.  The wontons were satisfying, with a golden crispy outside and a warm cream cheese center.   We came to the conclusion that the wontons were definietely better than the ones ant Panda Express but perhaps not the ones at PF Changs.

Crispy cream cheese wontons.

The lettuce wraps were a treat, especially coming from a place that one might consider “fast food”.  The requisite lettuce leaves came with a decent portion of chicken along with carrots, bean sprouts, and crispy noodles.  The appetizer was served with a sauce that elevated the dish.  Comparing the combination to PF Changs resulted in another head-to-head contest where we couldn’t choose a winner.

All the fixings for lettuce wraps.


For our main dishes we decided to select a Mongolian beef and one of Pick Up Stix’s signature dishes, Crispy Honey Chicken.

The Mongolian beef was good.  When I say its a family favorite, I should clarify that I’m not the one that usually orders it!  The texture and flavor were good but I’m just not much of a Mongolian beef person.  Nicole enjoyed the beef but was hoping for something a bit sweeter; she found the dish to be more on the savory side.  We can use this knowledge in the future, though, and have them make it a little differently since each entree is made to order.

Mongolian beef.

Our other entree, the Crispy Honey Chicken, had us all raving.  It was very toothsome with a crunchy outside and a moist, tender inside.  The flavor was not overpoweringly sweet but definitely had the essence of a sweet, fruity sauce.  This was one of the clear favorites at the table for kids and adults alike.

Crispy Honey Chicken.


As I mentioned, the kid’s meals came with fruit as a sort of dessert side item.  Our kids just nibbled at them though, knowing that something a bit more desirable was coming up.  After finishing our meal, we shared a couple brownies.  These were the only items that we ordered that were not freshly prepared.  That is, they were pre-made brownies in a plastic wrapper.  They were good, though;  a little crumbly on top and soft in the middle.  The chocolate chunks on the top and inside added some texture.

Have brownies for dessert...but eat your dinner first!

Again, I have to give kudos to Ernie, the store manager.  Nicole and I sent the kids to the counter to order the brownies and Ernie escorted them back to the table, bringing the brownies with him.  He said he wanted to make sure they had finished their dinner before that had dessert.  I like that guy’s style!

New Inspirations

Our visit to Pick Up Stix was very pleasant.  I was glad that the kids got to try something outside of their usual routine and that Nicole and I got to try some of our favorites in a different setting.  It was nice to bridge the gap between a cafeteria and a full service restaurant.  And while some might consider Pick Up Stix a fast food joint, the quality provided warrants a second opinion.  Oh, and if you happen to be dining there on a Wednesday night, you just might see us there!

Outside the Torrance Pick Up Stix.

Pick Up Stix


24231 Crenshaw Blvd., Suite A
Torrance, CA 90505

Hermosa Beach
703 Pier Avenue, Suite A
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

San Pedro
970 N. Western Avenue
San Pedro, CA 90732

*Food and beverage items mentioned in this review were provided courtesy of Foodbuzz.

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About the Author

Michael loves grilling, rum, and has a weakness for key lime pie.

5 Responses to “Wonton Wednesday at Pick Up Stix”

  1. Ooo! It’s all so….mouth watering!! and pick up stix happened to be one of my favorite childhood games. But I will NOT buy it for my children. They might stab each other. By accident, of course.

  2. Ha! yes its funny that a game and a restaurant chain share the same name. and see, you are wiser than you know. you are saving your kids from themselves! 😀

  3. Wontons are hard to resist. You just want to pop each one in your mouth…over and over and over.

  4. @The Duo – I know the feeling! But if that’s how you operate, don’t (or do?) go to Pick Up Stix on Wednesdays!! haha!