Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Living through LuLu’s

Edison Lu describes balancing school and his family’s business, Lulu’s Seafood and Dim Sum
Vincent Hsiao
Co-owner Jerry Li stands next to his nephew Edison Lu in their family-owned restaurant LuLu’s Seafood and Dim Sum Oct. 5. The two spent nearly every day together greeting customers, serving their famous Cantonese food, and maintaining the restaurant. “The restaurant is a family business. The whole family is working together and contributing their skills to keep the restaurant alive,” Lu said.

“We don’t get days off,” Jerry Li, co-founder of the restaurant said. “Seven days a week. 80 hours.” The Li and Lu family expected nothing short of a challenge when arriving in the United States ready to begin their new life. Embodying the ‘do it yourself mentality’, the family created an environment reminiscent of their Eastern roots.

For Edison Lu (11) and his family, managing Lu Lu’s Seafood and Dim Sum is not only a job to pay the bills, but a lifestyle. The Lulu’s that is now a staple for traditional Chinese cuisine in the St. Louis area started with the Li and Lu families and their laborious trek from China to the U.S.

Edison’s two worlds, the restaurant and his home life, quickly integrated into one as his family developed the restaurant. Edison found himself utilizing virtual extracurricular courses so he could lend a helping hand when needed. While Edison’s activity schedule differed from his classmates, he had no problem spending those extra hours at Lu Lu’s, which eventually became like a second home.

“During my childhood, I spent a lot more time at the restaurant,” Lu said. “Since my parents are very busy managing, I have to be here physically most of the time.”

The highly coveted restaurant has earned an outstanding reputation by producing authentic dim sum, a food style that contains a collection of smaller dishes that are then shared amongst a group of people. However, this isn’t accomplished in a mere day’s work. Li, and his crew of chefs, waiters and other staff have been working overtime to produce the high-quality food the community knows and loves. 

“Restaurant work is tedious and most people don’t like it,” Li said. “The restaurant needs to be cleaned, the food needs to be prepared and the dishes need to be washed. It’s like taking care of a home.”

Lu Lu’s food has been beloved by the Ladue community for decades, so much so that it is now sold in local supermarkets such as Dierbergs and Schnucks. However, locals are not the only clientele. The restaurant has even become a popular destination for food enthusiasts who share a common quest for the sublime experience of indulging in Cantonese cuisine.

“Every day is a different story,” Li said. “We get all types of different customers, and you constantly meet new people.”

Upon entering the restaurant, customers’ eyes are inevitably drawn toward the large display of glimmering trophies lined neatly along a display case. One may assume that assets like these are the family’s most prized possessions. However, the true value of their hard work is far less tangible than materialistic things, such as awards and reviews, but rather lies in the pride Edison feels for his family and what they have built. 

“[Lu Lu’s is special] because my parents have put a lot of work into this,” Lu said. “I’m very happy to see that this idea and dream of theirs has come true.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Mason Eastman, Staff
Sophomore Mason Eastman is a writer on Panorama, and this is her first year staff. Mason likes to spend her time playing soccer and hanging out with friends.
Madeline Awad, Staff
Sophomore Madeline Awad is a writer on Panorama. This is her first year on staff. Madeline spends her time playing tennis and hanging out with friends.
Vincent Hsiao, Photo Editor in Chief
Sophomore Vincent Hsiao is the photography editor in chief for Panorama. He was previously a staff photographer for Ladue Publications where he significantly contributed to photos in both the Panorama newsmagazine and Rambler yearbook. Outside of photography, Hsiao is on the Ladue swim team and has been a swimmer since he was six.

Comments (0)

All Ladue Publications Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *