Judging from the reported crowds at Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen, you may have already visited this latest addition to Charleston's Cantonese scene. But if you haven't yet made your way to 218 President St., what awaits is a line-up of Chinese-American classics and cultured cocktails that are drawing early praise from Post and Courier readers.

Restaurateur Karalee Nielsen Fallert recruited her old friend and former boss, Lily Lei, to take charge of the kitchen. Lei, who grew up in Taiwan, "has a deftness with the way she cooks," Fallert said before the restaurant's January opening.

Lei's crew of cooks relocated from Seattle to make Lee Lee's cashew chicken, mu shu tofu, walnut shrimp and ginger beef.

Lee Lee's is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 822-5337 or visit leeleeshotkitchen.com.

Hanna Raskin