Larry La is fulfilling the classic American dream. He started with a small Chinese restaurant modestly situated a few steps down from Connecticut Avenue above Dupont Circle. City Lights of China gradually built a reputation for good cooking - fresh ingredients, clear and bold favors - as well as for genial service. Soon La was driven to expand. And to expand again. The place was an ever-growing success, and weekend diners could expect a long line for tables. La and his staff weathered the pressure well, and the service remained consistently gracious. Even more important, the cooking was always enticing. It would have been a challenge to find more crisp, juicy or carefully carved Peking duck. Eggplant developed a whole new generation of admirers once news of City Lights' garlic-sauced version spread.