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Best Chinese food restaurant in LA area?
02-08-2012, 09:47 AM
Post: #1
Best Chinese food restaurant in LA area?
I grew up going to restaurants in SF's China town. Just move to So. Cal from TX where the chinese food is so-so. I have a hankering for something that would be as good as a SF restaurant? I've heard there are some good places around. If ya'll that know or llive around here :rolleyes:have some suggestions, I would apreciate it!
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10-11-2013, 12:56 AM (This post was last modified: 10-11-2013 01:08 AM by SpaceCadet.)
Post: #2
RE: Best Chinese food restaurant in LA area?
(02-08-2012 09:47 AM)deliadever Wrote:  I grew up going to restaurants in SF's China town. Just move to So. Cal from TX where the chinese food is so-so. I have a hankering for something that would be as good as a SF restaurant? I've heard there are some good places around. If ya'll that know or llive around here :rolleyes:have some suggestions, I would apreciate it!

DD, your post is almost a full two years old but I was surfing here, nobody's replied, and I've got some info, so...

Try "Mayflower" - it's a block east of Broadway and a couple blocks north of Sunset. Their service is peevish and absolutely horrible, but the food is great. Try the "special shrimp" or the fried fish (the whole thing on a plate, including an accusing eye, staring straight at you.)

Another is a really seedy-looking place called Kim Chuy, right across the hall from the big Wing Hop Fung store in the similarly-big red building at 727 Broadway. I'm not an expert on Chinese food but my significant other introduced me to this place (Mayflower too,) and she's part Chinese, part Thai and a stunning cook in her own right, so I trust her judgment. Anyhow, Kim Chuy serves up "Teochow" style Chinese food in an atmosphere that's half Chinese and half classic greasy-spoon diner. No, literally - you should check the spoons before you use them. I never really dare to use the Bakelite chopsticks they have in the round service things in the booths either, because they always look a little wet - like they've just been washed but with dubious effectiveness.

The food is well worth the lowbrow surroundings though - they have a serious talent for noodles, and there's a shrimp-and-crab cake dish among the appetizers that's served up with a sauce that has the power to transport you to some mossy temple in ancient China. I kid you not - close your eyes, take a bite and you will see wushu guys chasing each other across rooftops in flowing robes and flashing swords, generally thumbing their noses at gravity, while birds of paradise and the occasional itinerant dragon soar lazily above them in a light mist. 'Seems that way to me anyway - YMMV.

A third one (and final - I will shut up after this,) is a place I went with a Thai group for a birthday party a couple months ago: Hop Li Seafood Restaurant at 526 Alpine. Maybe it was because of the birthday and (I think) one of our party being friends with the proprietor, but their multi-course family dinner was both excellent and endless. I would recommend virtually anything on the menu, because I think we ate it all and all of it rocked. 'Have to go back to this place. Oyeah, if you try Hop Li do not freak at the apparent lack of parking - there's a small lot directly across the street that they own, but whose sign is easy to miss. (Which means there's usually spaces left in it.)

You've likely been to all of these by now, but if not - enjoy.

Bonus tip: If you crave Thai, my two faves are Palms Thai (the place with the Thai Elvis- who's actually pretty good,) and Mae Ploy.

Palms is on Hollywood Blvd a block west of the 101 freeway, on the ground floor of a big self-storage facility - parking inside the building with entrance on the east edifice. Their soups are all primo, and Elvis takes the stage at about 9pm. Try their duck curry - one of the most ridiculously-delicious things I've ever tasted in my life.

Mae Ploy used to be a hole-in-the-wall on Sunset between Rampart and Benton, but has food good enough to have allowed it to grow in both popularity and size - into sort of a Silver Lake hipster hangout. If you can deal with all the fedoras, their food is always fresh and you can specify the spice level - always a nice choice. I recommend their Pad Keemao (a.k.a. Drunken Noodles,) and they make a good pineapple fried rice - both of which are best with shrimp.

Cheers!

"Waiter...can you stop that noise? What you call 'music.' It sounds like dirty water. How can they eat food - and listen to ****?"
- Sabina (Lena Olin) in The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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