Looking for chinese food
I just moved back to LA and I'm looking for good, cheap ($10 a dish tops) chinese food in west LA that delivers. Any suggestions? Or just good, cheap chinese places, even if they don't deliver?
To put things diplomatically, West LA was not the best part of town to move to when it comes to Chinese food, forgetting whether you're talking about delivery or not. Besides Little Hong Kong Cafe, the only place I would recommend would be J.R. Seafood, 11901 Santa Monica Bl. Also passable would be VIP Harbor Seafood, 11701 Wilshire (but only a shadow of its former self under the previous owners) and Hop Woo, 11110 W. Olympic (some good stuff, some not so good).
1. My take out menu from Hu's Szechwan (10450 National in Palms, (310) 837-0252) says "We Deliver", although I have personally never verified this and there's a delivery charge. If you stick to the half-dozen verifiably Szechuan preparations on the menu* Hu's is not bad; you order anything else at your own risk.
(*Szechwan wonton; Bon Bon chicken; shrimp or dried beef w/Szechwan hot sauce; Yu Hsiang shrimp, chicken, pork, beef, or eggplant; Double-cooked pork; Cheng Pi beef or chicken; and(maybe) Tofu either Ma Poo Tofu or "Country Style." )
2. Hop Li, 10974 W. Pico, (310) 441-3708, is probably the best Cantonese on the west side, which would put it somewhere below the median in Alhambra--still, it'll do. They do tons of take out business but no delivery, as far as I know, however.
For more specific recommedations from Hop Li please see this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
3. If you're looking for truly cheap Americo-Chinese delivery, a place that is frequently recommended around here is Cheng Du (fka Chung King) on Pico west of Sawtelle--I haven't been in years, and never liked it much when I used to go (it was my boss's favorite place but mostly because it was so cheap), but it might be the sort of place you had in mind.
4. One more thing: you will see lots of comments on this board about how inferior westside Chinese food is to what you get anywhere in the San Gabriel Valley. These comments are absolutely correct. However, compared to the Chinese food generally available to maybe 80% of America, our west-side choices are not bad at all. (I'm from Oklahoma, and believe me, the Chinese food is better in West LA.) So I choose to accentuate the positive even though I do wish the traffic on the 10 weren't quite so bad and unpredictable.
I like Cheng Du, and have posted about it on this board. Please keep in mind that their lunch specials are very inexpensive -- under $5, a buck more for shrimp dishes -- but their dinner menu is similarly priced to the other places already mentioned above. And the main reason I recommend their lunches is their excellent hot'n'sour soup -- not included with delivery but available for $1.50 more. I must admit, however, that sometimes their dishes are loaded with too much celery as filler, especially in the shrimp with spicy garlic sauce I had last week.
Their delivery service is reliable and usually very timely. But I prefer to eat there -- the room is nice, there is parking alongside the restaurant, and service is good. Last time I was at J&R Seafood, it seemed old and frayed, in need of a paint job and new carpet.
Siam Chan, while more Thai than Chinese, is located on Santa Monica Blvd. and Colby, behind the 20/20 Video. Their dishes are very reasonably priced, their delivery service is good, and their packaging is especially fine, with cutouts on boxes for crispy dishes (mee krob) so they don't steam and wilt.