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Good Chinese food in Huntington Beach area?

I've been disappointed with the Chinese restaurants in Huntington Beach so far and would appreciate some good recs in HB or neighboring cities. In HB, I've been to Lotus, Kung Pao, Gong's, Great Wok and all have been underwhelming! Thanks in advance!

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  1. One reason why there's nothing good in Huntington Beach is its relative proximity to Westminster. This is kind of like why there's a void in north Orange County, since people can go over the hill to Rowland Heights and have a plethora of choices. Even though Westminster is known for its array of Vietnamese food, there is a close bond between Vietnamese food and Chinese food, and accordingly there are many good Chinese restaurants in Westminster. Seafood Paradise, Dragon Phoenix, Kimsu, Seafood City and Canton Restaurant are some of the good Chinese restaurants in that area.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      Gotta disagree on Dragon Phoenix. Just went this week after a years-long absence, and the lunchtime dim sum was horrific. Five items tried, five items lousy. We got the check, and won't be back anytime soon.

      1. re: Professor Salt

        It had been awhile since I had been to Dragon Phoenix, maybe at least a year now, but the dim sum seemed to be on a steady decline since previous visits, with less offerings and the dropping quality. Given that the parking situation in that shopping area is always a nightmare, I haven't felt any urge to go back.

        Even had some disappointments in some of the Irvine restaurants, even at China Garden, which is considered among the best dim sum in OC.

        1. re: Wonginator

          China Garden is still the best in OC, hands down. I'll agree they have some so-so things on the dim sum carts & the menu. Who doesn't?

          But my Dragon Phoenix visit was inexcusably bad. Awkward, pasty dumplings that look like they were made by home ec students from the local high school. They're coasting on an old reputation and backsliding horribly.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            Dragon Phoenix is absolutely horrid. I'm sorry that you had to experience it. I enjoy Seafood Paradise much more than China Garden although I find China Garden servicable.

            1. re: JAB

              Agreed...Dragon Phoenix is one of the worst places in the world. I used to be fan on Seafood Cove...across the street from Seafood Paradise, but the chef and most of the staff picked up and went to Seafood Paradise a few years back.

    2. Kung Pao on Edinger/Golden West and Great Wok in the Huntington Harbor Mall are a couple of my FAVORITE Mandarin-style chinese restaurants in HB and serve great spicy and hot food. Gongs on Warner/Goldenwest is a decades-old HB favorite and even has two locations. It's a 60's Cantonese-style throwback----with big yellow vinyl booths and atmosphere. What SPECIFICALLY did you find disappointing at these places because I couldn't disagree with you more!

      7 Replies
      1. re: HBfoodie

        While I don't think Kung Pao is in league with anything you'd find in SGV, I think their hot and sour soup is very good; even worth a special trip from Long Beach.

        1. re: Mrs Fang

          Thanks for reminding me of their wonderful hot and sour soup. Its lunchtime and I will now head over there and have some. Their lunch specials are a bargain and they have a HUGE selection! I also like that, despite its name (which they should change), its a very large and elegant restaurant with a beautiful interior and spacious comfortable tables and booths---something that I rarely find at Chinese/Vietnamese restaurants in nearby Westminster.

        2. re: HBfoodie

          I made a little mistake because the restaurant that I enjoy is Kung Pao Bowl----not Kung Pao, which is another restuarant in HB on Warner Ave. Its on Golden West Edinger and is terrific. They should change their name because it sounds like a fast-food type of place, which it isn't since its a large and elegant restaurant.

          1. re: HBfoodie

            The only good thing about Great Wok in the HH mall is that they deliver. I gave up on their grease laden food years ago. Gong's is good for old-fashioned American style Cantonese - the stuff of our childhood. There's a place on Edinger and Goldenwest, on the Edinger side of the Home Expo center, where I've had a couple of good lunches. Can't recall the name, though.

            1. re: CynD

              Kung Pao Bowl is the place on Edinger and GW I mentioned. I've been impressed the couple of times I've been there. For any of you venturing to HB for Chinese food, just remember: this is not the SGV.

              1. re: CynD

                May I suggest that you give Great Wok in the Huntington Harbor Mall a try again if you haven't been there in years? I went today for lunch and didn't find things greasy. My Kung Pao Beef was delightful, along with the corn soup, fried wonton, egg roll, bowl of rice, and tea & cookies that came with it---all for only $5.45. My only slight complaint would be that they chop their onions and green peppers into larger chunks than places like Kung Pao Bowl, but their lunch prices are all $1-2 cheaper (Of 27 different items offered for lunch , 17 are $5.45 or less). And yes, they still deliver.

              2. re: HBfoodie

                Oh man! You got to try the Walnut shrimp at Kung pao Bowl on edinger/golden west. The walnut shrimp is so so so good, and the Filet Mignon French Style . These two items are the best. You will come back for it. Talking about it, i want it now, i am going over there to eat now.

              3. Drive over to Fountain Valley, and check out Wei's on Warner, or Mandarin on Brookhurst. I tried Mandarin last week for the first time, and a couple of stand-out dishes were the beef & broccoli, and the scallops with garlic sauce.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Wonginator

                  I heard that the founders of Wei's sold the restaurant to the waiters and left the country. Is this true? Has it affected the food?

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    I hadn't really noticed any drop in the quality of the food. It seems like they've had the same older lady waitresses as before. Last couple of times I went on weeknights, it was as crowded as ever, as I usually had to wait at least 10 minutes before being able to get a table.

                    If there was an ownership change, it didn't greatly affect them.

                  2. re: Wonginator

                    Wei's (17046 Magnolia St ) is the BEST, #1, decent prices, the top! As a long time Chinese food fan 40+ yrs, from CA to Canada I've been to most of them. LA, San Fran, Vancouver, china towns? I've never had even 1 single thing taste even slightly bad at Wei’s. I mention this against my better judgment, as the crowds can keep you waiting to get in, but they're across from Sport Authority off Warner, Magnolia & the 405. Yes China Gate's good, so is Yen Chings ( 574 S Glassell St.) in Orange, North of 22. I've never had 1 bad thing @ these, either but some how Wei's is just something more.
                    I was there Jan. 07. On the founders selling, yes, to the staff, who have been long time co-workers and Terry, prior owner still waits tables some nights. Ask for Charles, too. They've been there 15 + yrs. They've added Orange Chicken; which if you've had their Black Bean chicken you'll find it to be equally fresh & flavor full.
                    Other tasty dishes= Sizzling Rice Shrimp, Walnut Shrimp (uses Mayo, but worth it), Shrimp balls (order 24 hr’s in advance), They’re closed Mondays.

                  3. The dishes I've had at most of these restaurants have been overly greasy. You keep touting decor, but for me it's all about what comes out of the kitchen. Living in the SGV for so long has spoiled me!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: SoCal Foodie

                      I have to agree with SoCal Foodie about the lack of quality Chinese restaurants in HB and other cuisines to say the least. When I need my Chinese food fix I go to Seafood Paradise or Seafood World in Westminster. HB just isn't a food mecca.

                      1. re: SoCal Foodie

                        Greasy?!---Please be more specific as to what you ordered and where. Westminster is HB's border-city and only minutes away, which makes it so extra nice to live and eat in Surf City. I also highly recommend Red Pearl Kitchen and Bodhi Tree for chinese food in downtown HB along with the new East Wing Asian Cuisine on Edinger/Golden West. Pei Wei's Asian Diner is soon to open in the new Bella Terra Center on Beach/Edinger and I look forward to that.

                      2. There were too many grease ladened dishes to mention and I have sinced moved on and enjoying Chinese cuisine outside of HB. You mentioned that you would highly recommend Red Pearl Kitchen, Bodhi Tree, and East Wing Asian so please give us chowhounders a review of what dishes wowed you.

                        1. How can you have "moved on" from trying chinese places in HB since YOU were the person who STARTED this post asking for suggestions in HB and nearby areas?! Anyway, East Winds Asian Cuisine is a new place on Edinger/Golden West (in the Toys R Us center) that has received a rave review in the OC Weekly. It is owned by the son of the owner of Great Wok. He has created a hipper flashier restaurant (with a great bar) that may be my new favorite in all of HB. I've only had a couple of their 36 lunch special offerings----the Honey Walnut Shrimp and Garlic Szechwan Beef, which were fabulous. Lunches go from $4.95 to $6.95 and come with egg roll, fried wonton, choice of rice (no soup like mommie & daddie's Great Wok lunches). Its right across the street from another favorite, Kung Pao Bowl (in the Home Expo center).
                          The next two places that I recommended are in downtown HB and both are hip upscale places that maybe people who don't like HB's more traditional chinese restaurants would enjoy, like Red Pearl which is very popular and has people lining up to this very trendy nightspot (a Hollywood location is supposed to open soon). I went there after a newspaper review said that it was doing dishes better than PF Chang's. Its a fusion of SE Asian with sushi and other styles of asian cooking. I had the Stir-Fried Beef that included onions, baby corn, asparagas, & mushrooms in a dark sauce. The persons next to me had a dish that they raved about called Chinese Five-Spice Pork along with Vietnamese-style spring rolls and pork dumplings. The reason why Red Pearl isn't among my top favorites is because I'm not what I call a "hipster food-snob", and prefer places that are less costly than Red Pearl and provide larger portions and more spacious seating.
                          Bodhi Tree is another popular downtown asian restaurant and its strictly vegetarian (its won an award for being the most healthy dining in all of OC). I have only been here once and enjoyed a fabulous Chicken Salad (made of tofu) that was piled with crunchy wonton noodles on top of a huge bed of cabbage and topped with an extra amount of delicious Thai peanut dressing.
                          To sum it all up, for taste, price, selection, seating & dining decor, my favorite chinese places in HB are Kung Pao Bowl, East Winds Asian Cuisine, and Great Wok.

                          1. It's true that the founders of Wei's sold the place. My parents have known them for 20 years... the family just got burnt out after running the place for over 15 years. They didn't leave the country though (when you work so hard to prosper in America, you don't leave). I've been back there since, and the food definitely is not the same.

                            Mandarin Restaurant in Fountain Valley is decent, but it's inconsistent. Some nights, you can tell the head chef didn't come in. Plus, there are certain dishes that are good, but some dishes that you just should not try. Their honey walnut shrimp is amazing.

                            One place that has always served good traditional Chinese food is Peking Restaurant on Westminster and Newland, in the same center as Seafood Paradise. They are Northern style, so they specialize in noodles and dumplings. They have a variety of homemade dumplings that are delicious... you can even get bags of raw dumplings to take home and freeze. Their hand-carved or hand-stretched noodles are also delicious, either in soup or stir fried. Speaking of which, many of their stir-fry dishes are delicious. The restaurant has been there as long as I can remember, and neither the food nor the decor has really changed. And they give free hot and sour soup with every meal... it's delicious! Definitely try this place out.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jeffson

                              I used to frequent Mandarin with a friend who is Taiwanese. He told me that it is owned by one of the principles in the tech firm Kingston Technology and it is partly a way for him to have a private dining room(which is upstairs). Maybe it helps if you know the manager and are Chinese, but we never had a bad anythng there, and this averaged once every other week four 4 or 5 years. Haven't been back in 2 years +, but hope it's still great. We would also to go to Wei's and I'm sad if it has gone south a bit.

                            2. Here's another suggestion: Sea Siam, a Thai restaurant at Edinger & Bolsa Chica, has some decidedly Chinese (or at least Chinese sounding) items on their menu. I've been happy with the Thai items I've had there, so you might be pleasantly surprised with the Chinese items. It's worth a try.

                              1. I was craving Orange Chicken last night and found your website after searching through 25 pages of sites. I now know I am not the only one in Huntington Beach looking for a good Chinese restaurant. I agreed with many that Seafood Paradise is a great restaurant. It's been my favorite for years but I didn't feel like driving that far last night and was looking for a good restaurant nearby. Thanks for all the suggestions. But I have a few questions of my own now. Which of the good HB Restaurants do not use MSG or will cook your meal without it? For a while Costco carried a frozen Manderine Orange Chicken with all whitemeat and was very lightly breaded (also not greasy) but they no longer carry it. It was great when I wanted Chinese food and didn't want to go out to get it. Does anyone remember the brand name and where I might get it again? I tried TJ's but they did not carry it. And finally, what does SGV stand for?
                                An old New Yorker looking for good Cantonese food like I got in Brooklyn in the 50's.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Little Wei's hasn't been the same since the original owner/chef sold the place. The guy had more than enough money and didn't need to do it anymore. But, when he sold it, the new owners converted the cuisine from Schezuan to Taiwanese style and drove away all the customers. The original owner felt so sorry about it, that he's returned and helped out a few times but you don't know when so nobody goes back there anymore. A real shame since Little Wei was one of the best Chinese places ever.

                                  1. kung pao bowl on edinger/goldernwest is the best chinese restuarant. I had tried out so many chinese restaurant in huntingbeach. I found out the Kung pao bowl is the best. Good food and good enviroment.

                                    1. I like lees lucky wok. thats at bolsa chica and heil. By the albertsons. The guys always nice and the food is dank.

                                      1. Is the OP talking about Lotus on Beach Blvd? That place is pretty good, and its the best Chinese food just in the area. Plus, it really doesn't match the other Chinese places the OP listed.

                                        The problem may have been that you ordered the same dishes at Lotus you would have ordered at the other Chinese places you listed instead of ordering Lotus' specialties. I believe they started off at Ma's before opening their own place, and you should order the Chinese Muslim dishes.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: hobbess

                                          Then, too, the OP is 4 years old.