Health Conscious Chinese
My mother recently found out she was diabetic and has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. She is visiting this weekend from SF. My parents ONLY eat Chinese food. Where can I take my mom without depressing her? They like real authentic Chinese food. My mom loves Heavy Noodling. My father and her do not like any dim sum down here, its not to their liking. I don't want to take her some place and make her depressed or step on any toes. I was thinking Din Tai Fung for a meal. Any suggestions?
I would definitely suggest DTF, most of their items there are 'steamed' type dumplings. So you miss the heavy sauce items. I've been there tons of times and LOVE it. If you order any of their shanghai style noodles or rice cakes, you can always ask them to ease on the sauce and MSG. My mom is very health conscious and my dad is diabetic, which seems to pretty common among Chinese. When we eat out, we always ask em no msg and any type of sauce on the side, we then proceed to sometimes 'wash' our food a bit w/ the tea or wipe some of the excess sauce off on a napkin.
Happy Family in Rowland and MP are both good, but since they vegetarian geared some of the dishes can be saucy.
When I was dieting and wanted 'light' chinese food, I went to DTF. Food is prepared very... intricately. If you notice the steamed veggie and meat dumplings, the meat and veggies are chopped so fine!
Definitely steer them to DTF, I mean there's only like 1 in America and it's in Arcadia.
Here's another thought on the subject. There are a couple of semi-authentic Chinese restaurants on the Westside that cater to a combination of Chinese clientele, and, uh, well, Westsiders. For example, Hop Li (at least the new one on Santa Monica Bl.) has chicken dumplings instead of pork dumplings. Maybe you could try Hop Li or VIP Harbor Seafood with this in mind.
dunno if this would work, but thought i'd throw it out there:
Happy Family in monterey park
(i hear they have new, fancier digs)
as you know, most chinese food allows for a lot of animal fat to sneak into the dish which would wreck havok with her cardiovascular issues.
at Happy Family you can be SURE that no animal fat is used in preparing the food.
it is easy to avoid the dishes that have sweet sauces, or eggs, would be harder to avoid the sodium.
My parents are health conscious, so they always tell Chinese waiters to lay off the MSG and "boil," not sautee, the vegetables. They never order fried foods, and if they order something with either the fried or fresh option, they'd go for the latter (e.g. crab). They also go often to Din Tai Fung, so that might indicate it's a considerable option for your parents. Their chicken soup is made with organic chicken (so it's a bit smaller), and you can order it with or without noodles. You say your parents aren't into dim sum, however -- but DTF specializes in various forms of dumplings. It could be different from their usual perception of dim sum found in LA because DTF originated in Taiwan.
Only problem is that there's nothing authentic about Chi Dynasty, which I find puzzling since they are allegedly headquartered in Taipei. My mom was on a diabetic diet for the last couple decades of her life, and we found that most larger Chinese restaurants in Chinatown/San Gabriel Valley were willing to accommodate her dietary requests (e.g., no salt, MSG or sugar), subject to dishes having been prepared partly in advance. You might try checking in advance with the places you regularly frequent.
Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz is really good about diet restrictions -- they have a shrimp and egg dish made with egg whites, their chicken soup is extreamly healthy (with or without the won-tons). Since there's so many actors in the neighborhood, they're used to dealing with people on diets --
Now this place is good, it's not great -- but since it's convenient and the only decent place around, we go here a lot (it's on the pricy side).