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Sep 27, 2006 08:54 PM

Best Peking Duck?

A friend wants to take an agent out to dinner.
The agent's into Peking Duck -- does she have to take him to Monterey Park or she thought she heard the best place was in Pasadena? Maybe there's a great place on Westside?

Many thanks!

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  1. mr chows in beverly hills has awesome peking duck, juicy inside/crispy skin, they bring the whole thing out ... good place for an agent...

    ...who the hell wants to schlep out to monterey park wherever that is?!

    5 Replies
    1. re: jessejames

      I hope you're kidding. Monterey Park and the surrounding cities of the San Gabriel Valley are only the places where you can find the best chinese food in this country.

      1. re: ozzygee

        not kidding.
        the peking duck at mr chows is great.
        try it and let the hounds know.
        funny that the food snobs pick SGV for duck while the non-snob picks the snobbiest place in BH...but, like i said, the duck is awesome.

        1. re: jessejames

          jessejames...nothing wrong with the peking duck at mr. chow's, but wouldn't put it at the top of my list, even when i lived in BH. as someone who comes from a chinese family, whenever i'm there for biz or as someone's guest, the chinese help always stare at me as if to say "what are doing here?"

      2. re: jessejames

        I live in Alhambra, so no big deal for me ;)

        Los Angeles magazine's Oct. issue mentioned a place in San Gabriel (I know, I know, even FURTHER out east) that has great peking duck. Will try to find that issue when I get home and post abou tit.

        1. re: jessejames

          are you being sarcastic? Because monterey park is off the 10 freeway, and you could find a terrific peking duck there that would save you more money than one at Mr. Chow. Moreover, you would get other better, more impressive Chinese foods elsewhere.

        2. Best place that I know of is in SGV at LU DIN GEE. Nice decor, good service. Call 1-hour ahead for the Peking Duck.

          LU DIN GEE
          1039 E. Valley Blvd.,
          San Gabriel
          (626) 288-0588

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            THAT's the place mentioned in LA magazine -- can't wait to try.

          2. OK, I'll throw down:

            jessejames, what other peking duck have you tried, to compare with Mr. Chow's? Any place in the SGV?

            4 Replies
            1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

              Or China or Taiwan, by chance.

              Actually, I don't think the health dept would let any restaurant, even in Beverly Hills, where I have lived my entire life, prepare a true Peking duck because of the unrefrigerated air drying.

              But the post is correct. A typical agent would blanch at a place in the SGV, and would think that Mr. Chow's is the height of Chinese cooking, or maybe that Xian place on Canon.

              1. re: Paliman

                Chinese duck is specifically exempt from CA health codes.

                1. re: Paliman

                  YEs they did and Quanjude in Rosemead consistently got a C rating. And the duck was drying unrefrigerated and the oven was open-hearth.

                  1. re: Paliman

                    According to section 114000 of the California Health and Safety Code, roast duck is exempt as long as it has not been kept out for more than four hours and only under certain conditions (

                    114000. Raw duck, that otherwise would be readily perishable, shall be exempt from the provisions of Section 113995 for a period not to exceed two hours, if the duck will subsequently be cooked at or above a temperature of 177 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 60 minutes.

                    (a) Whole Chinese-style roast duck shall be exempted from Section 113995 for a period not to exceed four hours after the duck is prepared, since the methods used to prepare these foods inhibit the growth of microorganisms that can cause food infections or food intoxications. Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede any provision of this chapter except the provisions specified in this section.

                    (b) For the purpose of this section, "Chinese-style roast duck" shall include, but is not limited to, Chinese-style barbecue duck, dry hung duck, and Peking duck. Chinese-style roast duck means duck that is prepared as follows:

                    (1) The abdominal cavity is cleaned.

                    (2) The duck is marinated.

                    (3) The cavity is closed prior to cooking.

                    (4) The duck is roasted at a temperature of 177 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) or more for at least 60 minutes.

                  1. For really good Peking Duck in an upscale but authentic restaurant, head to Harvest Inn at 550 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA. While not as nice as Mr. Chow (although I'm not sure nice is the best word to describe Mr. Chow), Harvest Inn is definitely a couple notches up from SGV places in terms of decor and service. Disclaimer: the restaurant owners are old friends of my father's.

                    Anyways, the chef is from China, via France, with extensive training in various cuisines. Their preparation is less oily and a little drier than you'd find in China and at some of these big banquet hall type restaurants in SGV, but still plenty of flavor. Also served with buns instead of wrappers.

                    And if you do go, their Shanghainese dishes are their specialties, such as Lion's Head and sauteed shrimp.