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Goin' Solo: Chinese

NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 04:32 PM

i figure Christmas day is the best time to try one of the chinese places outside of LA thats everyone raves about. To all of those in the know...which is a good one to go to alone??

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  1. ipsedixit RE: NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 05:18 PM

    How do you figure that Xmas day is a good day to try "one of the chinese places outside of LA that everyone raves about"?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Reeter1 RE: ipsedixit Dec 12, 2006 05:22 PM

      Yeah, bad news for ya NYC -- the restaurants in the SGV will be packed. Us Chinese don't want to cook on Christmas Day! Go early though and you'll beat the crowds trying to drag their kids away from all the new toys...

      As for going alone: ANY good restaurant is fine alone. But why would you bother? How much can you order alone? The whole point of eating Chinese is to go with a crowd and order 10 dishes! I'd start recruiting everyone you know now. You ought to be able to scare up 5 more diners in the next two weeks.

    2. c
      cfylong RE: NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 05:46 PM

      Second Reeter1--Chinese restaurants cater generally to families, with dishes to be shared family-style. It may feel a little awkward to dine alone in a large authentic Chinese restaurant, as there are no real dinner plates with a set meat, carb, veggie(as in Chinese American restaurants)--other than a topping on top of rice, which is really a quick fix, not a "real" dinner. Anyways, most will be open on Christmas Day--Triumphal Palace, Sea Harbour, Capital, etc., but you will miss the point of Chinese dining as you sit alone with one dish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cfylong
        ipsedixit RE: cfylong Dec 12, 2006 05:50 PM

        I think this presumes the OP is talking about banquet type places to try, which may or may not be the case.

        There are Chinese places that can be very suitable for solo diners, such as Taiwanese street-food type joints (e.g., SinBaLa, QQ, My Way Deli) or noodle and dumpling shops (e.g. Dumpling House, Mei Long Village, Dumpling 10053), to name a few.

      2. a
        AquaW RE: NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 05:56 PM

        For a solo diner, HK-style cafes are probably your best bet for a Christmas dinner that doesn't involve dutching (or dogging bagging) a lot family-sized dishes. But be forewarned that many dishes are probably not authentically Chinese, and do anticipate crowds there too.


        1. purplescout RE: NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 06:43 PM

          If you're looking for one of the cafe-type places, I'd suggest Mandarin Deli. Yummy dumplings, tofu salad, cucumber salad, homemade noodles. I adore the stewed pig's feet, but I realize those might not be to everyone's taste.

          1. r
            ricepad RE: NYCnowLA Dec 12, 2006 09:29 PM

            Chinese restaurants are going to be crowded on Christmas Day, and they may not be well-equipped to handle a single diner. It may be the one day where they'll get hammered with large groups more than any other day, owing to the fact that Chinese (at least in America) seem to have developed the tradition of taking the whole family out on Christmas. I don't know why, I don't understand it, I just make sure I'm ready when Mom calls and says, "let's go!"

            1 Reply
            1. re: ricepad
              Nicole RE: ricepad Dec 13, 2006 01:09 AM

              This may be a New York thing, but Jews also go out for Chinese food on Christmas! A longstanding Jewish-American tradition. :)

            2. w
              WBGuy RE: NYCnowLA Dec 13, 2006 12:10 AM

              Here are some other good dining places where you won't feel out of place dining solo:

              Eight Cafe
              U2 Cafe
              Heavy Noodling
              Dumpling 10053

              1. n
                NYCnowLA RE: NYCnowLA Dec 13, 2006 03:42 AM

                Nicole- you got it! That was what i would do with my family in nyc and since i just moved here i thought i would give it a try.

                As far as getting a group together...if i knew any people in LA, i'd probably have something to do! The only people i know are from work and they are all going out of town. it's tough moving to a new place alone and not knowing anybody, especially around the holidays.

                2 Replies
                1. re: NYCnowLA
                  Reeter1 RE: NYCnowLA Dec 13, 2006 04:05 AM

                  If you put out a Chowhound call for a place and a time on Christmas Day, you might be able to scare up a mixed bag of strangers here who ALL like to eat Chinese! I, for one, would be up for a midday adventure. My sons go to their father's house at noon and I don't have to be at my family's annual Xmas day feast until 6 p.m. (You should make the call on a separate post)

                  I know two feasts in one day is excessive....but we are Chowhounds after all!

                  1. re: NYCnowLA
                    choctastic RE: NYCnowLA Dec 13, 2006 04:11 AM

                    there' s a group not affiliated w/ chowhound but has tons of chowhounders on it called SCARF-So_Cal_Assoc_of_Radical_Foodies on yahoogroups. you'll probably geta bunch of responses to this query.

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