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Eats in LA's Chinatown

  • k

I was walking around Chinatown, had to go to the civic center so stopped by here too. anyways, i couldn't remember anything that was good there. Exept for Madarin Deli which now i had noticed had closed for good. (are other locations of it still open and as good?)

I noticed a joint named Foo Chow, brazenly stating that "a movie with hollywood stars was filmed inside here"???, is this resturant any good? or basically crap.

Also, noticed Yang Chow and have heard of it's famed slippery shrimp (what is slippery shrimp?) and also is this joint worth a visit or is it just a really busy version of a pseudo-downscale PF Chang's type of it.

Sam Woo ??? any good? for the ducks?

thanks this may help for future refernece.

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  1. Sam Woo is good, but its a chinese chain, I'd go for the Roast Pork or the Duck there.

    Won Kok has good take-out Char Sio Bao.

    sometimes it is daunting when you're just walking around

    1. The China Town Mandarin Deli is still there. The Little Tokyo location closed.

      I like Hop Li in China Town.

      1. Full House located on Hill Street is pretty good for generic Chinese; it's best to go a late weeknight as opposed to weekend - the cooking seems to be better.

        Asian Noodles isn't Chinese, it's Filipino, but the food I've had there has been very good. It's located on Spring just north of Cesar Chavez.

        I used to go to this place called Phoenix that's on the corner of Ord and the street between Broadway and Spring. It was good but haven't been there for a while.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Bon Vivant

          full house is mediocre canto-chinese, but somehow it manages to draw mountain bar drunkards at 2am like a fluorescent bulb draws moths.

        2. I can't vouch for Foo Chow's food, but the movie filmed there was Rush Hour with Jackie Chan.

          1. Yang Chow's is awful. Slippery shrimp is an Americanized version of sweet and sour shrimp. It's not authentic Chinese, like egg foo young.

            The other locations of Mandarin Deli are open.

            1. Foo Chow appears to be a combination of touristy stuff and Fuzhou specialties that you can't find anywhere else in the L.A. area.

              1. The few times I eat in Chinatown, I go to two places:

                Won Kok for Bao and noodles (House special Chow fun)

                Empress Pavillion for Dim Sum.

                Both places have parking, albeit tight, but they do have some.

                1. I may be in the minority on this board but I really like Yang Chow. The Slippery Shrimp is a cornstarch dredged, deepfried shrimp in a sweet/sour sauce with a little bit of spice. Their spicy wonton soup (listed on the house specials page and not the soup portion of the menu) has an intense spicy garlicky kick. Many laud the string beans in garlic sauce, but I prefer the eggplant. Good service -- dishes come quickly and all at once. Very crowded at lunch -- need a reservation on weekdays, usually -- especially with people from the nearby courts and other government offices. Sure, its not "authentic" like many in the SGV, but I always emerge happy and wellfed.

                  1. I don't hate Yang Chow, but I'll be damned if I'm going to wait for a table to eat there.

                    I was just at the Mandarin Deli in Chinatown, there were no signs of imminent closure -- are you sure it's gone?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      I was there not long ago and saw the place dark but thought they were just closed for the holidays? Please someone confirm they're not permanently closed? This was our C-town favorite along with Hop Li.

                      1. re: tarabell

                        the location at the Far East Plaza was definitely closed, it looked gutted in the inside, with the abestos stuff hanging from the rafters and whatnot.

                    2. Foo Chow is good for cheap lunch specials Monday-Friday.

                      1. +1 for Sam Woo. Yes, of course it is a very famous chain, and I've been to at least 4 different locations and they all do not dissapoint. Chinatown location is very good, IMO.
                        Best hot & sour soup I have tried so far. Strongly recommend spicy salt pork chops!!!

                        1. Hi-

                          I love Mandarin Chateau in Mandarin Plaza on Broadway at the North end of Chinatown. One thing I have leared in Chinatown is to order from the House Specials list. They usually do those best and cook them often so they have the most fresh ingredients. Tea smoked duck is great. Lion's head. Fish head soup!

                          Empress Pavilion is nice (but quiet) for dinner, too. They have seasonal specialties, something rare in Chinese restaurants.

                          1. LOL. "a pseudo-downscale PF Chang's" - shouldn't it be the other way around? PF Chang's is a pseudo-upscale version of chinese food...

                            the little chiu chow fish and beef ball place on broadway (in the same mall as pho 97/79, right on the street) is not too bad.

                            hoan kiem (in the same mall) supposedly has good chicken pho but i've never been there.

                            1. No Monkee's fans. Don't know if it is still there, but it was great years ago. Big fan of Mandarin Deli, there's one in Canoga Park also (or used to be). There use to be a restaurant across the way from Mandarin Deli in Chinatown, that had a sign "free Pepsi for eating customer" I always wondered how big a customer you had to eat?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LuigiOrtega

                                Mon Kee's is long gone probably a few years now. May Flower took over their location.

                              2. I like Friends Restaurant in Mandarin Plaza. It's tough to decide what to get there. I like their shrimp fried rice, pork chop vegetable rice and shanghai noodles.

                                For inexpensive lunches I've also been going to Regent Inn for their $4.25 specials.

                                1. I used to live in Chinatown for 6 years. My favorite place by far, as well as a big place for the locals, is Mayflower on Spring Street. Make sure you get the Lobster there. I've never had a dish I didn't like there.

                                  I think Empress Pavilion is way overrated. Any other Dim Sum place in C-town is less busy and offers better food... I only see radish cake at Empress about half the time.

                                  Yang Chow is seriously a downscale version of P.F. Changs, basically a trap for non-locals. You should go next door to Sam Woo for BBQ Pork. I've seen waiters at Yang Chow going next door to Sam Woo to buy a side of pork BBQ Pork.

                                  1. Zen Mei Bistro on Alpine. Good and cheap and broad menu.

                                    1. I think Empress Pavillion has the best dim sum in Chinatown but you have to go on the earlier side to get the best selection. After 1 pm the carts are fewer and further between. I didn't care much for the dim sum at Ocean Seafood or ABC Seafood (I may have their names wrong.)

                                      Remember that you can get anything from the Empress restaurant to go from the take-out place next door, not just the things on their little menu or in the cases.

                                      Hoy King has very good, cheap lunch specials. Hop Li is probably a bit better but more expensive. I didn't care for Full House or the similar one across the street (same owner, I believe.)

                                      Pho 87 on the far east (no pun intended) side of Chinatown is a great hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place. It's on Broadway, I think.

                                      Won Kok is good for dim sum to go.

                                      I've always thought Yang Chow and the slippery shrimp are a bit overrated too, and I only go there with a flock of co-workers who worship the place. It's always a decent albeit not great meal.