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Looking for quality chinese food?

hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 01:22 PM

I would like to go to a good chinese restuarant somewhere between Santa Monica and Downtown, preferably near(Beverly Hills/West Hollywood-Beverly Blvd.. 3rd St. Melrose.
I want quality ingredients (don't want a cheap owner), (no msg and not too much salt and soy to cover up the cheap ingredients). I feel I may be asking for too much...

Any suggestions???

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  1. v
    voodoochild RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 01:36 PM

    You are asking too much, sorry to break it to you. LOL. I live in Santa Monica, and for good Chinese the closest place I go is Mandarin Chateau in Chinatown. Mandarin Chateau is the real deal though, they've got awesome Shanghi style food.

    3 Replies
    1. re: voodoochild
      hazelnutty RE: voodoochild Apr 18, 2007 01:44 PM

      Thanks. Any dish you would recommend?

      1. re: hazelnutty
        revets2 RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 02:59 PM

        was there last night. first time in a long time. pretty good.

        peking duck...good very little fat...would like the scallions shredded, though.
        lions head meatballs
        XLB, not bad
        jellyfish...very good
        shrimp two ways...spicy and not spicy...a little saucey for me
        shanghai style rice cake...very, very good!

        make sure to have about 6 people to really enjoy.

        as for the westside, uh, no.

        1. re: hazelnutty
          voodoochild RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 03:25 PM

          Rice cake is very good and not something you can get everywhere--I agree with Revets2.

          They have a fried fish dish (small pieces of fish fried in a thick batter) and served with a black vinegar sauce that's fabulous. I'm so sorry I don't know the name but I have a Taiwanese boyfriend who orders in Mandarian. :)

          The salt-and-pepper shrimp is good. You can also get the kung pao chicken on top of noodles and they'll serve it with a side of broth so you can make your own soup. Ask for the almond jello for dessert instead of crappy fortune cookies.

          They have a nice cold cut plate that includes the jellyfish and cold chicken, pork, etc. It's a nice appetizer.

          If you're willing to go to SGV, I highly suggest Mandarin Noodle House off the Atlantic Exit on the 10 (south on Atlantic, Left on Garvey, its the bright orange tile building on your left one block up). Great beef soup w/ glass noodle and pan fried dumplings. It's a lunchtime kind of place.

      2. raytamsgv RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 02:03 PM

        I don't know of any in that area, but you can always ask them to use less oil, soy sauce, or salt. They should be able to do that without a problem unless you are ordering something fried.

        1. a_and_w RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 02:27 PM

          It's thoroughly Americanized, but Chang's on San Vicente is the best I've found on the West side so far. Excellent produce in the veggie dishes like sauteed green beans with garlic...

          1. k
            kinipela RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 02:38 PM

            gosh... i'm not sure if you're looking for authentic chinese of americanized chinese...

            if you want americanized chinese there's always panda inn by westside pavillion... it's not great, but passable...

            there's vip harbor restaurant and california wok (it's a hole in the wall but has chandeliers inside.. ahhaha) which are decent... i don't know abotu too too much salt though... then there's empress pavillion in chinatown.. which i've actually always wanted to go to, but for some reason it's always packed for dim sum...

            maybe you should serach for a pf changs in that area??? i'm not a fan of pf changs, but it may be what you are looking for?

            1. s
              sidwich RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 02:53 PM

              The only place I think is decent on the Westside is Hop Woo at Sepulveda and Olympic. Otherwise, my family and I take the hike to Monterey Park/SGV.

              8 Replies
              1. re: sidwich
                kinipela RE: sidwich Apr 18, 2007 03:02 PM

                YES!!! i agree to monterey park/SGV... i wanted to post that, but i wasn't too sure if that was too far... but the chinese food out there is amazing!!!! you really can't go wrong...

                1. re: kinipela
                  hazelnutty RE: kinipela Apr 18, 2007 03:56 PM

                  It sounds like I'll have to go for a drive to SGV. I just wanted something kinda of walking distance...most of my favs I can pretty much walk to (sushi, indian food etc...but not chinese). Thanks you've all been really helpful. This is my first time posting a topic. I'll keep searching locally though.

                  1. re: hazelnutty
                    voodoochild RE: hazelnutty Apr 18, 2007 04:05 PM

                    All kinds of Japanese on the Westside, but not much as far as Chinese goes. One thought though--Little Hong Kong Cafe on Sawtelle is okay for lunch specials and that type of thing. It's not a noodle place though--stay away from the noodles.

                    1. re: voodoochild
                      Cinnamon RE: voodoochild Apr 21, 2007 08:32 AM

                      What Japanese on the west side do you speak of? (Anything good that's not 'sushi'?

                      1. re: Cinnamon
                        Das Ubergeek RE: Cinnamon Apr 21, 2007 11:17 AM

                        Pretty much the entire stretch of Sawtelle from SM to Olympic, and there's also a Santouka (FANTASTIC shio ramen) in the Mitsuwa food court in Mar Vista. Manpuku (a Japanese take on Korean BBQ), 2112 (western food gone Japanese -- you have to read the menu to understand), there's a curry house there that's not bad, and a noodle shop (Yashima?) in the Olympic Collection.

                    2. re: hazelnutty
                      Das Ubergeek RE: hazelnutty Apr 21, 2007 07:34 AM

                      Yeah, I don't understand why the dearth of great Chinese food on the Westside (and, with a couple of exceptions, in the Valley)... it's not like there aren't Chinese people on the Westside to support it.... but there is absolutely no quality Chinese west of Melrose and Hobart (where BBQ Unlimited #2 is). Hop Woo is probably the best of the worst out there.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek
                        TravelJack RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 21, 2007 11:17 AM

                        problem is not enough people will eat the authentic stuff. chinese restaurants on the westside need to cater to the american taste pallet to get the most business they can, instead of catering to a limited number of people.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                          bulavinaka RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 21, 2007 11:43 PM

                          I think alot of it has to do with momentum as well. SGV has turned into the juggernaut for the various Chinese communities. Why stray away from the mothership when you can open up your jook place in Alhambra? There's no way a jook joint would last a week in the Westside. As there are many Chinese food fanatics from the Westside who make the journey along the 10 to explore the multitudes of places that offer a zillion takes on this cuisine, the overhead, the lack of cultural necessities and amenities, and the lack of a large core Chinese customer base as well as no readily available Chinese immigrant pool of labor is what kills the chances of getting a solid list of great Chinese eateries together. I can't see a group of workers who just immigrated from China, are making minimum wage (if that) and have no wheels making it out to West LA from SGV to work at a dim sum palace...

                  2. r
                    robwein RE: hazelnutty Apr 21, 2007 11:07 AM

                    You can't go wrong at the Kung Pao China Bistro on Santa Monica Blvd in W, Hollywood.
                    I've been going to the one in Studio City for years. They just added some new dishes I'll try tonight.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: robwein
                      TravelJack RE: robwein Apr 22, 2007 02:26 AM

                      i hope you are not talking about the one by whole foods... it's worse than panda express. perfect example of horrible americanized chinese food.

                      1. re: TravelJack
                        handlertaper RE: TravelJack Apr 22, 2007 05:09 PM

                        We are transplanted New Yorkers who like Fu's Palace on Pico just west of Robertson. New Yorkish style chinese food.

                        1. re: TravelJack
                          robwein RE: TravelJack Apr 23, 2007 10:05 PM

                          I don't think there's a Whole Foods nearby. This is between Laurel Canyon and Colfax. Definitely not American style. I just wish they would do some oyster dishes

                          1. re: robwein
                            Das Ubergeek RE: robwein Apr 24, 2007 07:44 AM

                            Kung Pao is a small chain -- there's one on Ventura in S.O., one on Ventura in Studio City and one on SM Blvd. in WeHo, which is next to a Whole Foods.

                            I don't really like their food -- it doesn't have much wok hei and it always tastes mostly of oil.

                            1. re: Das Ubergeek
                              carter RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 24, 2007 09:46 AM

                              The Kung Pao in Sherman Oaks has the name only and has not been under the same ownership for nearly 3 years. The other two, meaning Fairfax/SM Blvd and Studio City are still the same operatorship.
                              Their best items are seafood, soups, and some of their specialties.
                              Do not like their appetizers all that much, yet I typically do not in any Chinese restaurants as everything tastes greasy/fried which is just not a flavor worth spending any time, money or calories on.
                              And any similarity to Panda Express mentioned above is truly laughable - Panda Express is without question the worst abomination called Chinese food imaginable.
                              However, it holds better value than PF Chang's, which has no value whatsoever, just a high-rent decor!

                              1. re: carter
                                kinipela RE: carter Apr 24, 2007 11:34 AM

                                hahaha i agree with the panda/pf chang's.. BUT i guess, it's okay for americanized chinese... hahaha i would rather go to sgv.... yum!

                              2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                robwein RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 28, 2007 06:24 PM

                                Interesting comment. What specific dishes are you talking about that taste oily? Now that you mention it, I can see where the Lo Mein might fit that description .
                                While we're on the subject, do you know any Chinese place in the SF valley that has oysters on the menu?

                                1. re: robwein
                                  Das Ubergeek RE: robwein Apr 28, 2007 07:48 PM

                                  It seems like when I have ordered things like meat+veg (Mongolian beef, kung pao $PROTEIN, whatever) there's always a puddle of oil on the bottom, and it just tastes... like oil. Lo mein ALWAYS tastes like oil to me, so I never order it.

                                  I don't know of anyplace but your best bets would be A&W Seafood in Northridge, Sam Woo in Van Nuys or BBQ Unlimited in North Hollywood... I can't say for sure that any of these places have it.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                    robwein RE: Das Ubergeek Apr 29, 2007 10:01 AM

                                    I think I can see your point re: Mongolian Beef. I can picture the bottome of the tray in my mind. I've been going there for years and know Jimmy, the owner. I'll mention it to him the next time I see him. He's usually in the WLA location.
                                    There was/is a restaurant in LA called the Mandarin Cove. They had 2 superb oyster dishes I can't find anywhere else. One was sizzling black pepper oysters and the other was with ginger and green onion.

                        2. tatertotsrock RE: hazelnutty Apr 24, 2007 10:03 AM

                          Chi Dynasty in Los Feliz...anything and everything is wonderful, fresh, and they will happily omit MSG if you ask.
                          Suggestions: Lettuce wraps (forget those overly salted PF Chang Things); Pot Stickers; Sizzling Rice Soup; Won Ton Soup (Both soups perfect for those day after the night before mornings, and for when you've got a cold-add some chili oil...mmm); Aromatic Shrimp (if you're a fan of Yang Chow's Slippery Shrimp); Braised Green Beans; the Duck; Whole Fish; All the Rice Dishes; Orange Beef...don't forget the MAI TAI!!! The full bar is excellent! Enjoy!

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