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Chinese food in Glendale/Burbank/Los Feliz/Silverlake?

Hi Friends,

I've lived in Glendale (on the Burbank border) for a year or so and have had no luck finding decent chinese food. Gourmet 88 was a nightmare, and takeout from Joy Feast was notably mediocre. I'm too scared to try anything else without help!

I'm meeting up with some friends tonight and am craving good chinese food. Willing to go to Los Feliz or Silverlake if I have to. Would love some guidance - THANKS!

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  1. Sorry, but there just isn't any Chinese food worth eating in Burbank, Glendale, Silverlake or Los Feliz. It sounds like you're not that far from the 134 or the 5 freeway, it's a matter of no more than 25 minutes to a half hour drive to the San Gabriel Valley and some of the best Chinese food on the planet outside of China itself.

    2 Replies
    1. re: estone888

      Thanks estone. The food in San Gabriel IS amazing. Just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything. I'll stop looking in my hood! :D

      1. re: hummelhive

        It is frustrating. I live in Silverlake and at one point made an effort as well. I tried pretty much every Chinese restaurant and fast food outlet I could stomach in Silverlake, Echo Park, Los Feliz and Glendale and the best I ever did was some hot and sour soup that was okay once I took it home and added a bunch of stuff to it. But then, I can make a much better hot and sour soup myself from scratch anyhow, so why bother.

    2. Some people like Chi Dynasty on Hillhurst for certain items - hot and sour soup, Chinese chicken salad. I found it to be very overpriced and mediocre. If you don't want to go as far as the San Gabriel Valley, there are several better choices in Chinatown, there have been a few recent thread about best bets in Chinatown.

      1. I tried Fortune Inn in Glendale the other day when I was feeling too lazy to drive to get decent Chinese food but it turned out to actually be pretty good in that kind of 'chinese food we used to get when i was a kid' way.

        2 Replies
        1. re: EatinThePizzaNaked

          I'll agree that Fortune Inn at Broadway & Maryland in downtown Glendale usually gets it right. Closest I've found to east-coast-fried-rice in Burbank or Glendale.

          Anyone tried the chinese place up by Frank's Famous on Verdugo in Montrose? Whenever I stop at Franks , the chinese place always seems crowded.

          1. re: jackattack

            I order Fortune Inn for delivery often. For delivery, I think it is quite good. And they are always lovely on the phone, as are the drivers.

        2. Drive to Arcadia for some good stuff. It's only about 20 minutes.

          1. Chi Dynasty IS WONDERFUL.
            Potstickers-I crave.
            Aromatic Shrimp-yummy and satisfying.
            Sizzling Rice Soup-perfectly refreshing clear broth...add some chili oil and some soy for the hangover-very good.
            Green Beans!!!!
            The Mai Thai s are amazing-stick to just one even though you'll want another.
            Candied Walnuts on the ice cream-YUM!
            Very nice wait staff, the always make you feel welcome.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tatertotsrock

              Depends what you're looking for. If you want authentic, this is not it. Since they are supposedly headquartered in Taipei I was expecting much more. It was extremely disappointing.

              1. re: tatertotsrock

                I like Chi Dynasty as 'Americanized' Chinese food. It is worlds better than the crud I get on the East Coast. For authentic Szechuan, I like Chung King in the SGV.

                1. re: tatertotsrock

                  I agree with tatertotsrock. Am 60 something roundeye with a Chinese partner and have lived in Los Feliz for 25 years...We do travel to Monterey Park for dim sum and a lot of "authenticity" ... however, both Chi Dynasty and the Palace are from the same group and have been serving us with gracious service and many menu items that are not easily available or made the same ... and YES at a price! If you can't or won't take the price, then I understand. My personal favorites have been Orange Beef and their various preparations for Lobster. Both places are products or by-products of the Chi brothers, though each presents it own style. Good wishes to Chi and the new Palace. They definitely fulfill a niche in this community.

                2. the sun palace on verdugo in montrose is very good old style chinese, though in recent years they have enlarged and updated their menu to respond to current trends. excellent mai tai's, as well!!

                  if you do venture to the san gabriel valley, and if you like peking duck, do not miss "lu din gee" in san gabriel itself. without qualification, the best peking duck, ever. well worth the drive, imo.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: justanotherpenguin

                    Eeeeeeeeeeeee. Maybe I just had a bad experience at Sun Palace the one time I went, about a year ago -- but it was bad enough that I won't be back. The vegetables were absolutely swimming in the white glop that is "cornstarch-thickened water with MSG", the beef was so overcooked it crunched, and the egg rolls were fried in too-cold oil, so the entire filling oozed.

                    New Moon, around the corner on Verdugo Blvd., is more expensive, but is well worth the detour if you've got to have Chinese food in Montrose... the scallops are a "must-order" for me.

                    Otherwise -- I spent a couple of years when I was searching for New York style egg rolls trying the various places in Burbank. Frontier Wok (NOT Frontier Wok Too) is about as good as it gets in Burbank, Fortune Inn or Harvest Inn the best in Glendale, and if you want good Chinese food you should just give up and hit up the 626.

                    New Moon Restaurant
                    2138 Verdugo Blvd, Montrose, CA 91020

                    Frontier Wok
                    1311 N Hollywood Way, Burbank, CA 91505

                    Fortune Inn
                    117 E Broadway, Glendale, CA 91205

                    Harvest Inn Restaurant
                    550 N Brand Blvd Ste 150, Glendale, CA 91203

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      can't comment on frontier wok or harvest inn. have been to sun palace many times plus order take-out frequently, have never had your experience. went to new moon when it first opened - very unimpressed so i have not been back. maybe will try it again.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        While I have never had the egg rolls at Frontier Wok on Hollywood Way, everything I tried on two separate occasions was awful - greasy, cornstarchy, just dreadful! Definitely stay away from there. Never tried Frontier Too for that reason.

                        1. re: carter

                          Well, it's sort of the best of the available in Burbank... which is not saying a whole lot. I like China Lites in NoHo better, but I know you disagree... and in any case, now that I don't live in the Valley anymore, there's never any reason to subject myself to crappy Burbank Chinese food... not when Rowland Heights and Irvine are just fifteen minutes away :)

                    2. I'm also a fan of the Fortune Inn, and the Panda Inn a block north isn't bad, either. Don't hold it against them that it's the same company as the execrable Panda Express chain.

                      Otherwise, sadly, the area is very weak for Chinese food.

                      1. With the closing of the way over the top mediocre Chi Dynasty and the opening of The Palace restaurant in the same storefront, there is now a really good option for Chinese food in Los Feliz. The new owners are aware of Chi's shortcomings and are anxious to please. They do not really cater to the sweet and sour and fried rice crowd (they do good versions) but offer some exciting and superlative 'out of the box" Mandarin treats.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Wofat

                          Did you actually eat there? What were some of these superlative Mandarin treats? What are the prices like? Do they still have a full bar?

                          1. re: Chowpatty

                            I popped by a few days ago at lunch time and the lunch menu wasn't at all inspiring. Strangely I didn't even see the name of the restaurant on the menu, which made me wonder whether they just took the old menu's and sliced off the Chi Dynasty name. It's been so long since I had been in Chi Dynasty I really couldn't tell if The Palace is an upgrade or not. Prices did seem pretty high, though. I ended up having the minced chicken in lettuce, which was sort of bleh. Hoping to a see a more definitive report from somebody with more recent experience at Chi Dynasty.

                          2. re: Wofat

                            "way over the top mediocre Chi Dynasty"
                            Whadda I know, I loved Chi Dynasty and can't wait for two more weeks to go visit Jonathan and the gang at their new digs next to Ye Rustic! I NEED some sizzlin' rice soup!!! I've been going there since I was a little girl and I love the fact that they know the names of their patrons and are always happy to see us when we stop by!

                          3. If you've already started the car anyhow, you may as well drive all the way into downtown (if you don't want to go near the freeway, take San Fernando Rd or Riverside Dr all the way into town!) and go to Chinese Friends, or CBS, even Empress, or any number of other places in C'town. It's not the SGV, but it's still WAY ahead of Silverlake/LosFeliz, where I've lived for two decades in despair of finding decent Chinese food. . .

                            1. Okay, I've now been four times to Gourmet 88 and I think I have figured out how to have a good meal there.

                              Step 1: Do not order anything in a sweet sauce. Skip orange chicken, skip pineapple fish, skip it all, because it all tastes like jam.

                              Step 2: Stay away from things that purport to be Chinese regional -- for example, they had a "special" of five-spiced beef with onions that purported to be a Shaanxi dish and was just absolutely disgusting and is no longer offered (the new specials page is just glued into the menus).

                              Step 3: Do not order chow mein, which is gloppy. Each time we've ordered noodles, I've asked for chow fun instead of chow mein (I don't like fried noodles with sauce anyway) and each time been rebuffed, despite the menu clearly saying in Chinese "liang mian" ("two kinds of noodles").

                              Step 4: Don't expect SGV-style authentic Chinese food, because that's not their schtick.

                              Some suggestions: the beef mignon in pepper sauce looks like brown glop but the sauce is surprisingly savoury; the braised string beans are excellent, though one time not trimmed ("The kitchen can't trim vegetables? How lazy!" -- and they were replaced); crispy whole fish with "Hunan" sauce was quite tasty; walnut shrimp are actually one of the better renditions I've had, mostly because of the understated use of the mayonnaise.

                              Scallops with garlic sauce (yu xiang, for those playing along in Chinese) are quite good but you must ask them to use less sugar, or else ask for vinegar to cut the sweetness a bit. Sauteed "spinach" was a surprise, because it was ong choy, and surprisingly tender.

                              Hot and sour soup was a horrible disappointment until I asked for chili sauce (it's actually dried chilies in oil) and vinegar, which woke it up nicely.

                              If you can bring someone who speaks Chinese -- either Mandarin or Cantonese -- you may fare better. Don't be shocked by the Mittel European hostess, everyone else is Chinese.

                              I'm not suggesting here that you abandon your plans to go to the SGV -- I wouldn't drive even from Glendale for it -- but honestly, if you pick correctly, you can in fact have a good meal at Gourmet 88 and save your lunch hour.