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Best Chinese in West LA?

I've been to Twin Dragon on Pico, any other suggestions? Thanks!

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  1. I've enjoyed Hu's Szechuan on National near Motor for many years. Sadly I have no other recommendations since JR Seafood on Santa Monica Closed. (Has anyone tried its replacement, Hop Li?)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Phood

      Since JR Seafood and Royal Star closed, I haven't found any Chinese on the westside that can compare and I've really tried.

    2. Hop Woo on Olympic and Sepulveda in the strip mall on the SW corner and, when it's back in action after the recent kitchen fire, Little Hong Kong Cafe on Sawtelle just north of Olympic in the strip mall on the west side of the street. Some like VIP Harbor Seafood on Wilshire at Barrington upstairs in the little mall on the NW corner.

      1. I received a menu at my apartment not too long ago for a chinese/sushi place called Toki Wok. It is located at 2536 Overland Ave and it is in a strip mall. I have never been here but I have had delivery from them about 3 times and I really liked it. You should give it a try...and if you do, report back :)
        oh, and I see quite a few people on this board asking about General Tso's Chicken. They have that at Toki Wok.

        1. I like Mao's Chinese Kitchen, not *the best* but definitely good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Emme

            i, too, am a fan of mao's kitchen.
            i don't look at it as being in competition with restaurants trying to be 'authentic.'
            it is, imho, extremely good 'california-chinese,' that is california food that has chinese inspiration and many chinese ingredients.
            i love their corkage policy (zero corkage).
            i usually order the mao's hometown special.

          2. Cheng Du on Westood Blvd., just north of Santa Monica Blvd., is quite good. Hop Li, in the site of the old JR Seafood, has been excellent also!

            4 Replies
            1. re: J.L.

              Cheng Du on Westwood is one of the worst Chinese restaurants in the city. As I mentioned previously the one time I went there were no (other) Asians in the restaurant (that includes cooks and servers).

              1. re: Chandavkl

                I must disagree with you respectfully. I've had very good service and food there, and I'm quite picky. There were 3 Mandarin speaking Chinese employees: 1 up front, 2 in the back.

                In any case, I could care less if the cooks are from China, Taiwan, Mexico, Mauritius, or Mars - As long as the food is clean, fresh, and good, I'll keep going back to Cheng Du.

                BTW, are you talking about the Cheng Du on Westwood Blvd. or Pico? (Because I'm referring to the Westwood location.)

                1. re: J.L.

                  This was Westwood Blvd. I"m OK with the Pico location. Maybe the regular staff was off when I came by, but the chicken dumplings were reminiscent of the alleged cardboard dumplings that were reported out of China. As far as ethnicity is concerned, while I'm sure Emiril could whip up a good Chinese meal, I doubt if a neighborhood Chinese place in Los Angeles with non-Chinese cooks is someplace I'd want to eat at.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    well if the dumplings WERE made of cardboard, at least we'd know that they were authentic!

            2. I like Lin's on Pico, just east of Barrington. Their use of salt and oil is with a lighter hand than most places I've eaten at in the Westside, and they serve Shanghainese rice cakes with pork - a dish that I've found otherwise only in the SGV. They also make their own pan-fried chicken dumplings. The service is quite good, and a couple of my friends from NYC say that it reminds them of the Chinese food they get back home.

              1. Not the best but satisfying....go to New Panda Cuisine---a fast food type of Chinese restaurant tugged away in a strip mall at SW corner of Santa Monica & Barry. They make good noodle soup and pan fried rice sticks. I know a lot of Chinese people go there for take out.

                1. You're heading into dangerous waters when you start asking this question (see numerous old, confusing threads). Maybe start by saying where you have had "good" Chinese food anywhere in the region (or outside the region), and people will be able to select a place that fits the bill.

                  There are many big, established proto-PF-Chang places all over the Westside, and you could probably enjoy a good selection of tasty food there, but they're all pretty Americanized, standardized and - at least to those of us who've had more authentic stuff in Asia or the SGV - pretty boring. To me at least, it's sort of like the Thai situation - a lot of decent places everywhere, but then some really adventurous, specialized ones clustered in e. Hollywood and the SF Valley.

                  For my money, I'd say Hop Woo or VIP Harbor as closest approximations to what I'd be getting in the San Gabriel Valley, with VIP Harbor maybe being a little less grubby inside.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cant talk...eating

                    And VIP is Thai owned, and probably has a real demographic stew in the kitchen, just like most other Americanized Chinese restaurants, regardless of location, outside of the San Gabriel Valley.
                    So for those not wanting to eat anything prepared by non-Chinese, stick to the 626/323 area codes east of I-5 and you might stand a chance of getting a decent meal - meaning your description of same.
                    Otherwise, for anyone else, take your chances and enjoy!

                    1. re: carter

                      Yes, VIP really went downhill after the ownership change. To think five years ago we had Royal Star, J.R. Seafood and VIP Harbor on the Westside, with the newly opened Hop Woo a distant fourth. Now Hop Woo is probably the best of what's left, and not because it's gotten better.

                  2. I like Fu's Palace on Pico (http://losangeles.citysearch.com/prof...). I go here with my grandpa which tells you a couple of things: 1) they give you a lot of food, 2) it is very reasonably priced, 3) it's old people-friendly. That being said, it is great Chinese food.. I've never had a dish there I didn't like, plus the staff is friendly. A couple of my friends who live in the area like this place for take out. It reminds me of the now closed Mandarin Wok in the valley in terms of quality (anyone remember that place? I basically grew up there... best wonton soup ever). Anyway- hope you find a place you like!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gundy1814

                      We are Fu's Palace people too and have been going there regularly since they opened in the old "Sugar Shack" location many years ago. We find their food to be very good.

                      1. re: gundy1814

                        I ordered delivery from here recently. I chose this place after looking over similar old threads and I got the aromatic shrimp and hot and sour soup. I really liked the food, even though I don't know much about Chinese.

                        1. Some on this board label me as a tasteless apologist for westside chinese. But that is where I live, and there are places that make me happy, especially for their lunch combos.

                          Lately I've been going most often to Hu's. Their lunch combo includes hot'n'sour soup (bland, vegetarian with lots of tofu, but ok with a few drops of soy and hot chili oil), a small plate of simple but delicious chinese chicken salad (probably the main reason I choose them), and a good portion of twice-cooked pork (lots of crisp cabbage, I order no tofu, and I spice it up with soy and chili oil). I like their eggplant in spicy garlic sauce, but it is too oily and one-dimensional on its own. They do a good kung pao shrimp (not a lunch option) and have said they are expanding their lunch choices but I don't see that happening soon.

                          Cheng Du (the former Chung King on Pico probably better than the former Panda Cave on Westwood) wins for soups and value. Their hot'n'sour is the reason I go -- spicy, complex, hot, with pork, a large cup -- great stuff. Their lunch combos include a good eggroll, a huge pile of rice, and a big entree. I like the mongolian beef ordered spicy, the shrimp in garlic sauce, the shredded pork with broccoli a la Cheng Du, and even the kung pao chicken. Also good spicy beef broth with noodles. I get out of there for $6-7, incl tax and tip, while Hu's usually is about $9.

                          Hop Woo sometimes is very tasty -- I liked their shredded pork with garlic sauce. The couple of tables within view with Asian customers ordering entrees appeared to eat very well. But I felt more than a bit ignored, a lot of attention goes to their takeout steam tables, and I didn't enjoy my overall experience as much.

                          I've been to the old Hop Li on Pico and the new one (formerly JR) and I've had decent shrimp or chicken in black bean sauce. But I don't know the menu -- other tables seemed to be ordering more attractive and interesting dishes -- and again the service wasn't very helpful. (One waiter delivered an unneeded cup of soup to one table, and when he realized his error five minutes later tried to pawn off the cooling cup by giving it to me.)

                          Please post more feedback about specific dishes -- I like spicy, and I prefer vegies mixed in but not just onion and green bell pepper. I've encountered miserable failures at some places I otherwise like (gloppy bready sweet'n'sour shrimp at Hu's, cafeteria-style deepfried lemon chicken at Cheng Du).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: nosh

                            Hop Li on Pico serves the best Won Ton Soup I've ever had but the other dishes have always struck me as average. I once had excellent barbecued pork there but the next visit, when I ordered it again, it was unspectacular.

                            One thing I like about Fu's Palace is that they're very good at changing recipes and making things exactly the way you want. You can tell them to add in mushrooms or leave out onions or whatever you want and the chefs there know how to adjust the seasonings to allow for the changes. I also recommend the steamed fish with ginger and onion.

                            I used to like Twin Dragon but gave up after the last few visits, all of which involved food that tasted like it had been sitting around too long.

                          2. Gourmet 88 in the heart of Burbank has the best Chinese food EVER!!!
                            I mean ever, ever, ever. It's worth the drive and the street it sits on has all kinds of stores, restaurants, a mall - I mean you need to be there.

                            TOKI WOK restaurant on Overland is THE LAST PLACE YOU WANT TO EAT. ANCIENT, ANCIENT GREASE and every bite is oozing with it. Rancid tastes and over priced!!!