Semi-Americanized but still high quality Chinese in/near Irvine?
Having just moved to squeaky-clean and intensely landscaped Irvine, I find myself in a bit of a pickle. I am greatly pleased by the many authentic Asian restaurants of every stripe (and have indulged in noodle soups and barbecue), but seek a place that offers great renditions of the simple, white meat chicken dishes that are ubiquitous several time zones to the east -- e.g. chicken with broccoli, sesame chicken, etc. -- for I am, after all, American. I apologize in advance for my gauche query and eagerly await the advice of my new neighbors.
I would have to recommend Sam Woo (located in the 99 Ranch shopping center at Culver and Irvine Center Drive.) Even if those exact dishes are not on the extensive menu, I’m sure the kitchen staff will modify some of their already existing menu items to suit you.
While Pei Wei and PF Changs are not "high quality Chinese," they both offer the white meat chicken dishes that you described.
Russell's Seafood Palace might be a good choice for you. It seems pretty close to authentic Chinese, but not fully authentic. Can't quite put my finger on what makes it slightly less authentic Chinese, though.
Food is pretty good, if slightly pricey, for Chinese food, but comparable to the places on Culver and Jeffrey. Dim sum quality is decent, but not great variety of dishes to choose from, in comparison to SGV dim sum places.
Irvine probably has the most authentic Chinese food in OC. Other places you might want to check out in neighboring cities:
Santa Ana: Jade Palace, Lucky House Seafood
Costa Mesa: Golden Dragon, May Garden
Fountain Valley: Wei's, Mandarin Restaurant
Tustin: Golden China
Westminster: Seafood Paradise
Crystal Jade and Russell's would both probably fill the bill for you. Both are quasi-authentic, but attract too much of a local lunch crowd to be fully authentic.