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Aug 30, 2007 09:41 AM

Hunan-style Chinese restaurants?

Recently had a craving for Hunan lamb, in the style of the classic Hunan restaurant in SF's Chinatown. Hunan was very popular about twenty years ago -- along with Szechuan it was one of the first non-Cantonese Chinese restaurant cuisines to be popular this side of the Rim.

It's been a while since I've seen items on any Chinese menu labelled as "Hunan". Does such a thing as a Hunan restaurant exist any more in L.A.?

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  1. Hi, I love Szechuan, & go to the restaurant Hunan when in SF. We order from a place called Hunan in Hollywood (Sunset/Laurel) that we really like. I don't think they have lamb, but it is very good, especially if you order the food extra spicy.

    1. There's a restaurant called Bamboo in Sherman Oaks that has a really good hunan lamb...i think their website is, but don't quote me...

      1. Well the Hunan style restaurants that proliferated in New York and then Los Angeles starting in the 1970s were really faux Hunan in that they represented a highly Americanized version of Hunan cuisine and were invariably run by proprietors and chefs not from Hunan. One of these restaurants still in existence here is Hunan Taste, on San Vicente near where it intersects with Olympic and Fairfax. In the past decade, a number of authentic Hunan style restaurants have opened up in the San Gabriel Valley, but these are nothing like what most Angelinos think of as Hunan style food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chandavkl

          Which is why when I think of Chinese restaurant food, I don't think in terms of "authenticity" -- never having been to China, I'm the last person to judge if it's authentic -- and if I like it and it doesn't make me sick, does it really matter? ;)

          I'd forgotten about Hunan Taste, I haven't been there for decades and the way things go I probably would have assumed it wasn't there any more.

          Although it's out of my way, I'd be curious about Hunan recommendations in the SGV as well (authentic, inauthentic or otherwise). Thanks!

          1. re: maxzook

            A thread from last year is a good starting point. Note, however that Hunan's Restaurant burned down a few weeks ago in an incident that was widely covered in the news. Also several new contenders have opened up in the last few months in San Gabriel, including Dong Ting Spring in San Gabriel Square (Valley and Del Mar); Chuan Xiang Tower, across the street next to the San Gabriel Hilton; Hunan Mao Jia at Valley and New; and Fortune Bistro, 545 W. Las Tunas. The great thing about living in the LA area is that you can get authentic food from all regions of China without having to go to China and without having to drive more than a few miles .


        2. Thanks for the links!

          14010 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

          Hunan Restaurant
          674 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Hunan Cafe
          7986 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

          Hunan Taste
          6031 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036