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Sep 26, 2007 06:36 PM

We miss Shanghai Winter Garden!

Where do we go? We love the contemporary Chinese restaurants around town, but sometimes we absolutely long for SWG. Curt waiters from the motherland, classic American versions of Chinese dishes, hardy cocktails, decor that's old and profoundly comforting - and starched tablecloths. Nothing cutting-edge but the chef's knives.

Any suggestions will be appreciated greatly!

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  1. I miss SWG so much - a childhood favorite...

    Hu's satisfies, now. Or VIP in Brentwood.

    1. Sounds like you want Twin Dragons on Pico.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Burger Boy

        Yep. Twin Dragon. My grandparents used to take us to Shanghai Winter Garden and after it closed, Twin Dragon became the family go-to Chinese restaurant. Although I think Twin Dragon isn't quite as nice in terms of decor and service. Shanghai Winter Garden was the first place I ever saw the waiter make the mu shu pork "burritos" using that mysterious two-spoon method - so classy, LOL.

        1. re: Debbie W

          I have always been happy with the service, but I can not compare it to SWG, I never ate there. They do the 2 spoon method for the Moo Shu at Twin Dragon. Look out for the Mia Tia's, they will kick your ___!

      2. The owner of Harvest Inn in Glendale formerly owned Shanghai Winter Garden.

        2 Replies
        1. re: judge dee

          Wow, Harvest Inn is still around? My parents are very old-school, uber-traditional Cantonese, and they used to love Winter Garden, and later, Harvest Inn, for "Northern-style" food.

          Neither of my parents have any need for, nor respect for, dumbed-down and Americanized Chinese food, yet they had great respect for both places: they'd both do special traditional dishes if you asked them in advance. Ages ago, Mom organized a surprise birthday party for Dad at SWG, and for dessert they served a giant peach-shaped and peach-colored bao filled with mini-peach-shaped-and-colored baos filled with sweet bean paste. We've gotten similarly cool things at Harvest Inn—definitely a step beyond what Twin Dragon or other "more assimilated" places could offer.

          And I never thought of the service at either place as 'curt'--maybe just less obsequious than at a lot of Western joints.

          Now I'm hungry for the vegetarian duck at Harvest Inn again—another non-Americanized thing they're good at!

          1. re: judge dee

            Dear Judge Dee,

            Thank you for your thoughtful response - I have the same respect for SWG as that of your parents. It was never dumbed-down food; it may not have been authentic to a specific place, but it was magical.

            As for my use of the word "curt" apropos the waiters, I must apologize for not being more clear. As the dictionary defines it, it can mean brusque or rude, or it can mean concise - the latter meaning is what I intended. I used the term as I would use it for most of the waiters at Musso - they know what they're doing far better than a lot of other waiters in town, and they don't waste time by trying to be obsequious or overly familiar. They're professionals, most worthy of my respect. And they have it.

            I tend to fall into the trap of being brief, terse, and even curt when I post online. I'm trying hard not to be impolite in the world - thanks for graciously calling me on it.

            Thank you - most sincerely.

          2. Stop the presses, was SWG the place at Hollywood & Edgemont, big 2 story place?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Burger Boy

              My memory as to the exact location is fuzzy but I think it was on Wilshire in the Miracle Mile area. Definitely not two stories that I recall.

              1. re: Debbie W

                5651 Wilshire (at Hauser, I believe), on the NW corner. The place on Hollywood and Edgemont was simply called Shanghai Restaurant and is now a Central American nightclub. Shanghai Restaurant was the only place I've ever eaten dim sum that had a ice cold core--I mean if you're going to use frozen dim sum you should at least heat the thing up fully.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Sadly, there's an IHOP at that location now. The last time I was at SWG was my old friend's grandmother's 80th birthday...probably 20 years ago. I always loved the front of that restaurant.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Hi Vincentmc! You have an obligation to your father and mother who created that wonderful legacy to continue making so many people happy and enriched from the priceless gems that your father created on a daily basis. Just from these short notes that are included above, isn't it obvious what a profound effect your parents have had on the people who have visited The Shanghai Winter Garden? Get to the drawing board, son and start planning for the SWG Too! I'll join the cause 150%.
                Thank you again!