Peking Duck at Red Pearl Kitchen
I cut the below information from the Los Angeles Restaurant News page on the Gayot.com website. I love Peking Duck but so few restaurants manage to pull it off, and sadly none of those seem to be in LA. I know a lot of people love Lu Din Gee on this board, but I honestly find their version to be just ok, and Quanjude is long gone. So the search goes on. I'd love to know if anyone's tried Red Pearl Kitchen's attempt, and what they thought.
Red Pearl Kitchen Serves Up Peking Duck
Red Pearl Kitchen's new menu features chef Tyson Ophaso's Peking Duck, which is made in-house and served Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The centuries-old dish is prepared over three days by a process that includes glazing, drying and slow-roasting. The duck is then carved and served along with the requisite accoutrements: pancakes, scallions, hoisin sauce and cucumber sauce. Red Pearl Kitchen's $36 Peking Duck is served family-style and feeds up to four people. Red Pearl Kitchen, 6703 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, 323-525-1415.
I gotta tell you, I wanted to give this place a chance, I read all the postings and thought maybe folks were being a bit too "Jonathan Gold-ish" (Love the man, but you can't hate on someone for wanting some straightforward, leaning towards the bland Americanized far every now and again.) But this place was everything everyone warned about and then some. Getting there the joint was mostly empty (That didn't keep them from not only NOT crediting my Open Table reservation but sending me an e-mail saying that I had canceled it.) The Pad Thai, fried rice and appetizers we got were so bland they made P.F. Chang seem like a Sichuan hot pot joint by comparison, and the service? Let's just say they like to push the drinks, which, given the quality of the food, I quite understand. I can't imagine given all this that they would suddenly rock out some awesome Peking Duck. But good luck on your hunt.
Would not trust their version any more than I would one at PF Chang's if it were available. Trying to be all things to all people in the generalist Asian food focus really makes it difficult for any restaurant to do a good-great job with any of them, and especially with something as specialized as Peking (Beijing?) duck.