Halal Restaurants in LA and SD?
- jSam Feb 11, 2001 08:08 PM
We have a good friend who is a devout Muslim and only eats "halal"(also spelled Hallal) food, which is the Muslim equivalent of kosher--killed a certain way, no pork, etc. We can't take him out for dinner to most restaurants. We're particularly looking for anyplace that is Chinese and halal. Any recommendations?
You're in luck! There is halal Chinese everywhere; look in any Arabic, Indonesian, or African neighborhood.
Every once in a while, we get people asking whether Halal Chinese is a distinct regional cuisine...perhaps the work of Islamic Hakka nomads. But the answer is far more pedestrian; it's just plain old Chinese American food with halal meat and no pork.
I've just spotted a new trend, by the way: Indian Chinese places, a couple of 'em in Jersey City. I haven't tried them yet, but I suppose that since Chinese-American has, for better or worse, become a distinct cuisine...and there are Chinese places everywhere in the world...it's only a matter of time before there are dozens of bastardized, not-very-Chinese hyphenated world Chinese cuisines.
re: Jim Leff
I beg to differ, Mr. Hound. In Los Angeles at least, there are several Islamic Chinese places that do in fact represent a specific cuisine, somewhat similar to basic northern Chinese cooking but rather intensive in lamb, flatbreads, grilled items, etc. I would recommend especially Tung Lai Shun and China Islam in Rosemead, and there are a few new places I haven't had the chance to check out yet. (China Islam does include several generic, halal-ized dishes on the menu, and is heavily patronized by non-Chinese Muslims.)
Other good bets for halal cooking include the Pakistani places in the South Bay (Al-Watan, Shahnawaz). Many of the middle eastern restaurants in the area, oddly enough, are run by pork-serving Armenians and are distinctly not halal.
Go figure. All the halal Chinese I've seen hereabouts around NYC have turned out to be moo shoo porkless joints. I've long ago stopped getting excited at seeing such signs (the dishes you named were exactly what I'd always HOPED to find in these places!). But obviously my experience here doesn't translate to LA., so thanks for the correction!
Are there Indian-Chinese joints in LA, too? The ones in Jersey City are also real uninteresting. Jive Chinese plus a few Indian-ish touches. But they cater exclusively to Indians, so it must mean something to them...?
The Beijing Islamic Restaurant on PCH in Torrance is a very good example of the distinctly Central Asian Chinese cuisine. One of the specialties of the house is a bread that starts with a tabletop-size sheet of pastry. The cook sprinkles sesame seeds over it, then folds it in half, then sprinkles chopped scallions and folds it in half, then another spice and folds it in half, then back to the sesame seeds again... The result resembles a small sofa pillow and is delicious. The spicing is generally mild but very flavorful.
I dined at a new Pakistani Halal place in Lawndale called Nawab Kebab just today, and it was really excellent. The $5.00 lunch included seekh kebab, lamb curry, a tandoori chicken thigh, sagh, biryani, and naan. It was way too much food but it was the best lamb curry I have had in a long time, and it was much fresher than the stuff dfrom the various buffets around town. Nawab Kebab is located on Hawthorne 1/2 block North of Manhattan Beach Boulevard.
re: Richard Foss
Went there last week after reading Mr. Foss's post. We tried the bread, chow fun, and orange chicken. The bread was good but a little bland for me, my girlfriend loved it, and the chow fun was good. But the ORANGE CHICKEN was one of the best I have had in a long time. It was a little crunchy on the outside and perfect on the inside, not moist or soggy. Crunchy may not be the right way to describe it as it was not like bitting in to a cracker, but the texture was hard on the outside and a little dry on the inside. Just the way I like it.
Anyone know of anywhere else I can get Orange Chicken like this, especially a place in Long Beach or north Orange County. Gardena/Torrance may also work.