Hi, I want to try something in Chinatown for lunch because I've never been there before and I have the urge for some Chinese food. Any recommendations?
I second Hop Li, ask for Joe he'll take good care of you. Try Hop Li chicken or shrimp, stir fried shrimp in spicy salt, anything on their specials board...and, you'll always see plenty of Chinese folks eating there.
As a matter of fact, we were first referred to go there around 20 years ago by some old friends, who are...you guessed it, Chinese!
I just went to JADE WOK for the first time on Wed and I loved it!!!
I stumbled upon it last weekend after running the Chinatown Firecracker 5k/10k...I had locked my keys in the car, had been waiting for AAA and after that realized I really needed to visit a bathroom but couldn't find one...the gas station down the street wouldn't let me becuase I wasn't a customer...
The people at Jade Wok heard me talking to my friend and said that I could use theirs, no problem.
I had to walk through their kitchen which was very clean and the fresh shrimp that they were prepping for lunch looked great!
Thanks to their hospitality, I decided to pay them a visit on Wed and I was very happy with the food.
It is CASH ONLY, only Chinese customers (except for me) and they were doing huge take out orders for the Medical buildning next door.
Before I left I told the young lady the reason I had come to visit and she said "oh, I remember you, thank you so much for coming to visit...please come back and try our house made tofu"....I know I will next week because everything I had was good and the food on everyone else's plates looked great.
I was a bit nervous because the lunch prices were sooooo cheap $5 for lunch special that comes with rice and soup...it was all good.
Ah Jade Wok, formerly Good Taste, has been my cheap Chinese food fix for the last couple of years. Never really knock your socks off spectacular, but a great value, good service, fine food, and within walking distance from home and a short drive from work. I get my hot n sour soup here when I'm sick.
We went to Chinatown last weekend for the parade. We almost went to a place called the Plum Tree Inn but and a police officer recommended Yang Chow. It just goes to prove that the local police do not always offer the best advice when it comes to food. My first clue should of been that there were no Chinese people eating there. We gave it a shot and even tried the signature Slippery Shrimp.
It was just greasy and salty and well....pretty bad. Avoid this place.
CBS for dimsum, or Hop Li. At Hop Li always get the spicy shrimp (the type fried in salt where you eat the head) and eggplant w black bean sauce.
I know the original post requested Chinese food specifically, and you still call me crazy, but one of my favorite lunches in Chinatown is actually at Via Cafe, next to Munky King. Maybe it's uncommon to prefer a Vietnamese restaurant when one is in Chinatown, but I'm addicted to the dishes there and, more importantly, to that Vietnamese iced coffee drink they serve. Oddly enough, Chinatown has burgeoned into a very hip contemporary art community and there are galleries galore there now. Via Cafe has grown to be the preferred food spot for that community of artists. Like I said, call me crazy, but at least give it a try before you do.
R. Jason Coulston
Sam Woo on Broadway and Alpine has the best Chinese food in that neck of the woods but it's strictly dine and dash. JR Bistro further up the street is more conducive to lingering a bit. They do a few things as well as any first rate Chinese restaurant (Crispy skin fried chicken $6.99; green beans with ground pork) and others that cater to non-Chinese taste buds (e.g. orange chicken.) Neither offer alcohol. BYOB.
Mandarin Chateau is definitely the best place in Chinatown.
970 N. Broadway, #114
Los Angeles, CA