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Mar 17, 2002 10:33 PM

CBS Seafood disappointment

  • d

Just got home with my first meal from CBS Seafood. I wasn't expecting much, but really. Green beans are sort of cut and sauteed, with none of the black sear and garlic I expect from the dish. A few clumps of soft ground pork. The eggplant is a disaster: undercooked and swimming in sweet-and-sour sauce. The sauteed prawns are shrimp and broccoli in a white sauce. Didn't they used to make this sort of thing in a freezer bag you dropped in boiling water?

ABC is often mentioned interchangeably. Are they about the same? How about Hop Li? I'm trying to find a good fallback Chinese downtown other than Full House and Happy Valley (which was my other standby but seems to be closed indefinitely). It would be fantastic if they had an A rating, at least occasionally (as does none of the above), and a miracle if they delivered.

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  1. Yang Chow, on Main, I think, in the heart of Chinatown, is always an A and quite yummy, if not terribly adventurous. Try the slippery shrimp and the sauteed rice cake.

    1. From 1984 to 1999 ABC Seafood, in my opinion, was the best Chinese restaurant in the USA. Then the owners sold the restaurant and the head chef retired. One of the ABC waiters formed a group to buy the restaurant and continued the restaurant with the exact same menu, but unfortunately with a new cook. It was still relatively good, but only a shadow of its former self. Meanwhile, the rest of the ABC waiters and staff got together and opened up CBS Seafood half a block away. They claimed to be the real heirs to the ABC legacy and indeed when CBS opened two and a half years ago, the menu was identical to the ABC menu, dish for dish, except that the ABC menu had a red cover and the CBS menu as a green cover. Again, however, the food was nothing compared to the old ABC, and all of us aficionados of the old ABC sometime just sit and cry about what used to be. In the interim, both ABC and CBS menus have evolved, and I would characterize both of them as being decent, but nothing especially outstanding. At this point our inclination is to go a half block south on Spring Street down to Mayflower II, which is right next to Monkee at 685 N. Spring. While not comparable to the San Gabriel valley, Mayflower II is quite good, and usually has $8 crab (that's each, not per pound) and $10 lobster specials.