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Mar 26, 2002 03:20 PM

Buck-A-Plate In Chinatown--Best Food Value In Town

  • c

For those of you familiar with the central Los Angeles area, there are a number of 99 cent or $1 per item Chinese fast food joints. These places are aimed at lower to middle income residents and the quality may vary from poor to above average. Meanwhile, one generally finds good and economical food in most of the large Chinatowns in the U.S., since Chinese residents of Chinatown tend to be of lesser economic means, but still are rather discriminating as to what they will eat. In this context, finding a place like 11 BBQ Dim Sum at 711 1/2 New High in Chinatown, is not surprising. At $1 for most items, but a quantity of food perhaps 50 percent larger than the 99 cent a dish places outside of Chinatown, and very good quality, you can fill yourself up very nicely for a ridiculous price. At lunchtime, two items (which comes to $2.17 including tax) was more than I could eat. The number of items on their steamtray is at least equal to the typical Chinese fast food restaurant, but the food is geared for Chinese tastes. (Most of the clientele are Chinese senior citizens on fixed incomes.) There are a couple of other similar places in Chinatown. One which comes to mind is #A BBQ Dimsum, on Broadway just north of Chavez.

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  1. Wow! I'm interested!

    Can you give us a sneak preview of their menu?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mae

      I had the beef chow fun and the orange peel chicken. They had some more traditional homestyle type stuff such as beef stew meat with turnip, chicken with fu-gwa, and scrambled egg with tomato. Also green beans, garlic eggplant and a number of chicken/vegetable dishes. They did have some of the more common steamtray items such as broccoli beef, fried rice and chow mein. Fish fillet w/vegetables was $1.50. Some of the dimsum items were also $1 (and under), though I didn't check them out. I think it was $1 an order for chicken bao, bbq pork bao and even spare ribs and chicken feet.

      1. re: chandavkl


        I'm there!!!!!!!!!!

    2. I noticed both of these places in Chinatown but was reluctant (funny how the $1-a-plate makes me think "whoa, too good to be true.") Everything looked delicious though, I have to admit. Armed with the knowledge that Chandavkl found such a good deal, I'll definitely give one or both a try. (BTW, both reminded me of the steam table buffets in Budapest, where back in the nineties you could get a huge homestyle meal for...oh, about a buck a plate.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: stvnptrk66

        The place on New High has changed its name a number of times since 2002. I think it's now called Tai Wong. The strange thing is that nothing else has seemed to change besides the name--menu, layout appear the same.

      2. There's at least one place in MPK that does the same thing -- three items, soup and rice for $3.17 or so. It's point-and-shoot steam tables, plus a large menu you can order from if you don't like the steam table offerings, including some usually-OK XLB (on the menu as "Steamed Shanghai Dumpling", look for 小龍包). Definitely for Chinese tastes. The English name says "Shau May Restaurant", the Chinese says 康康小美 (kang kang xiao mei). Corner of Garvey and Garfield, next to ABC Cafe and Cocary Hot Pot.