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Apr 18, 2002 02:06 PM

Peking Duck

  • t

Where can I find the best Peking Duck in LA?

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  1. I'm partial to Ocean Seafood on Hill St. in Chinatown. I like the quality of the buns and the duck itself is prepared well at the table (carved).

    1. Quanjude in Rosemead is the definitive version. This is a joint venture with the PRC and a sister restaurant in Beijing.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bob Brooks

        was a joint venture. The PRC end pulled out a few years ago, and the locals went belly up. A new consortium runs the place, they've kept the chefs for the peking duck but have removed several other dishes from the menu and have introduced some dishes more to the tastes of the Taiwanese and other Southern Chinese immigrants who form the better part of the clientele.

        However, the duck is excellent, reasonable and they serve it with tianmianjiang as opposed to hoisin sauce.

        1. re: Jerome

          That's interesting. I should have known something was up when the menu no longer contained the set 5 course menu of duck related items leading up to the grand finale. Fortunately, the duck was still as good.

          BTW, have you found anything else there that's noteworthy on their menu?

          1. re: Bob Brooks

            I've been there recently twice and it was terrific, especially for the price which is somewhere just north of a family dinner at MacDonald's.

            1. re: Bob Brooks

              Some of the cold appetizers are still available, the soy cooked gizzards, the salted duck livers, the webs in mustard sauce. I really miss the duck tongues in aspic (the chinese name is still on the menu, crystal duck tongue - shuijing yashe - but they just give you a cold-braised dish which is good).

              Try something with duck hearts, very beefy taste. They used to make a seared heart dish. The guy said to me that with advance notice, he'd make these wonderful caramelized apple fritters that were on the old set menu, ba-si ping-guo. You might want to call and ask if they'll do it for you. Worth waiting for.

              Also, they used to give WITH THE DUCK the small round hollow breads, kongxin bing, similar to the shaobing you get at mongol bbq places. Well, you have to buy them separately now, and make sure they arrive with the duck.

        2. I haven't had a lot of Peking Duck over the years, but I happened to have it last night at Joss on Sunset near Doheny.

          The waiter brings it out fully cooked for you to inspect. As I mentioned, I have not had this dish very often, so to me it looked just fine. The waiter then took it back to the kitchen, where it got sliced and de-boned (except the drumsticks, which were cut in half longways making it look like the duck had 4 legs instead of 2).

          He then brought it back to the table, and prepared it in Por Bing crepes (little burritos). Into the burritos went scallions and cucumber, duck and plum sauce. My buddy and I each got 3 little burritos, and two of the split drumsticks.

          The duck in the burritos was delicious. It was very tender, and I loved the flavoring on the skin. The drumsticks were a little fatty for my liking, but again that flavored skin was awesome.

          It was $38.00, and we also had minced quail on crisp lettuce leaves which we both agreed was excellent, and some lamb Quor Tehr (potstickers) with various sauces. We got into a long discussion about what to do with the sauces. My buddy mixes them. He puts the red pepper sauce, the hot mustard sauce, the plum sauce and the sweet vinegar-like sauce into one dish and mixes the whole thing up. I on the other hand prefer different tastes with each bite. So I keep the sauces pure and unmixed.

          All in all, with 3 Belgian beers for my buddy, and 2 for me, along with a glass of merlot, we got out of there for $84 before tip.

          It's kind of a classy place. The waiters look pretty snappy, and the linen tablecloths are a nice touch.

          Last night I saw a guy who looked just like Javier on the television show Felicity (maybe it was him). The previous time I went, I saw another star who I couldn't name, but I recognized him.

          It's a good once-in-a-while place.