Irvine/NB "fake" Chinese food -- where?
Have you ever been to Lucky Chinese off of Brookhurst in Fountain Valley? That is the type of chinese food I'm looking for. I call it "fake" because most people certainly wouldn't consider it authentic. But sometimes, that's all I want. A fast-food type of chinese food that isn't Panda Express, but not something authentic either. I'd consider Sam Woo's to be "too authentic". So you can see where I'm coming from, right?
I know there is one of these places in the complex at Culver and Barranca, but seeing as how I live in Turtle Ridge, I'm looking for something closer to me.
Any thoughts on my fake cheap chinese food? Gawd I miss Cathay Newport. ;)
Thanks for anything. :)
My boyfriend used to go to a place near John Wayne called 99 Orange Chicken when he worked at Jamba Juice. He took me there the other day, and it was really good, but they give you a lot of food so I'd suggest sharing. The address is 1701 Corinthian Way Newport Beach, CA 92660. Go after 3 or 4 and they'll make it to order. A bit of a wait but really really tasty "fake" chinese food.
Gong's, in the Pic'n'Save center on Goldenwest and Warner in Huntington Beach (okay, so it's a llittle farther north than NB) is the closest to that old style Chinese from the 50's amd 60's that I've found. Eat in (formica tables reminiscent of the era) or take out. Nice people, too. Definitely not for those looking for Monterey Park-like authenticity.
Since it's close to my house, I usually go to California Wok on Bristol and Paularino in Costa Mesa. They are in the same plaza as Oki Doki. Not way too americanized, but has your usual orange chicken and sweet and sour items but everything tastes a bit fresher. They even provide nutritional info on their menu, I go there for my kung pao craving and it doesn't kill my diet.
You could try Wok & Grill on Sand Canyon/ Irvine Center Drive
Moon Palace Asian Bistro on Main/MacArthur
I can't guarantee that they're good, but they are a member of the rewards network if you're looking to get some frequent flyer miles on AA.
If the Tustin Marketplace is not too far, there's Cafe Chin Chin on Jamboree and El Camino. I love their won ton soup. I haven't tried anything else there.
I've moved outta Irvine for a long while, it's really hard to nail something that's in between the level of "Panda Express" to the "SamWoo Express takeout". Especially when you are looking more particular for to-go order~
Pick Up Stix is just as Americanized as Panda Express. I would 'almost-never' go to either of them when there're other options. (yes... I'm an authentic Chinese haha)
I think there's a to-go Chinese food place in the plaza on Culver/Walnut where Curry house is. I forgot the name of it... it's actually next to Curry House or Mrs Field cookies.
I think there's also another fake Chinese place in the plaza of Culver/Michelson. I'm not sure if it's still there.
There's a taiwaness style to-go place in the plaza of Jeffery/Walnut where the Ranch99 market is. It's next to that Irvine Shabu house... again I can't remember the name.
SamWoo Express is actually what I get for lunch from time to time.
Gosh... I am pretty bad when it comes to remembering the name of the places in English... :-p
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I"m going to answer everyone all at once.
empfam: I've tried Pei Wei, you're right, that's fake. But maybe a bit TOO fake? It runs alongside with Panda Express. Something a bit more authentic then? I agree on it being more like a "cheap" PF Chang's (which I consider to be fake chinese too, but not really what I'm looking for).
haitwun: Pick Up Stix, again, to me, is the same as Panda Express. I like it better, but too "Americanized". It's a chain, that's not what I'm loking for but thanks.
justagthing: I think you hit it right. I'm looking more for a take out place. The kind where it's not a fast food chain, but where you stand in line, choose how many items you want, choose the items which you can see right in front of you, and either sit down or leave. maybe I should try the place haitwun told me to stay away from. lol
Prof Salt: DH and I were at that Asian Noodle place. Eh. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either and at that price, I probably wouldn't want to go back.
rtluc: completely agree. That's why I don't ever go there.
Tapeworm: so you'd say Sam Woo Express, over on Culver right? Is about equal to what Lucky Chinese would be? If so, I can try it out. I've only eaten at the restaurant and totally forgot about the take-out side.
thanks everyone. maybe what I'm looking for is a bit more authentic than I realized. I forgot about all those chain Americanized places.
It's not a take-out place, but perhaps Wei's in Fountain Valley might be what you want. It advertises itself as Szechuan cuisine, but it's sort of Americanized. I recently had authentic Szechuan at Chung King in SGV, so I now know what authentic Szechuan is (and how hot and spicy it can be).
At Wei's, the spices are toned way down, more agreeable to American palates. It's way more authentic than places like PF Chang's or Pei Wei or Panda Express, but not really as authentic as Sam Woo's or SW Seafood would be for Cantonese cuisine.
Wei's Chinese Restaurant
17046 Magnolia St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Thanks. I've been there. That's not authentic (please realize, I may be asian, but I'm definitely american through and through)? I always thought it was, mostly because my chinese co-workers love that place. Interesting. I was looking for something a bit more fast-foody though. BTW, I really like Mandarin Restaurant in FV, but again, I'm looking for something closer to home. Thanks though. :)
There is Pick Up Stix on Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa.
Cha for Tea next to Trader Joes on Campus is pretty good.
Word of warning: do not under any circumstances go to the "chinese" take out place next to Albertsons on the corner of Culver and Campus. That place is horrible.