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Apr 29, 2008 11:49 AM

Taiwanese Food in West LA

Being from norcal and having easy access to good Taiwanese food, I have found none at all after moving to the Westwood area to attend UCLA. I have had some decent slightly americanized Chinese food, but no authentic Taiwanese other than in Monterey Park, which is kind of far.

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  1. Taiwanese food in West LA? There's hardly any decent Chinese food of any kind west of Chinatown. On the other hand once you head east into the San Gabriel Valley you will find Chinese food better than you may be used to in Northern California.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chelmoon

      Yep, spot on.

      The cardinal rule for going to the SGV for Chinese food is: get a TON of extra orders for leftovers, as much as you can carry! Cause that's all your gonna get until the next trip there or down south ...

      Incidentally I don't know much about specifically Taiwanese places in SGV (except that Din Tai Fung is technically from Taiwan), but there's an outpost of the excellent and eminently Taiwanese "A&J" in Irvine. Just had some this weekend (the wife brought extras back, woohoo!) and it rocked as usual.

      1. re: QualityMart

        If the A&J you are referring to is called Ban Mu Yuan -- 半畝園 -- in Chinese, then there is one in the SGV as well on Valley.

        1269 E Valley Blvd
        Alhambra, CA 91801

        I suppose its Taiwanese in that its original location is in Taipei like Ding Tai Feng, but the food is really mostly classic Northern Chinese fair. I suppose that is why it does so well in Beijing and that its menu differs little from many Beijing area restaurants focusing on the wheat based dishes and noodles.

        So, is A&J Taiwanese or Northern Chinese? Is Ding Tai Feng Taiwanese or Shanghainese? I would say a bit of both, but in any case, both are very good.

        1. re: zruilong

          Ah, didn't realize that one was out that way as well. Good to know!

        2. re: QualityMart

          :::Chuckling::: Yes, always overorder. SGV food is sooo cheap if I were to prepare that food at home, it'll cost much much more and wouldn't taste half as good.

        3. re: Chelmoon

          A closer drive than SinBaLa or Rowland Heights would be Uncle Chen's on Valley between Del Mar and San Gabriel in San Gabriel. Full Taiwanese menu. Another possibility if you don't want to fight the traffic through downtown are a couple of places in the Torrance area in the South Bay which have been mentioned on the board and for which you can do a search.

        4. Sorry, but there is no decent Taiwanese joint anywhere near UCLA (Lord knows my UCLA roomie tried valiantly to find one during our tenure there...).

          Get in thy car and drive to SinBaLa in Arcadia/Temple City. After doing this trip from Westwood once on a weekly basis for 3 years, it won't feel so far after a while...

          2 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            And actually it makes it feel like more of an adventure. Life in LA is nothing but a series of mini-road trips. Whee!

            The crux of the matter is that the rent in West LA is too high for a restaurant lease and the core demographic wouldn't support regional Chinese food. Gotta go where the Chinese immigrants and their families have a thriving community.

            1. re: J.L.

              Actually the SGV is the Taiwanese food capital of the U.S. Much more availability than the Bay Area and even more than Flushing. Seems like every other Chinese restaurant in Rowland Heights is Taiwanese. Check out all of the Chinese shopping centers out there--by the Hong Kong Market on Colima and the two centers across the street, by the 99 Ranch Market on Nogales and the center across the street on Gale, just to name some of them. You may consider moving to Rowland Heights and commuting to UCLA! (Just kidding.)

            2. Sorry, slightly off topic, but your first sentence caught my attention. Where do you go to get good Taiwanese food in norcal? I grew up in Los Angeles, but now I'm living in San Francisco.

              And unfortunately I have to agree with everyone else on this board. No Taiwanese food that I know of (at least when I used to go to UCLA) in the vicinity. After a while, you'll get used to the drive to SGV-I don't think I have to tell you to avoid rush hour and in general, anytime Friday before 8 pm is pretty bad.

              2 Replies
              1. re: yali

                Just a quick note to ask that rather than starting an off topic sub-thread on Taiwanese food in the SF Bay, you start a new thread on the SF Bay Area board:

                You're welcome to post a link to your thread here if you'd like the original poster to check it out and offer advice.

                1. re: The Chowhound Team

                  I'll keep that in mind next time, but no need to start a new thread.