HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


good old time cantonese

nostalgia food for my 90 year old mom...any recommendations for current restaurants with good old time cantonese cuisine??? pressed duck, sweet and sour pork, hom yu, fat noodle chow mein, pea chow yu????

used to go to far east in little tokyo many many years ago but the current replacement, chop suey, is horrible and very disappointing at best. also went to a place in east l.a. not so hot either... any suggestions??? thanks in advance

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Did you go to the place on Ceaser Chavez near Soto?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Burger Boy

      New Formosa Cafe an offshoot of Far East Cafe by Dewey the son. Unfortunately a poster said he's recuperating from an illness and I don't think they're open right now. They're only open for lunch(till 7 on Saturday) and closed Sunday & Monday.

      Dewey's wife Betty told me before the new Chop Suey Cafe (former Far East Cafe) came to their place eating the food and trying to get the old Far East Cafe recipes from them, but they wouldn't give them up. That's one reason why it isn't the same.

      Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood is also another offspring of the Far East Cafe with original family owners, so the food might be similar.

    2. Try Hunan Taste, Olympic and Fairfax

      2 Replies
      1. re: oldusedcop

        Does Hunan Taste serve Cantonese cuisine? Hunan is very different than Canton (Guangdong)...

        1. re: J.L.

          It's definitely "old-style American-Chinese" at Hunan Taste, Hunan notwithstanding. You can usually safely disregard any regional moniker for Chinese restaurants west of the 101... they may say "Szechwan Garden" or "Hunan Taste" but they're all brown-glop Chinese-American places. The only exception I can think of is BBQ Unlimited #2, and that's only twenty feet west of the freeway :)

      2. Oh, but we miss Man Fook Lo. Here's a link with an Orange County recommendation:


        1. Paul's Kitchen in Monterey Park. Also, haven't been there since I was a kid but Ho Sai Kai near USC (Western and Exposition) is still there and the Yelp reviews make it sound like they are still serving up that old-time Cantonese stuff. I wouldn't be surprised if Rosie the waitress was still there yakking it up with customers.

          3 Replies
          1. re: monkuboy

            Food at PK's in MP has gone downhill the last several years. Think they're more interested in making a go of entertainment and bar biz. Last time I was there the food tasted like it had been reheated and/or just sauce poured on stuff like already pre-made like sweet and sour pork.

            PK's in downtown LA on San Pedro is way better and you can see them cooking everything to order.

            They got all those things the OP was asking about. Except a clarification on "pressed duck, " which caused a misunderstanding with a CH'r looking for the dish there and PK's serves "almond duck" not "pressed duck".

            1. re: monku

              Actually I think the food at Paul's Kitchen in MP has gotten better in recent years. That place is surreal. It's got to be the only Chinese restaurant in the neighborhood where none of the clientele are Chinese. It's old school (1950-1960's chop suey). I love the place but 1st and 2nd generation Chinese would be horrified. :-)

              1. re: JOHNO2

                Definitely going downhill at MP location. I've frequented both for many years and quit going to MP because of the lack of consistency. I mentioned it to the owner of the downtown location and he didn't seemed surprised. Someone mentioned to me recently the owner of the MP location is looking to sell.

            1. Canton City in Montebello serves good old style Cantonese food and it's been in business for over 40 years!

              Canton City
              121 N. Garfield Ave, x=Whittier Blvd

              3 Replies
              1. re: SoCal Foodie

                Went today for lunch on your rec.

                Add to the list of worst Chinese food in my life. Should have known from the start when the bowl of fried noodles were slightly stale, but I could deal with that. Ordered the #4 sweet and sour rib lunch. They were the boney tips with barely any meat on them, every bite though was fried batter. Probably fried ahead of time because there was no crunch to it. The fried rice had a slightly burnt carbon taste to it, confirmed by the customer next to us who didn't even touch his fried rice. The orange chicken were small pieces of chicken that were overly battered to make them look bigger. Only good thing were the egg rolls. Chow mein was just ok, nothing great and nothing bad-very few noodles but lots of bean sprouts.

                We were the only Asians there, rest of the clientele were Hispanic.
                I can see how it might have survived where it is because Hispanic people like Chinese food and the place is clean. Waitresses were more than friendly asking how everything was, but I didn't complain because I knew I wouldn't be coming back. It isn't a place Chinese people would ever eat at. I'd never go there again or ever recommend it to anyone.

                Knew I should have stopped at Chroni's for a hot dogs when I drove by it.

                1. re: monku

                  Sorry to hear about your lunch experience at Canton City! The things that I've always enjoyed have been their egg foo young, beef with broccoli, won ton soup, chop suey, and Cantonese style chow mein which contains pan fried noodles, while their regular chow mein contains no noodles. I'm surprised the only thing you liked was the egg rolls which are probably the worst item on their menu IMHO.

                  1. re: SoCal Foodie

                    Ordered the Cantonese style chow mein....more bean sprouts than pan fried noodles. Maybe the egg rolls weren't that good, they were the only edible thing on the lunch combo plate.

              2. Hop Louie in Chinatown and Formosa Cafe in Hollywood

                2 Replies
                1. re: SeaCook

                  THANK YOU TO ALL

                  some of the names my mom will remember espec pauls on san pedro ho sai kai. we went to new formosa, spoke to dewey new moon and some others. old time cantonese isn't as sexy as the new trendy places BUT memories!!!!!!!!!........

                  1. re: 111qqaa

                    So the New Formosa is open? Been there 4 times and keep missing them. Went by yesterday around 12:30 hoping to find them open and get some info.

                2. head a bit east towards San Gabriel: Sam-Woo in the 99-ranch plaza, right off the 10 freeway; it's my go-to place, and they speak cantonese! Their "fat noodle stir fry" is tasty (though I've always found that this dish is a bit oily for my taste at every place that I've tried), and I REALLY like their wonton soup, I can't figure out how to copy it :)

                  1 Reply
                  1. Bamboo Inn, 2005 W. 7th St., near McArthur Park. I don't think they've done anything to the food (or the premises) since the 40s or 50s. Two nice little old ladies seem to run the place.