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Best in Chinatown

I'm moving near chinatown and hoping someone can point me in the direction of one or many good, cheap, authentic establishments in the area.

Doesn't necessarily have to be Chinese either. Stuff in the immediate surrounding areas is fair game too. Elysian Park, Echo Park, NW Downtown area.

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  1. Eastside Market & Deli for some tasty sandwiches. Everyone has their favorites but I suggest that you just check out their menu and order what appeals to you.


    Also check out Intelligencia and LA MILL for great coffee.

    Eastside Market
    1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    1 Reply
    1. re: sel

      Sel is right on the money, and a much better sandwich than Philippes. Try the number 7 you'll keep coming back.

    2. Hmm. Searching for "Chinatown" wasn't as helpful as I thought it would be. Searching on specific restaurant names seems to be more useful.

      Try this one: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/457899

      Also search for "Yum Cha".

      And there's a banh mei place in the mini mall next to Yum Cha that people rave about, although honestly I prefer the one on the East side of Broadway between Alpine and College. Wish I could remember the name.

      Can't help you with the surrounding areas, though I'm sure there are some good taco trucks. Oh, and Grand Central Market, on Hill or Broadway at 3rd.

      1. You have to try Philippe...home of the French dip sandwich. I love the beef and lamb..double-dipped, of course. Their pickles are great, too!
        1001 N Alameda St
        Los Angeles, CA 90012
        (213) 628-3781
        Empress Pavilion is the place to go for dim sum in Chinatown. Their dim sum is seasoned well enough so that you won't need additional soy sauce to help.
        988 N Hill St # 201
        Los Angeles, CA 90012
        (213) 617-9898

        7 Replies
        1. re: attran99

          Phillipe has been steadily going down hill. They wont even give a side of au jus anymore. Just a bland sandwich now.

          1. re: rednyellow

            I suppose it depends on who you ask, but the ladies behind the counter have always been good to me.

            1. re: rednyellow

              Weird, I was there a couple months ago and the lady gave me a cup of au jus when asked. True, the beef sandwich is very bland but I still love the lamb. So good. And I'm addicted to their mustard. I love how it burns the nasal cavity.

              1. re: love2eat

                I think you have to ask. We forgot and didn't get it. I can't stand the regular beef sandwich. Was told I was an idiot and should have gotten the lamb with blue cheese. Eh, I'm driving down to Langer's instead.

                1. re: choctastic

                  I was there about a week ago. I asked for a cup of au jus, the lady behind the counter wouldn't give me one. I asked if I could buy one, she would not sell me one. All I could get was a double dipping, which makes for a soggy awkward to hold bland sand. I see no reason to return. If I'm craving a dip, I'll go to Houston's or Cheesecake Factory or pretty much any sandwich shop. Anyone can do better than the dry bland disappointment Phillipe's has become

            2. re: attran99

              empress pavilion is pretty bad now...they've gone very downhill over the years

              1. re: Lau

                yeah, pass on empress pavilion - you can do much better.

            3. I would definitely recommend Yum Cha on Broadway. Very cheap and the dumplings and soup are excellent. I also occasionally get take-out from ABC. A half soy-sauce chicken is 3.75 and quite good. If I'm there around lunch time and the food looks fresh, I'll also stock up on vegetables and shrimp. Strickly take-out and also very cheap. I prefer CBS for eat-in dim sum. Zen Mei Bistro is also one of my cheap go-tos for seafood. Lobster is 9.95. They also have other specials and I've liked everything I've had from there. I would second the Grand Central Market.

              1 Reply
              1. re: hpcat

                I love Yum Cha, great budget dim sum joint. It's not as good as the SGV joints but damn is it cheap and the quality to price ratio is high in my book. $1 an order? I've had way worse dim sum at way higher prices.

                They have noodle soups for like $3 a bowl that looked good. Everyone eats those in the afternoon when I go.

              2. hawaiian chicken on alpine (i think) is awesome

                1. Mandarin Deli on 2nd. I think they close on the early side....fave- Tofu noodle salad .... way-good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DeePocketChopra

                    Closed a very long time ago as well as the China Town location.

                  2. Try Zen Mei Bistro on the corner of Yale (one block west of hill) and Ord, and La Esquinita on Sunset in the no man's land between Elysian and Beaudry, their sope special can't be beat.

                    1. Was in Chinatown the first week in July and my Taiwanese friends found a great place.

                      The New Dragon
                      934 N. Hill Street
                      Los Angeles, CA 90012
                      (213) 626-6050

                      Real hole in the wall, at the end of a shopping alley (with signage on Hill Street). The menu offers standard Chinese (beef with broccoli, etc.) that satisfies "untempered" Chinese palates, and quality Cantonese for the authentic seeking the more speicalized stuff. Not a fancy place, but great quality.
                      They served one fish dish with scales on and whole, which is a good indication they are super fresh. And, it was. My Taiwanese friends were very happy with their choices. Fresh crab made to order, and other shellfish. Very good. I had brocolli beef and it was super fresh, not too oily, and very tasty.
                      My only complaint was about the iced tea I orderd. They brought a can of the lemoney sweetened tea. I pushed that aside and just asked for some ice, then poured from the pot of tea and it was great.
                      I would recommend to you and yours. I'm keeping it on my list for sure.

                      1. Yang Chow.... hands down... slippery shrimp!!!!!

                        1. I pass through Chinatown a lot, and my go-to place for lunch is a Vietnamese place on the southeast corner of Hill and Ord (multi-word name which I can never remember). Parking is free in a large lot in back. Standard pho, vermicelli bowl, etc. Very good (homemade) iced chrysanthemum tea. I usually grab a bag of coffee on the way out ($6 for a 1 lb. bag) and some macaroons. Not the greatest Viet fare in the city, but certainly cheap and good. Really nice owner too.

                          For Chinese, I'm really at a loss. Mayflower's gotten some good reviews, but I haven't been. CBS/NBC/Ocean Seafood are all passable for dim sum and sort of generic "L.A. Chinese restaurant" fare, the others that get crowded w/ out-of-towners (I'm looking at you, Yang Chow) are really just too Americanized for me, or just plain bad (Sam Woo's gristly duck, for ex.). Anyway, you can read hundreds of past posts for pro/con arguments about Chinatown Chinese food, but trial and (lots of) error may be your best bet. There's still a lot of turnover in restaurants there, with small, interesting places tucked into strip malls opening and closing and opening. Try them and post back.

                          I have no idea why a poster above complained about Philippe's - haven't detected a downhill slide, though certainly you can get a cut of meat that's been sitting for hours, or a fatty piece of lamb, but this place is one of the (lowbrow) culinary highlights of L.A. The beef stew, baked apples, pork and lamb dips are all great.

                          There's a Cambodian place on Sunset just down from Elysian Park (Phenom Penh) that a couple folks have posted about which I've been meaning to try. Sort of a gritty stretch of Sunset though. For Thai nearby, Mae Ploy is a bit farther west down Sunset, and (to me) rivals any Thai Town joint in e. Hollywood.

                          It's a pretty fascinating part of the city food- and otherwise. Parking's a major pain, but maybe as you'll live there, you'll be walking (definitely the preferred mode).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cant talk...eating

                            Thanks for the useful info. I was worried that it might be a little bit of a wasteland there but it's looking like there are a lot of great spots to investigate.