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Chow article on ten must haves in Beijing - where to get them in LA

So the chow.com has an article on the ten must eats in Beijing. Here are the 10 - let's see where we can get them here...

1. Peking Duck - now that quanjude in rosemead is history, I say , lu din gee on valley. it's the closest you'll find.

2. Zha Jiang Noodles - ok i expect a fight here. Best lamian hand pulled noodles are at Ma Lan on Hacienda blvd. They have a zhajiang noodles there (ask the owners if you can't read chinese and i don't know how the menu translates). 101 noodle does a version but WAY LIGHT on the sauce, and there are several korean-chinese places here that do it drippping with sauce - the kind you puton bibimbahp. It's good, but different, like chicago deepdish pizza vs a pizza you might find in milan. or naples.

3. Mongolian Hot Pot. Known in Chinese as scalded mutton (shuan yang rou),
well - little sheep for a duded up version. This is just the dipping simple onel, not the hot ma la sichuan style hotpot. Still deerfield garden (are they still in business) and shen yang in the SGV do it fine, one even has tong-hao (chrysnathemem crowns) which are typcial.

4. Jiaozi.
ok there have been TONS of threads here, one at ove r150 posts by now. I like 101 noodle express, others like the (taiwanified) dumplings 10053, others luscious dumpling, others the Noodle House on garvey. OK Check out the ones at China Islamic on garvey as well (lamb, which 101 noodle express also has).

5. An Imperial Banquet
ok the real man-han ala fangshan or tingliguan in bejing - not going to happen. However, the above mentioned lu din gee did have some "imperial snacks" including lu Da Gun(r) - donkey rollovers, a type of sticky sweet.

6. Gong Bao Chicken with Peanuts
the point the author makes is that you can get food from all over china in beijing. in the sgv as well. check out szechwan best on main st in alhambra, chungking in garvey, shu feng in rowland heights - i haven't tried lucky dragon on garvey in monterey park, but the sign is promising, zhenzong xiang chuan cai - real hunan and sichuan food.
or just go to cafe eight on garvey and try the guilin noodles for some exotica. And where can i get daoxiao noodles not that heavy noodling (and its shanxi noodles) has moved or closed or whatever?

7. "7. Something Adventurous. The Chinese are infamous for eating “everything,” and there are plenty of unusual foods on offer in their capital city. Curious visitors love the night market just off central Wangfujing, where you can buy deep-fried scorpions and other creepy-crawlies"
this is the newish snack street in beijing. starfish etc. it's suppoased to be good. Here - well any canto/hongkong seafood place can get you going with fish bladders and the ever popular sea cucumbers. But fo rthe shock factor taht the wangfujing snack street gives even to the chinese visiting the capital. Cloeseet thing in town - go to Typhoon near the santa monica airport for the fried insects. or go to gueleguetza on 8th st and enjoy the chili-lime crickets (chapulines).

8. 8. Yogurt
i already posted about Blue Cherry at 137 w main st in alhambra.. It's exactly the yogurt she's describing, made here. it's great. And even if you won't like it, authentic.

9."9. Xian Bing. A cheap and cheering street snack that consists of wheat dough wrapped around any of a variety of fillings, such as minced pork mixed with chopped fennel or a vegetable called shepherd’s purse," and jian bing.

Ok i can't find it here. Anybody? the crepe is like the ones in a beef roll at noodle house or 101 noodle express i'm guessing. for shepherds purse, 191 noodle express has that in a jiaozi called "wild vegetable" as #2 and Mixed veg on their #60 special. It's jicai in mandarin

10.10. Shaqima (fried soft sweet noodle packed like rice crispy treats, sometimes with raisins and sesame)
Fresh? I dunno. But I just bought three different types of it at the 99 ranch market at Victory and Sepulveda in Van Nuys. They come packaged and made in Taiwan - Imei brand, Flying elephant brand, and a third type whose name I don't remember.

OK any ideas on better in LA?

original article at

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  1. Some other options:

    2. Dai Ho in Temple City.

    7. Phong Dinh in San Gabriel should be included in the mix with a menu of alligator, kangaroo, snake, etc. Macau Street deserves a mention here, as does NRN Noodle (which serves a conch noodle soup).

    9. You can get something very similar to "xian bing" at Four Sea in Rowland Heights if I recall correctly.

    10. Cathy's Bakery in San Gabriel (only on selected days)

      1. 10. Queen's Bakery sells "puff" which sounds like what you are asking about. My uncle use to own this bakery but sold it so long ago. I use to love eating his puffs, but don't know if they taste the same. I have heard that they still make them. No raisins in their version.

        1. 2. Korean-Chinese versions are modified Shandong version of Zha Jiang Mian, which are the basis of what is known as Beijing style Zha Jiang noodle. If you get gloppy Zha Jiang sauce (and it should in no way taste similar to those put on bibimbop), then it is not authentic or good. Be sure to order Gan (dry) Zha Jiang in these Shadong/Korean-Chinese places. Or better yet, if they're really good, they can make the "Rou Muo" (ground pork) version of Zha Jiang which is closer to the Beijing style.

          9. Niu Rou (beef) Xian Bing should be found more easy. This is also commonly known as Chinese hamburger. One should be able to find them at A&J restaurant and other similar places.

          10. This is almost like Chinese funnel-cakes. Doubtful there are "fresh" ShaQiMa to be found. best bet is from some old-school Chinese/Taiwanese bakeries which may make them in-house.

          18 Replies
          1. re: tanspace

            you are right, i totally forgot A&J is sort of known for having xian bing...they're very tasty, just kind of heavy

            1. re: Lau

              I also like A&J for their Zha Jiang Mian as well. The sauce is salty like it should be and not sweet with the hard little tofu cubes that the korean-chinese versions have.

              1. re: zruilong

                If there are tofu cubes, then the zha jiang mian is not korean-chinese version but the Taiwanese version. The sauce will also be sweeter than the Shandong version. A&J restaurant has both Beijing and Taiwanese pedigree but it seems like their ZJM is based on the Beijing/Shandong pedigree.

                1. re: tanspace

                  well A&J is run by taiwanese people...i like their zha jiang mian, but i almost find it too dry sauce wise sometimes (it is tasty though)

                  1. re: Lau

                    A&J's Chinese name is Ban Mu Yuan. It came from the famous restaurant of the same name in Taipei, Taiwan. And that name itself was named after the famous restaurant in Beijing. I don't know if the TW branch is run by same folks from BJ (which is unlikely but possible), though I believe the US branches are/were run by the same folks form TW. And this was all way back, before DTF the craze, where a famous TW restaurant opens shop in the US.

                    1. re: tanspace

                      wouldn't it be BP (beiping - pei-p'ing)? :-)

                      1. re: Jerome

                        no its bei jing (if u read the characters)

                        i really like A&J btw

                        1. re: Lau

                          no it's 北平 official name under the republic until 1949. Just a joke.

                          1. re: Jerome

                            Some people (not me) would shoot you on sight for something like that.

                            1. re: ipsedixit


                              i kid my friends from the mainland and my friends from taiwan (who don't happen to be waisheng). But in Taiwan, you see the phrases pingju instead of jingju etc. AND I think iif the place everyone talks about is the half acre garden on valley just west of new right near where silver wing and 3-6-9 used to be, they actually have 北平 in the window.

                              And for a while in Taiwan - calling it Beijing (or Pei-ching) would also get you thrown in jail.

                              That's why I prefer 順天.

                              1. re: Jerome


                                These nationalistic details are not something Chen Shui-bian will have to worry about ... too busy trying to account for that 20M in Swiss accounts.

                                1. re: Jerome

                                  You're right, BP Duck sounds better than BJ Duck. :) Although, when the duck dish originated in the palaces, it was probably still called Beijing. Let's just stick to Peking Duck.

                                  1. re: tanspace

                                    (actually - official name of Beijing under both Ming and Qing was Shuntian - 順天 or Shuntian prefecture shuntianfu 順天府-nanjing was officially YingTian - or yingtianfu 應天府- little known and little important fact) and beijing kaoya - peking roast duck is a nice example of Chinese fusion - southern dishes adapted to northern taste - the duck was from nanjing, came to beijing in the 19th c and adapted to local tastes. Similarly - the special gourmet officials cuisine called Tanjia-cai, tan family cooking - cantonese officials in beijing adapting recipes to local ingredients - and executing them in a refined manner ... for years only the bejing hotel off of tiananmen kept this cuisine alive (basically haute cuisine for the officials of the qing dynasty) after the revolution. today there are supposedly a few other restaurants serving tan jia cai - but it's refined, and not trendy so good luck. If you go to beijing try and find it.
                                    谭家菜 wikipedia has an article, but i can't vouchsafe its accuracy.

                    2. re: tanspace

                      Ahh..ok then the version of zha jiang mian that I had a couple of times at korean chinese places in oc were really sweet and had the super small, hard tofu cubes. Not my preference.

                      I liike the A&J in the SGV cause they use the northern style. However, the a&J in virginia goes the sweet route. go figure.

                      1. re: zruilong

                        Well, that's a first... what's the name of the restaurant and what else do they serve? I've never seen any korean chinese place serve ZJM with dried tofu.

                        1. re: tanspace

                          Honestly, I don't remember. I was in the Anaheim off the 91 and 55 interchange. It was recommended by a coworker when I asked about a place that had good Zha Jiang Mian. After I got back from lunch, I thanked him politely and made a mental note never to listen to his reqs again.

                          Actually, now that I think about it, I think it had sauteed onions in it too.

                          Its encouranging to know that I may have had just ran across a reaaaally bad version of the dish. So, how is the Korean style in comparison to the salty northern chinese version?

                          1. re: zruilong

                            Have you tried Earthen or China Gate restaurants? Those are examples of restaurants serving Korean-Chinese noodles in addition to other Shandong style items such as shuijiao and shandong chicken, etc. I don't live in LA so I can't name too many places, but they are around.

                2. re: tanspace

                  shaqima - well, honestly it can't be that fresh - the dough pieces are mixed with sweetener or honey, left to cool and firm up, and then cut into squares. So it's not something you could even eat straight out of the oven.

                  xian bing - as opposed to shaobing.

                  I remember the jianbing discussion, nice call.

                3. #2 and #4 - another candidate is Earthen at Hacienda Heights

                  #5 - even if they have it here I don't think I want to try camel humps or bear paws.

                  #9 - didn't know that's what they have at A&J. It's called pan-fried beef bun in english menu.

                  I have never seen #10 in any version other than the pre-wrapped in plastic types. It took a while for me for figure out what it is from the pronounciation (chinese characters would have helped), and I never know that's from the manchus, even though I've been eating them all my life.

                  Incidentally, peking ducks and the fried creepy/crawlies are featured in the Samantha Brown show, and one of the Olympic segments. I had been wondering - is Lu Din Gee still good? All the peking ducks on the shows are making me hanker for them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: notmartha

                    they have other stuff at fangshan, though.

                    acdg to one of the packets shajima comes from a manchu word meaning to cut up.

                    ANyone know where to get beijing guopu, the candied fruits like apples etc.?

                  2. Really excellent thread, Jerome, thanks!

                    1. Any other Peking Duck opinions?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tomritza

                        Most cantonese seafood places has them, but they serve them with the fluffy buns, which are not like the crepe ones at Lu Din Gee (and the ones at Beijing)

                      2. Just discovering this thread and the original post now.

                        The author seems to know what (s)he's talking about, however was anyone else dumbstruck by the following two oddities?

                        1. Inclusion of Wangfujing Dajie-- it is such an extremely inauthentic Beijing experience. Seriously, Beijing people would eat scorpions and starfish on sticks for the same reasons that the tourists do. The difference is the casual, non-Mandarin speaking tourist will come away from the experience assuming that Beijingers actually do eat that stuff. Plus, not only are the prices outrageously out of proportion, but the stalls are owned by the government rather than local business people, and it's gas.... gas!! Where's the charcoal??? Pass, pass, pass. Get thee to a hutong for a proper stick-based snack.

                        Which brings us to #2....

                        2. The blatant omission of yang rou chuan (charcoal grilled lamb kebabs)? (@ Feng Mao Mutton Kebab and 818). Or perhaps since it's been 3 years since I was in Beijing, the hutongs (along with the oldsters and their makeshift bbqs) have been demolished with them. Seriously, they're such a part of the fabric of Beijing snacking culture, how in the world could Fuchsia (sic) have omitted it?

                        By the way, now there is supposedly that newish Beijing snack place near Mission 261, but for the life of me I can't remember the name or anything else about it.... anyone?

                        Mr Taster

                        818 Shaokao
                        818 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                        Feng Mao Mutton Kebab
                        3901 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Hi Mr Taster,

                          Nice thoughts. :) The place you're thinking of has already closed down (Ning Jie).

                          1. re: exilekiss

                            i liked ning jie. sad to see it go.

                            9. Niu Rou (beef) Xian Bing should be found more easy. This is also commonly known as Chinese hamburger. One should be able to find them at A&J restaurant and other similar places.

                            Is the above like the great beef pancakes which was reallyy more like a huge beef dumpling similar to the one at the now shuttered Ning Jie.?

                            1. re: kevin

                              A&J definitely sells it...i get it all the time at the one in irvine and i know the one in SGV serves it (ive had it there)

                            2. re: exilekiss

                              Oh no! It wasn't open for very long, was it? I imagine the rent in the rent in that area must have been outrageous for a restaurant with only 5 tables. Funny how even all the good buzz here and in the LA Times couldn't save the place.

                              We really do need a good Beijing snack shop here. We went to one just south of Temple of Heaven park (just southwest of the pearl market) called something like "Old Beijing Noodle House" or something like that, and it was strictly old school Beijing snacks.... corn cakes, ribs, mustard cabbage, lamb sticks, really phenomenal stuff. The food is really the only part of Beijing that I miss.

                              Mr Taster

                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                hey taster - dang - would have loved that. wonder if they sold haws...

                                1. re: Jerome

                                  Don't recall seeing them. Check out this link for a video we took in the place, and cycle through a few photos for some pics of the good stuff.


                                  Mr Taster

                          2. For amazing what I think are Xian Bing and some really good Jiao Zi, Michelles Kitchen on las Tunas in San Gabriel in the same strip mall as luscious dumplings and vietnam house.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Harrison71

                              bringing this a bit more up to date for #8, it seems Beijing Pie Shop on Garvey,
                              846 E. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park, (626) 288-3818

                              #7 - something adventurous at BEijing duck house
                              6420 Rosemead Blvd., San Gabriel (626) 286-5508
                              sea intestine - hai chang, shandong style.

                              #1 - duck itself at Beijing Duck House and at Tasty Duck I think 1039 E Valley Blvd...

                              and for #5, tasty duck has some imperial snacks. but no full on imperial cuisine banquets.

                              1. re: Jerome

                                and really good zhajiang mian (chinese style, not korean) at Qingdao Bread Food on Atlantic.

                                Qingdao Bread Food
                                301 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                                1. re: Jerome

                                  ohhhhh ill have to try that, ive been looking for a good chinese version for a while....its weird i like the chinese version better than the korean version, but a good version of the chinese version is harder to find

                                2. re: Jerome

                                  Yeah - the place on Garvey is pretty good (across from Kam Hong).

                                  They have vegetarian pies and dumplings also, for those who are interested in that sort of thing.