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beijing islamic in torrance--good bad indifferent?

  • j

We are looking for a location for a gathering of our group of Moms. We are all partial to Chinese restaurants but at this point, the gathering needs to be more towards the South Bay area or Westside.

Beijing Islamic in Torrance came up as a possible location. Alas, I don't have time to do independant tasting research before our next tentative meeting. I know they are mentioned positively in the Carl Chu book but I couldn't find any recent postings about them on this list. Has anyone been there and do you have any thoughts--would you go again? Is there something that shouldn't be missed, something that shouldn't be ordered?

Oh and can they handle a group of say 20 people? All information will be appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. I've been there, and have to say that it's a *distant* third as compared to China Islamic and Tung Lai Shun (1st and 2nd, respectively, imho).

    However, Beijing Islamic does have quite a bit of space, and they do appear to be "dead" most of the time. So it might actually be a place to consider...

    Have you thought about Seafood Port in Torrance? They have a private room in back, and better food (not Islamic, though).

    Seafood Port Chinese Restaurant
    21180 Hawthorne Blvd.
    Torrance, CA
    (310) 370-8478

    1 Reply
    1. re: Joe B.

      Went to Seafood Port for Chinese New Year this year. It ROCKED. We had a party of 30 - 10 people per table. Great, attentive service. I think we may have ordered seven (or 9? I always forget how many courses its supposed to be) courses, and almost everything was excellent. It sounds perfect for your needs.

    2. They do have lots of room for a large group. They were very cordial and helpful to us. I have a thing for fresh house made noodles with brown sauce and their's was very enjoyable. Sad to say I do not remember if or what else we ordered. Really good noodles, of the flat variety.

      1. You may want to consider Regal Palace Seafood, which is on PCH, two or three miles south of Beijing Islamic. It's excellent. Great live seafood, dim sum carts rolling at lunch during the week, extensive menu and a layout big enough to accomodate your group. They have several rooms in back if you want some privacy. My wife and I had our rehearsal dinner there prior to our wedding and they did a great job. My mother-in-law, who is Taiwanese and a pretty tough grader when it comes to Chinese restaurants, raves about it.

        Regal Palace Seafood
        2166 PCH, Lomita

        1 Reply
        1. re: Food Coma

          Actually, Regal Palace is only about a mile east of Beijing Islamic and I would recommend it highly. Pacific Coast Highway between Crenshaw and Western has a number of other San Gabriel Valley quality Chinese places including Harbor Palace (1949), PCH (1841) and Szechwan Seafood (2107). Beijing Islamic is OK if you want that style of food and don't want to drive up to San Gabriel.

        2. I went there a few years ago and thought it was pretty good. I haven't been to the other two Chinese Islamic places mentioned, although I've frequented the one in Hacienda Heights (now closed) and the one in Tustin. Our standbys are usually the da bing (crusty scallion bread), a lamb dish and the three flavor noodles.

          1. Beijing Islamic is good for its specialties - "big bread", handmade noodles, and lamb dishes. Otherwise, if you just want standard Chinese fair you're better off going to one of the other Chinese restaurants further down PCH.

            1. Beijing Islamic Chinese reopened on Oct 13th 2009. They are on 1223 W Pacific Coast Highway in Harbor City. The entire Restaurant is around 8000 square foot witha a huge Banquet hall. Sitting capicity is around 350.
              The Glass enterence doors are etched and illuminated in green color. The new phone number is (310)5391755

              11 Replies
              1. re: etchlite

                Thanks for the info. That sounds like the space occupied by the King Palace buffet, which means one less Chinese buffet in Los Angeles, which probably already has the fewest Chinese buffets per capita than any city in the U.S.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Just stopped there, asked for "the most authentic" dish on the menu, the guy said knowledgeably "lamb curry" and then proceeded to give me a gloopy, brown-curry with green peppers in the worst tradition of americanized "chinese" garbage. not recommended.

                  1. re: echoparkdirt

                    Finally made it for an in person visit. Beijing Islamic has gone the way that Tung Lai Shun went when they moved to Anaheim, and indeed has gone way past that point in dumbing down the menu for the local audience. Indeed I had trouble spotting items on the menu that weren't Halal versions of tourist food. That having been said, their sesame bread is the best I've eaten, both with a crispy crust and bread that has some flavor to it. The dough sliced noodles were nice and chewy, and the dumplings, made of chicken, were also quite good. However, unless I felt in the mood for the sesame bread I don't think I'd go back.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      I tried the new restaurant yesterday and had my tried and true favorites from the Torrance location - the lamb with green onions, the sesame bread and the 3 flavor chow mein. All were as I remember them. No complaints from me. The owner has really nice and attentive. She said that dinner business was picking up, but that they needed to bring in lunch businesses. I hope things work out for them at this new location.

                      1. re: annapurna7

                        haven';t been. sounds like one shoudl order carefully. wonder if they have "paomo" lamb ...

                        1. re: annapurna7

                          You do realize that this new Beijing Islamic is completely unrelated to the old one on PCH, right?

                          1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                            Interesting, however, that both the old Torrance and the new Harbor City locations also have the same identical Chinese name (as opposed to the unrelated Beijing Islamic formerly in Montebello which had a different Chinese name). Also both Torrance and Harbor City closed between 3pm and 4:30pm--don't think I've ever seen those particular hours at any Chinese restaurant anywhere.

                            1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                              Not true. The owners are the same owners from the old Torrance location. The lady we were talking to (can't remember her name) was mentioning how glad they were to be open again after a two year hiatus.

                              1. re: annapurna7

                                That's so weird, because when I went there about two months ago with my parents, we asked our waitress if this was related to the old restaurant on PCH and she said no. Hmmm. She did mention that the owners are Pakistani.

                                Also, did anyone notice that there was a distinctly half-and-half Pakistani-Chinese waitstaff? And all of the other diners who were there at the time were South Asian -- we were the only East Asians.

                                In any case, I agree with whichever previous poster(s) who said that, aside from the very tasty sesame "pancake," this new incarnation is simply blah at best, which is sad because my parents and I adored the old Beijing Islamic and really hoped this would be the same.

                                1. re: buttermarblepopcorn

                                  There was a heavy Pakistani presence in the restaurant the night that I went. They probably have Pakistani investors.

                                  1. re: annapurna7

                                    I just asked my mom tonight what she remembered from that night and she said our Chinese waitress said the chef/cook was brought over from the Chinese buffet that used to be at that location. That would sort of explain the generic menu items. And I could've sworn our waitress told us the owner was a Pakistani man.