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HELP HOUNDS!!!! CHINESE IN THE VALLEY????

My parents love chinese.. But, recently moving to the valley in Studio City just off of the good ol Ventura blvd, I need some suggestions for good Chinese? We want to avoid the awful sh*# hole chains along Ventura. Unless, there is something special. Anyway, I need suggestions for places that are not to far deep(north) in the Val and somewhere in between Van Nuys and Laurel Cyn. I hope I was somewhat clear w/ my needs and thanks all for your help. p.s. As far as how deep. I would say no deeper than Victory. Oh, one more thing.. We will be eating in so the place must be comfortable to do so. Don't get me wrong, hole in the wall suggestions would be appreciated for future take-out. CHEERS..

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  1. Well, Kung Pao Bistro in Studio City is really your only choice in that area. Yes, it is a chain of two, meaning this location and one in WEHO. Decor really pleasant, yet hardly tablecloth-focused. BYO wine, even though they serve wine, but it's from the school of who cares.
    The seafood dishes, as well as most entrees and soups are delicious. Not in love with most of the appetizers, yet also do not like fried food, which many of them are, so there is a reason for that thought.
    China Lites and Rice are awful, and Dragon X is ready to close for lack of business.
    Never know how Chin Chin and Pick Up Stix stay open, and of course, Panda Express did close.
    Bamboo Village is marginal, but the only place worthy of competition would be Bamboo in Sherman Oaks, especially if you want a mixed drink. Food not as good, ambiance better, assuming tablecloths are of interest.

    1. For sit down, the only place I can recommend (marginally) is Bamboo on Ventura just east of Hazeltine. The food is decent, and the atmosphere nice for parents. Other people will probably recommend Kung Pao Bistro, but I'm not a fan.

      Unfortunately, Chinese in this area is a wasteland. If you would go a little bit further, Sam Woo BBQ at Victory and Sepulveda is probably better, though it is not nearly as nice aesthetically.

      The only other Chinese I would recommend in the SFV at all is A&W Seafood in Northridge, but that is way beyond your limits (Reseda and Prarie).

      Do your parents like Thai? Coldwater/Sherman Way is a mecca for Thai food, so I often suggest that when someone wants to get Chinese in this area.

      1. The entire San Fernando Valley is pretty much a wasteland for Chinese food, so if you limit yourself to a small area in the SFV you're really asking for the impossible. Best closest recommendation for your locale would probably be 88 Chinese, 5658 Sepulveda, which has received some decent comments on this board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chandavkl

          I second 88 Chinese (and Sushi) next to Zankou.

          San Woo, also, might be an option.

        2. Well, I don't have very good news for you.

          1. Comfortable/clean/ambiance
          2. Good Chinese food
          3. Located in the East Valley

          Pick any two.

          For 1&2, you have to go to the San Gabriel Valley.
          For 1&3, take your pick -- Kung Pao Bistro, Gourmet 88 and Bamboo are your candidates.
          For 2&3, you can go to BBQ Unlimited on Sherman Way between Coldwater Cyn and Ethel, or Sam Woo on Victory and Sepulveda.

          If you are determined to eat in the small area you've defined, you can do just kind of "OK" at Kung Pao and Bamboo. With Gourmet 88 you should limit yourselves to Cantonese food, because the other things on their menu they don't do very well. Carter has a real down on China Lites but there are some dishes (utterly Americanised, of course) that are not bad -- the Mongolian beef, the garlic fried chicken, the ong choy, the eggs with shrimp.

          Also, unfortunately heading over the hill is not going to help either -- the Westside is notorious for having terrible, overpriced and overly sweet Chinese food.

          Studio City is half an hour from Arcadia... that might be your best bet, frankly.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Now I'm getting the picture. I don't get beef dishes in Chinese restaurants as a rule. Secondly, seldom eat fried food, especially chicken, unless it is from Boneyard Bistro.
            Thirdly, veggies are very very good at K/Pao, including ong choy, chinese broccoli, asparagus, etc. And their tofu/fake meat dishes are superb - in fact, their orange chicken is something I don't like, yet their fake meat version is quite good as is the fake duck.
            And largely lastly, egg fried rice is enjoyed when shared with about 5 at K/Pao, but never ordered with just 2 dining. As to egg with shrimp, no reason to try it, until of course I do!
            We tend to order different things when going Americanized Chinese.
            As to the commute to Arcadia, mucho luck required to do Arcadia in 30 minutes around dinnertime.

            1. re: carter

              Ah, yes, there's the problem -- I absolutely will not eat fake meat. I'll eat tofu but if I'm to eat duck I want to eat duck, not ersatz duck.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                Well, when I go with some vegetarian friends, the tofu-based fake meat is the solution for all concerned.
                I realllllly enjoy real duck, yet the fake stuff is also reallllly good, just different. I seldom opt for it, unless the prevailing table consensus leans vegetarian. I had a Peking duck there last week, a special due to a friend's being in town, that was truly sensational, and much better than any you would find in the 626 area code.
                And the chinese broccoli accompaniment - superb! Could have eaten the vegetables and nothing else and would have left sated in one way, yet not so since it would have meant not getting to eat the duck!

            2. re: Das Ubergeek

              how's the seafood at sam woo or BBQ unlimited, das ubergreek? that's my reason for going to SGV; i have found no place that justifies staying anywhere closer to me here on the westside, as much as i dislike driving...

              1. re: epop

                Don't bother, then. These are BBQ places, not seafood halls, and the emphasis isn't on the seafood, so it's not really worth your time (and frankly BBQ Unlimited is as far from the Westside as the SGV). You could give A&W a try, which DOES have decent Cantonese seafood, otherwise just head downtown or to the SGV.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  appreciate it, das Ubergreek. I will stick to SGV and its swimming wonders.

            3. Hey, is vegetable delight still going? That's good chinese food!

              6 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                Yup, just went there two weeks ago.

                However, being that it's in Granada Hills, it's probably considered a bit out of the way from Studio City (this coming from someone who lives nearby)

                Plus, it's vegan, and the O.P. and parents are meat-eaters (everyone I know is a meat eater, and most of them act like they can't live without it, lol)

                1. re: Pumpkin_Head

                  Ok, I read what you said as far as your location parameters but if you don't find what you are looking for closer, try Mandarin Deli on Reseda Blvd in Northridge. I was born and raised in SFV and now live in SGV so if I want something passable in SFV, this is where I go. Actually, that isn't fair because it is more than passable and I really like it. Scallion pancakes, pot stickers, hand cut noodles in spicy beef soup, pickled cucumbers, YUM! Pretty casual. Other than knowing that this is Mandarin (because of the name?) I can't tell you what the style is so hopefully someone more knowledgeable can help out. I would NOT recommend A & W across the street for dim sum. I would rather go without than eat there. I know I will get grief for this is my opinion however humble.

                  1. re: Fru

                    Well, I'll try not to give you grief, but m going to disagree with you on A&W. Is its dim sum comparable to the SGV places? No. But it's okay if you want a dim sum fix and are in the general area.

                    Where I think A&W is seriously underappreciated, however is in its non-dim sum items. The house special crab and lobster are very good, and most of the dinner items I've tried (both seafood and non-seafood) have been better than at any other valley Chinese restaurant. I even find the soups far superior. Obviously, it's not going to knock your socks off if you are accustomed to the better SGV places, but it's better than any other SFV options.

                    As for Mandarin Deli, I've been disappointed the few times I've tried it. The scallion pancakes were decent, but not spectacular and the pot stickers were just so so. I know I've had some types of noodle there, but can't remember which, but that means they weren't very memorable.

                    1. re: Jwsel

                      Does A and W do cart service?

                      1. re: Jwsel

                        Thank you Jwsel. I appreciate that. I would even go as far as to say that I would be willing to try it for "non-dim sum" items (when in the area). And yes, the Sunday I went happened to be Father's Day but honestly, one of my favorite things is fried turnip and it was almost in-edible. I'll stop there.

                      2. re: Fru

                        It's been a while, but I thought the last time I ate at A&W BBQ Seafood (I believe that's the one on Reseda, just north of Sherman Way, it was fairly authentic. Is it no longer good?

                  2. There is a nice little place with booths called MB at 14120 Ventura Blvd. in a little strip mall. This place is not exactly going to put China Town or Monterey Park and related environs out of business but the food is good. Last night I didn't feel like cooking, went through their menu and decided to try the Scechuan Chow Fun. Damn edible. Had a tang to it but it also had some red peppers in it if you wanted to go for the gusto. I've tried a lot of their dishes especially during football season on Sunday evening and you will find the dishes you like and those that you don't. Nice little neighborhood place.

                    1. If you are willing to travel a little further east, GOURMET 88 in Burbank on San Fernando Road is pretty fantastic food wise and the interior is sort of old school (comfortable booths though).

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: saffygirl

                        The secret to eating decently at Gourmet 88 is to know what Cantonese food is (vs. Hunan, Sichuan, Mandarin/Beijing, etc.) and order only that. Things with sweet sauces are good IF you tell them to ease up on the sugar. Fried things are generally good.

                        Never order noodles there -- it is to weep. Get fried rice if you can't deal with just steamed rice.

                        Also, the prices at Gourmet 88 are shocking. It's about the level of cooking of the Fortune Inn on Brand Blvd. in Glendale, but with higher prices.

                      2. There is a small Chinese place at Ventura and Reseda that shares the same parking lot with Long's Drugs and Von's Market. Super Wok is family-style -- nothing fancy, but very clean and the food is better than good in most instances. They kind of bill themselves as a "healthy-style" restaurant (i.e. low fat, no MSG, brown rice upon request). The portions are large and the prices are incredibly low -- especially for lunch. It's mostly frequented by locals, and they're always busy. Two tables in a back room accomodate larger parties . . maybe 10-12 or so to each "lazy susan" table. Once, they merged several long tables in the dining room for a large family party of mine. Very nice people. If they are exceptionally busy, (they do take-out as well), it can get a little noisy, so suffice it to say that it's not exactly a recommendation for date night. Hope I won't regret this, but here's the site:

                        http://www.superwok.com/online/store.asp

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Gingergirl

                          I only ate there once, but I have to say, it was VERY good for Valley Chinese

                        2. I second the recommendation for MB...it's on the south side of Ventura, in the same mall as Jinky's. No atmosphere, but I think the booths are pretty comfortable and the food is decent, if not up to the standards of Monterey Park or San Gabriel.