HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Chang's Garden in Arcadia

  • k

Anyone have a direct link to the JGold review of this joint. couldn't seem to find any mention of the review on the LA Weekly website archives.

Also, what's good to order here, non-pork, wise?

Also, is it anywhere near Din Tai Fung?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's around the corner from DTF, which actually backs up to the mall Chang's Garden is in. Entrance on Duarte; CG is in the first space on the eastern side (to the right as you face in).

    Very nice seafood and beef dishes, I think rather more than pork - it's Shanhainese, not Cantonese. Northern-style noodle dishes. We got a dish of eels one time that was deliriously good, but then we're suckers for eels. I can't give any specific direction to any reviews; we just wandered in one day for a late lunch and were pleased to be welcomed warmly and seated immediately, and it was all good after that. Been back a couple of times; must return soon.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Is it expensive, meaning I heard it was a dapper, fancy looking place with a much heralded chef in comparison to your regular SGV Chinese restaurant.

      Thanks. Also, does anyone know if Macau Street closed? I thought I heard some notice that closed already? Is there any truth to that?

      1. re: kevin

        Yes, Macau street closed, there's a long thread about it.
        I don't remember Chang's being fancy at all, it seems like it looked like a big coffee shop. And it wasn't expensive -- maybe not as cheap as Macau Street, but what is? Are there even any fancy, expensive Chinese restaurants right now? Maybe Mission 261?

        1. re: Chowpatty

          Someone said Mission 261 has great fried chicken is that correct?

          Well, I would say Elite restaurant is possibly fancy (maybe not fancy) but very very very expensive (but that's if you're ordering abalone or fish maw or bird's nest or possibly shark fin's0.

          Also, this strays a little from topic, but does you or anyone else happen to know if there is a chinese restaurant anywhere in LA that is like Jai Yun in San Francisco? If you've been to Jai Yun you'll know what I mean.

        2. re: kevin

          It isn't that expensive. Lunch dishes (a la carte) range from $7 to $12 on average. The food is decent, but I think there are better Shanghai place, such as J&J and Mei Long Village, which are also a bit cheaper (decor drops accordingly).

          The decor is a notch above your usual small Chinese restaurant, but I've gone there wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Then again, I've worn shorts and t-shirts to just about every Chinese restaurant I've ever been in (with the exception of a formal dinner).

          1. re: kevin

            If by fancy, you mean dressy, not at all. I've only been there at lunch: people were wearing jeans, dresses, California casual, and business clothing. The prices are moderate.

        3. I have been to Chang's Garden a couple of times, but it's been awhile. I thought the food was delicious and there was a good variety. Here is a previous thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/319510

          1. I have a copy of Gold's review, but I cut off the date of it, however, I went there and used a Mapquest map (still have copy), the date on it is 12/21/2004. So, I imagine it was around that time.

            I also have a copy of the menu from when I visited. Reading over the review I remember the stewed chicken with chestnuts. Sorry, pork's off your radar, 'cause the steamed spareribs in lotus leaves were fab.

            1. Their string bean roll, in the style of beef roll, is very good.

              1. Talk about timing...J. Gold bases this week's LA Weekly column, an excellent rant directed towards the clueless Michelin folks, on a meal at Chang's Garden, wondering (among other things) why this place didn't even get a mention, while other much less worthy ones did. And he names names, and says why.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Will Owen

                  I personally don't think the Michelin reviewers know all that much about Chinese food. For them, they want friendly staff and a total experience. But for those of us who know Chinese restaurants, we want good food. Friendly service would merely be an unexpected benefit.

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    All the more reason why they should have at least mentioned CG - we've gotten the most consistently warm welcomes there. They did in fact mention Triumphal Palace!

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      How in the world Triumphal Palace got a "bib" mention is another very curious selection by those French tire makers.

                2. one word... PORK! the tong po pork is a chinese braised pork belly that was as good as any i've ever had (i'd rank that and the belly i had at gramercy tavern 5 years ago as the top). another trademark dish they have is spare ribs wrapped in sticky rice and cooked in a lotus leaf. good, fatty stuff.

                  make sure to call your doctor beforehand so pre-arrange a quadruple bypass, but trust me, it'll be worth it. =)

                    1. kevin...

                      our faves there are:
                      the pork ribs in sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves
                      spicy eggplant (like custard)
                      deep fried bread
                      lotus appetizer
                      tong po pork
                      deep fried seaweed fish
                      chicken stew with chesnuts
                      beijing yogurt

                      pick up a copy of "The Last Chinese Chef" by Nicole Mones and have Henry sign the book when you go. The awesome crispy fried chicken wings with chilis can be found at Phoenix Food Boutique in the next mall next door to the original DTF.

                      try the crepes at the Japanese place across the way or a shaved ice dessert from SIN BA LA in the same mall. the gift shop in the DTF mall has a decent selection of japanese candy.

                      it's asia food central over there. parking's tough. buen provecho!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: revets2

                        We've always found plenty of parking behind the supermarket. Much easier getting in and out of than the front lot, and the walk will do you good!

                        1. re: revets2

                          cool thanks for the tips. is the spicy eggplant with pork or can you get it without? i presume it's with a garlic sauce. thanks again.

                        2. I thought Chang's Garden was terrible. I live around the area and there are so many other Chinese joints in the surrounding area that beat Chang's Garden by a mile. Their Chinese dishes are somewhat Americanized/fusion not so much your typical SGV Shanghainese eatery. I'd try their neighbors, Mei Mei or across the street from DTF, is Nice Time Deli.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: AndyGanil

                            Whether Mei Mei and/or Nice Time is better than Chang's is debatable, but neither are Shanghainese

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              ipse, do you like chang's garden?

                              1. re: kevin

                                Yes, I do.

                                There are certain dishes that I think they do really well.

                                Pork belly
                                Rice cakes

                                Is it a destination restaurant? Certainly not. Is it as Gold makes it out to be? No.

                                There are certainly better places to get XLB and other Shanghainese specialties (e.g. Mei Long Village or J&J, or even Ho Ho Kitchen), but it's a decent joint if you order right.