Szwechuan on PCH seems to have changed ownership and some of the dishes have fallen off.
Does anyone else catch this?
The Shanghai dumplings and hot and sour soup were up to snuff, but the szechuan country-style bean curd and the black bean shrimp were off, the bean curd particularly so.
Does anyone have a good alternative in the Lomita area, which has been a hot bed for good Chinese for about 15 years.
Unfortunately, that stretch of PCH is past its heyday. Szechwan is definitely not what it used to be. Harbor Palace was horrible last time I went - the place itself has fallen into even more disrepair than is usual for a Chinese place, and the food was just... sad. PCH Restaurant has changed ownership again and is sadly not at all like it used to be.
PV Palace was recently renovated and is a decent place for Cantonese food and the only decent option for dim sum in the Lomita area. I agree that Shanghai Palace is strong, but it is Shanghainese-oriented and not Szechuanese. Their crispy fish with garlic is great, as are the stir-fried rice cake and spicy shredded beef. The rice cake with crab is delightful. They also have a nice fatty pork with sticky rice.
My personal favorite is A-1 BBQ, which has gotten mixed reviews here and elsewhere because it's a total hole in the wall and the service isn't overly friendly. But I've been going there for 20 years, and it's the one place that I would literally cry over if it closed. They have the best beef chow fun I've ever had (and I've had A LOT). They do a mean salt/pepper shrimp as well as an exemplary fried string bean. The BBQ dishes are far better than at Nice Cafe, which I find pretty bland and boring overall. $4.50 for a steaming bowl of thick rice noodles (bought fresh daily) with homemade wonton in a rich broth and topped with a generous portion of some of the best BBQ pork around has got to be the best deal in town. The lady who runs A-1 is actually a really nice woman, but she can come off somewhat brusque. Don't take it personally - just have some really great, incredibly inexpensive Chinese food. Oh, and enjoy their homemade hot sauce that I wish I could eat like candy all day long. They won't sell it to me. :(
A-1 Chinese BBQ
2014 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717
If you're willing to venture slightly outside of Lomita and Szechuan territory, try Nice Cafe in Rolling Hills Plaza nearby (2543 PCH #B, around the corner from Trader Joe's) for Cantonese and HK Style BBQ. Also, Sue's Kitchen (Crenshaw near Lomita Blvd) especially for their Beef Noodle Soup. Seashore (PCH @ Calle Mayor, even further up) to round out my list of go-tos in the area.
Haven't been to Harbor Palace, PV Palace and PCH Chinese Restaurant in ages so I can't report on that.