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Feb 11, 2009 04:44 PM

Szechuan restaurant on Washington at Abbot Kinney

I pass this place all the time and I live VERY close. it has big wooden double doors and I think the name is actually "Szechuan". has anyone been? is it any good or even passable? it's close enough to me that it would be worth it for even average+ Szechuan food.

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    1. You are much better off crossing Washington and going to Wacky Wok.

      1 Reply
      1. re: New Trial

        LOL -- Maybe its just me, but if somewhere called "Wacky Wok" is better, I fear for the szechuan place. I'm a sucker for Chinese, and I succumbed to the cute ads and tried a Pick-Up Stix after seeing the cute ads a year or so back -- the dumpling was ok.

      2. Since people here have no qualms in commenting on 5 year old posts, here goes:

        When I lived in the area 20 years ago, Szechuan was a nice reliable option. Very good apps, and the entrees were ok. Nothing outstanding, but if you wanted a comfortable leisurely dining option in a nice room, and wanted Chinese, it was a good choice. At that time, Wacky Wok was pretty good for NY style take out, but not dining in. I preferred Szechuan on all counts.

        As I said, I've been gone from Venice for almost 20 years, and the only place I've been back to (and even that wasn't all that recently) was Benny's BBQ - so that should tell you something about how much either joint has been missed

        3 Replies
        1. re: Briggs

          I think we went once to Szechuan many years I ago and that was it. Neighborhood places like Szechuan and Wacky Wok are there to serve the needs of the locals who don't want to drive someplace really good after a long day at work.

          Hey, Briggs - what do you mean about commenting on 5 year old posts? Or am I missing something here?

          1. re: Servorg

            "Hey, Briggs - what do you mean about commenting on 5 year old posts? Or am I missing something here?"

            Nope. Always amused to open a thread, only to find it's 4 or 5 year old, and with someone adding something like: "Me too" (or something equally innocuous), and then not really adding anything new... Thus my comment on discussing a restaurant I haven't been to in 19 years.

          2. re: Briggs

            I ate at Szechuan about a month ago. Thought you should know that the information in your post still is accurate after all these years.

          3. It is easily passable americo-chinese fare. I love their steamed dumplings--after I drown them in hot oil. There's nothing particularly "Szechuan" about it that I've noticed, like you might expect in SGV. It's a pu-pu platter and chinese chicken salad-type joint and is fine as far as that goes.

            2 Replies
            1. re: broncosaurus

              You and Briggs nailed it. It's pretty much serviceable takeout-grade Chinese that locals have embraced for decades. I haven't been since the early 90s, but I know many who still do takeout almost weekly there. One buddy always rolls in the doors shouting, "SZECH-WAAAAAAANNN!!!" while waving his hands like some pseudo Kung Fu dude. I know, he needs his Ritalin refilled, but the folks at Szechwan know him and actually get a kick out of it...

              1. re: bulavinaka

                they have always been a warmly inviting neighborhood restaurant.

                i used to eat there regularly when my daughter was 2 (now she's 18) and they never complained about having a toddler there; they always got a high chair and some food to her immediately so that she was content and quiet while the rest of us ordered and ate.

                the food was (an is) nothing special, but taken as a whole, the restaurant 'works' if you're local.

            2. thank you all for the input. while it's not what i was hoping for --water boiled fish and bean curd skin in my neighborhood-- it's always good to have a reliable place to go...

              1 Reply
              1. re: jdwdeville

                "...--water boiled fish and bean curd skin..." ain't gonna happen in your hood. Those dishes require a trip to the SGV and even there the choices have become more limited. A number of CH Sichuan favorites including Oriental Pearl and Lucky Dragon and a place I liked called Sichuan Express have closed but there are still some options in the area. For the real deal, scorching and numbing ma la flavor, ya gotta travel. If your willing to make the trip and need recs let us know!