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Looking for Chinese restaurant with kitschy decor on the Westside

Matt Esq. Mar 11, 2009 09:34 AM

Is anyone aware of any Chinese restaurants in the Santa Monica/West L.A. area with great old-school 50-60's style over the top decor? Maybe something along the lines of the Good Luck bar in Silverlake, but with food?

  1. j
    JBC Mar 11, 2009 10:45 AM

    I haven't been there in over 15 years, but the Twin Dragon on Pico does/might qualify. It's been at that location for 48 years:


    8597 West Pico Blvd. (310) 657-7355 ~ (323) 655-9805

    1. n
      nosh Mar 11, 2009 12:40 PM

      Much more than a "Chinese" restaurant in the cuisine, Chinois on Main may have the over-the-top decor that you are seeking.

      1. rednyellow Mar 11, 2009 04:50 PM

        good thread. Does anyone remember the chinese place about 20 years ago that was on Doheny just south of Wilshire? I think they also had a location in London. I remember a very posh, over the top decor. I want to eat in a chinese place that would make Liberace blush.

        2 Replies
        1. re: rednyellow
          Chandavkl Mar 11, 2009 04:58 PM

          That was Tse Yang. Merrill Shindler did a scathing review of the food there for the Herald Examiner, describing their sauces as being reminscent of "runny Nyquil."

          1. re: Chandavkl
            rednyellow Mar 11, 2009 05:00 PM

            YES! Thanks so much for jogging my memory. I remember the food wasn't so good, but loved the interior.

        2. J.L. Mar 11, 2009 04:50 PM

          80s decor: Chinois on Main
          Cultural revolution decor: Mao's Kitchen

          4 Replies
          1. re: J.L.
            rednyellow Mar 11, 2009 04:51 PM

            Chinois on Main - Delish. Mao's Kitchen - awful

            1. re: rednyellow
              J.L. Mar 11, 2009 04:52 PM

              Original poster menitoned nothing about looking for good food quality.... simply decor.

              1. re: J.L.
                rednyellow Mar 11, 2009 04:53 PM

                consider my input just a little bonus

              2. re: rednyellow
                westsidegal Mar 11, 2009 07:14 PM

                i must respectfully disagree with your food assessment of mao's kitchen--i like their food.
                if you think of it as chinese-inspired california food, it's much more likable than if you try to compare it to authentic chinese food.

                just my humble opinion

            2. wilafur Mar 11, 2009 04:59 PM

              fu's palace on pico looks pretty gaudy from the outside. i bet it's pretty kitschy on the inside....lols.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wilafur
                handlertaper Mar 11, 2009 06:59 PM

                Fu's even has a "fountain" inside and a big square bar. Used to be the Sugar Shack which was kitchy too!!

              2. b
                bu dat Mar 11, 2009 08:29 PM

                twin dragon.

                1. m
                  Matt Esq. Mar 12, 2009 04:49 PM

                  I went ahead tried Twin Dragon. Looks like the interior was probably great at some point, but now it is just plain white walls and booths, with a few wall hangings. The aquarium behind the bar is a nice touch though. I appreciated the tiki drink menu (decent mai tai) and my crispy duck was not bad. I'm still looking for more as far as ambiance is concerned, however. I did pass by Fu's Palace and am intrigued by the A-frame entrance. Will defintiely check it out soon. Chinois, while definitely cheesy in its own way (and also delicious) is not exactly what I have in mind here. I am talking Americanized Chinese cuisine in a dark environment preferably rife with chinese lanterns and other assorted flotsam and jetsam.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Matt Esq.
                    Chandavkl Mar 12, 2009 05:04 PM

                    Unfortunately (?) most of the places you are looking for are gone and I can't think of any remaining on the Westside. As noted above Fu's Palace replaced Sugar Shack in the mid-90s, so it doesn't have the long heritage (though that location was previously Wan-Q going back many years). Think there might be a couple of old time interiors in Torrance, and if you want to go as far east as MacArthur Park there's Bamboo Inn on 7th St. where you may see Raymond Chandler sitting in the booth next to you.

                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      Matt Esq. Mar 13, 2009 10:04 AM

                      Do you know the names of any of the places in Torrance? I'd be willing to open this up to the greater L.A. area to find a great example of this.

                      1. re: Matt Esq.
                        Chandavkl Mar 13, 2009 01:54 PM

                        There are a number of longstanding Chinese restaurants in Torrance, but I can't associate the restaurants with the decor. There's Golden Pheasant, Hong Kong Garden and Moo's, plus one place I was thinking about, Ding How, apparently recently closed down.

                  2. wilafur Mar 13, 2009 10:25 AM

                    i got it!

                    forbidden city in hollywood. it turns into a club at night but it is fully decked out in chinese kitsch.

                    forbidden city
                    hollywood, ca, hollywood, ca

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: wilafur
                      Chandavkl Mar 13, 2009 01:51 PM

                      Yes, but, the food--ick.

                      1. re: Chandavkl
                        wilafur Mar 13, 2009 02:00 PM

                        can't have it all......lol.

                        1. re: Chandavkl
                          Servorg Mar 13, 2009 02:30 PM

                          That's why it's forbidden!

                          1. re: Chandavkl
                            ipsedixit Mar 13, 2009 02:32 PM

                            Maybe you can have the food catered. LOL.

                        2. f
                          fdb Mar 13, 2009 02:35 PM

                          I'm not endorsing this but thought it might be fun.

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