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Best Chinese downtown?

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Anybody know of a great authentic Chinese restaurant around the downtown area? I'm specifically looking for great dumplings, and also a kind of pan-fried noodles that I once had at the famous Joe's Shanghai in Flushing, NY. The noodles were thin and golden and crispy, but when drenched in this dark sauce, becomes soft and pliable.

I'm not interested in American-Chinese food, or boring common items like General Tsao or kung pao chicken. I want authentic Chinese food, the kind that brings back nostalgia to one who was brought up eating Chinese food!

Thanks! :-)

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  1. I don't really know of any Northern Chinese places for dumplings in the Downtown / China Town area.

    The noodle dish that you describe is simply chow mein with crispy noodles. The sauce usually varies from light to dark depending on what type of meat / seafood you order with the noodles.

    1. I believe there have been a number of threads regarding the LA equivalent of the dumplings you have referenced. I do not recall any Shanghai-style restaurant in the downtown/Chinatown area. The real place to get Shanghai-style food (or food from just about any part of China) would be the San Gabriel Valley.

      From your description, the noodle dish would be Cantonese/Hong Kong style chow mein. While this is the default style in most Cantonese/HK restaurants in the SGV, it is not always true elsewhere. Make sure you order it with the crispy noodle.

      1. Only somewhat authentic non-Cantonese restaurant I can think of is Mandarin Chateau on North Broadway. I think they have XLB, but that might be it for their "dumpling" selection.

        1. The type of noodles you are looking for can be found at Kim Chuy (on Broadway and Ord)

          1. I don't think you'll find much in the way of dumplings but I still find Hop Li one of the best Chinese restaurants in Chinatown on Alpine St. They have a variety of noodles and the best darn stir fried lobster my family has ever had.

            30 Replies
            1. re: Hughlipton

              Wow! I looked up on the menu, and they've got an extensive menu for noodles! Cool! Thank you!

              1. re: burp_excuzme

                If you try it report back. I tout this place so often you would think I owned an interest in it (which I do not). I just love their food.

              2. re: Hughlipton

                Having read your review on this restaurant, I gave it a try last night. I really wanted to like it. We tried first a couple of items, prior to ordering the stir fried lobster. Sesame spare ribs and chicken and asparagus, etc. They were so bad, I couldn't justify spending more on the lobster dish. (salty, greasy and bland) Not to mention the wait staff. All of the uniforms were so dirty, and our server was leaning on a table next to us, tending to his finger nails, right in front of us, Gross! There must be better Chinatown restaurants.

                1. re: xoxohh

                  Across the street from Hop Li, Zen Mei Bistro. Check out their $9.99 lobster special. Order $20 worth of food and get a free item. They got thin pan fried noodles...ask for the three flavor pan fried noodles.

                  Also other noodle place I like is Hong Kong BBQ (formerly Sam Woo BBQ) on Broadway.

                  -----
                  Hong Kong BBQ
                  803 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

                  Zen Mei Bistro
                  800 Yale St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                  1. re: xoxohh

                    Well Hughlipton did qualify his statement by saying Hop Li was one of the best Chinese Restaurants in Chinatown. I personally don't agree, but whatever the best in Chinatown is, the ceiling isn't very high

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      For non dim sum, I dare say that the best in Chinatown might be Yang Chow.

                      That's saying quite a bit because I think on a good day Panda Express can outdo whatever Yang Chow is putting out of its back kitchen.

                      -----
                      Yang Chow Restaurant
                      3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Translation: This is more of a knock on Chinatown that a recommendation for Yang Chow. However, I think we might be guilty of a little piling on. I've had some pretty good meals at Golden City on Hill St., and Mayflower over on Spring. However unless the I-10 east is really jammed, I'm headed out that way instead (and not to the Pasadena Yang Chow).

                        -----
                        Yang Chow Restaurant
                        3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          I almost fear that in 10 years people like you and me will be talking about west SGV -- e.g., Monterey Park/Alhambra/San Gabriel -- the way we do about Chinatown today.

                          The east SGV -- e.g., Rowland Heights and environs -- may quickly supplant west SGV as the epicenter of Chinese grub.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            That's funny, I always refer to the East SGV as the "3rd coming" with West SGV as the "2nd coming" and Chinatown as the original.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Who knows what the future may bring. For all we know, in 10 years, Riverside might become the new epicenter of Chinese cuisine. When I was younger, none of my relatives in Chinatown ever thought they would move out to the suburbs. But that's where they are these days.

                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                Maybe it'll be the foodie version of Manifest Destiny ... why stop at Riverside? Maybe the Chinese food domination will spread out all the way to Blythe!

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Oklahoma, here we come!

                        2. re: Chandavkl

                          Hop Li has been LONG overrated...!!! I mean, they have a branch on the westside!!! They might have been good ONCE, but I don't think so now... Zen Mei Bistro? Gotta love that "China" vibe... those cooks definitely know how to cook the "village"...!!! As for Chinatown, it is where the old school grew up... it's too bad it has become what it is food wise. Although, I still think that Phoenix Inn (the ORIGINAL, might I add!) is still good. It was my fave until the recent remodel (and unfortunately they eliminated some old school items) but they are stupidly catering to all the downtown residential masses.... awful. Can anyone tell me if the Regency or whatever at Alameda down the street is any good???

                        3. re: xoxohh

                          It doesn't even come close to sounding like the restaurant I eat at called Hop Li. To be fair though I would be more than happy after the first of the year to have you and your guest be my guest including lobster but I must be in charge of the ordering. I also bring the wine. Let's click chopsticks together and discuss the respective dishes.

                          -----
                          Hop Li Seafood
                          526 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                          1. re: Hughlipton

                            Are you talking to me? We may just take you up on it :)

                            1. re: xoxohh

                              Anytime after the first of the year.

                              1. re: Hughlipton

                                OK. We look very much forward to it!!

                            2. re: Hughlipton

                              Isn't Hop Li a chain? I think there's one on Arcadia. i have to say i wasn't impressed with it.

                              1. re: mc michael

                                I guess four branches (2 other branches in WLA on Pico and Santa Monica) would make it a chain.

                                -----
                                Pico Cafe
                                8944 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  Is being a chain a bad thing? Yang Chow has at least three locations that I know of. They get favorable reviews and yet they seem to be a chain.

                                  -----
                                  Yang Chow Restaurant
                                  3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                  1. re: Hughlipton

                                    To keep this on topic, I frequent the Yang Chow in Woodland Hills and, now that I've developed a rapport with Claire in the front of the house, I can get my dishes just as spicy as I could possibly want. They have dumbed down a bit (eliminated jellyfish, for example) but still it's the best combination of good eats and proximity to home. And no, being a chain isn't necessarily a bad thing. Arguably Per Se and French Laundry are a chain. To my mind (and I think to the minds of many Hounds and non-Hounds alike) "chain" connotes something like Denny's or California Pizza Kitchen, places with a corporate infrastructure dictating menu choices and ingredients. But In n Out and Bob's Big Boy (there are at least 2 left and a new one just opened) are "chains" and both are favorites of mine and highly rated on this board. As I see it, the problem with a "chain" is that almost always you lose the individuality of the chef of the original and you end up with restaurant clones. Not necessarily a bad thing if what you're seeking is uniformity whether you're in California or Maine. Can I get in on the lobster event and yes you can be in charge of ordering!

                                    -----
                                    Yang Chow
                                    6443 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91303

                                    Pizza Kitchen
                                    1633 Potrero Grande Dr, Rosemead, CA 91770

                                    California Pizza
                                    16960 Van Buren Blvd Ste D, Riverside, CA 92504

                                    1. re: TomSwift

                                      Come on Tom. Fess up. You were interested in the wine weren't you?

                                      1. re: Hughlipton

                                        Yup, always interested in the wine. But we'll hold up our end of the stick by bringing a few bottles as well. Although I must confess ("fess") I'm not sure what type of wine would pair best with what you'd order. Please adivse.

                                      2. re: TomSwift

                                        The Yang Chow in Pasadena is one of my worst restaurant experiences. They can't pay me to go back!

                                        -----
                                        Yang Chow Restaurant
                                        3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                        1. re: suvro

                                          I have a co-worker in another state that insists that we do a Yang Chow run every time he comes in to LA. Gotta get his Slippery Shrimp fix. Me... not so much!

                                          -----
                                          Yang Chow Restaurant
                                          3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                          1. re: eddiesudz

                                            I think slippery shrimp tastes best eaten no more than once a year.

                                      3. re: Hughlipton

                                        Yes, I agree in principle with your point on chains. Chain or not, I've grown less enamored of Yang Chow over time.

                                        -----
                                        Yang Chow Restaurant
                                        3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                        1. re: Hughlipton

                                          Yang Chow is awful -- chain, or otherwise.

                                          -----
                                          Yang Chow Restaurant
                                          3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                            But remember that in the west SFV it's slim pickins' when it comes to Chinese. And most nights I'm too tired to drive over to A&W. The day was saved (sort of) when I was able to convince them that when I said "spicy" I really meant spicy. My Chowhound Passport got a chuckle but really didn't help much.

                                            1. re: TomSwift

                                              Reisling?

                              2. Forget these places. Go to CBS on Ord & Spring. They might not have exactly what you want, but what they have will be good.

                                -----
                                CBS Seafood
                                700 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                1. You should go a few miles east really to Alhambra. No doubt about it.

                                  1. My two cents: Downtown doesn't have a "great authentic Chinese restaurant" that I'm aware of. For decent Chinese-y Chinese food,

                                    Try:
                                    Mayflower
                                    CBS/ABC
                                    Yum Cha Cafe (basically fast-food/usually v. crowded)

                                    Avoid:
                                    Hop Li (among the worst in town, on about every level)

                                    Still working my way through Chinatown and have a very long way to go.
                                    See endless previous threads for (lack of) NY-style Chinese food.

                                    -----
                                    CBS Seafood
                                    700 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    Mayflower Restaurant
                                    685 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA

                                    Yum Cha Cafe
                                    638 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    ABC Seafood Restaurant
                                    708 New High St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    Mayflower Seafood Restaurant
                                    679 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: cant talk...eating

                                      Having dined in downtown Chinatown for 50+ years...

                                      I like Mayflower, Hop Li, CBS, ABC and have been to all of those dozens of times each.

                                      Mayflower for their seafood/lobster dishes
                                      Hop Li for my big dinner banquets 20-70 people (they give me free corkage)
                                      CBS just okay dim sum, better for dinners
                                      ABC used to be the best at everything for the first 10 years (1970's-1980's) when they opened, today their dim sum has gone downhill and now is only so-so, but their dinners are still good... hasn't changed much in 30-40 years. They used to have 1hr waits before Empress Pavillion opened and EP used to have long waits if you didn't get there before it opened.

                                      Now, there's no wait at ANY Chinatown dim sum restaurants on the weekends. The SGV restaurants have been kicking out superior and better quality food. Also, I opine that Chinese immigrants will move to the SGV rather than Chinatown as I hardly see any old Chinese people walking around Chinatown today. It used to be all the sidewalks totally crowded with old Chinese people walking around with lots and lots of bags full of ingredients for their Sat/Sun dinner. No more. 3-6 pm during the week it also used to be jammed with local Chinese with many bags of food walking. No more locals I think.

                                      Fact is, SGV restaurants have gotten much better and the old guard Chinatown restaurants quality is frozen in time without improvement or innovation. I used to stick to Cantonese exclusively until just a few years ago and am now exploring all the other regional cuisines, most notably the Northern cuisines that have more spicy/hotter dishes.

                                      There's several recent Chinatown restaurants that have opened within the last 1-5 years or so that I haven't tried that seem to be pretty popular, but I've only tried one so far... Master Chef... and they agreed to waive corkage for my 2-4 table dinners so I have been going here lately for my banquet dinners I host. They have been great... I would email my table reservations along with my preset menu and the owner would personally call or email me to confirm. Plus when I arrive, I will check their specials board and sometimes will change to their special of the day and they always happily make the last minute changeup. It's much smaller than Hop Li where I'd also order in advance as well. I love dining banquet style dinners being the guy who gets to order all my favorite dishes. As a child, the banquets the adults would order always had 2-4 dishes that I didn't like. This was because they usually ordered the fixed banquet dinners on the menu, I always order my dishes from the menu, not the fixed banquet menu or will sometimes ask them to make a dish off menu. The advantage of giving them my dinner menu in advance is they will buy the ingredients specifically for our group that day so we get the freshest ingredients rather than getting stuck with some old ingredients that they had lying around for days. Master Chef accepts email, Hop Li I can fax my dinner menu but usually I will stop in a couple days in advance and discuss the menu with them, in case they can get some good prices or know about some great seafood or maybe they got some great meat coming in...

                                      I prefer tables of 9 so there's plenty of elbow room, being a product of 10 chair banquets all my childhood and being forced to learn and eat right handed even though I'm left handed.

                                      I read somewhere that there's over 200,000+ Chinese recipes and I'm wondering if that's just for Cantonese cuisine...

                                      I will say that these days, I prefer spicy food and love the Northern/Islamic cuisines, the Thaitown places, you all know... Jitlada (loves me some Jazz), Sanam luang, Ruen Pair (late night, early AM is a trip with all the 2am drunk Thai hotties), Sapps, etc, etc.

                                      Sorry for the OT rambling... but I'm old and I guess I must be getting senile...

                                      -----
                                      Jitlada
                                      5233 1/2 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                      Ruen Pair Restaurant
                                      5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                      Master Chef Restaurant
                                      937 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                      1. re: darrelll

                                        Love what you might refer to as rambling - it's the fondant of food talk. :)

                                        1. re: darrelll

                                          Tears still well up in my eyes when I think about the old ABC Seafood, from the time they took over from the Lime House in 1984 until 1999 when the head chef went into retirement. I still rate that as the best Chinese restaurant I ever ate at in the USA, at least on a contemporary basis. Everything was great, especially the lemon chicken, and it's probably the only restaurant I could eat at on a weekly basis. While we've moved on from there both in terms of progressive cooking styles and the restaurant itself, I still miss the place to this day.

                                          -----
                                          ABC Seafood Restaurant
                                          708 New High St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                            Remember those days, but I was frequenting Mon Kees.

                                            1. re: monku

                                              Mon Kee's was kept in business longer than it should have by the downtown lunch crowd. I remember even in the last year of their operation they still won the Downtown News reader poll as best Chinese restaurant. My last recollection of Mon Kee was a Saturday night when there was one couple dining in Mon Kee while Mayflower next door was playing to a full house.

                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                Give Mon Kee's credit, they were the pioneers of the Chinese live seafood restaurants. Plenty of star power helped too...remember seeing Steven Spielberg and David Crosby pulling up in limos.
                                                Remember those waning days while going to May Flower peeking into Mon Kee's and wondering why it was still open.

                                                1. re: monku

                                                  Absolutely, both in Chinatown in the 1980s, and then Mon Kee West on restaurant row in Beverly Hills and later in Encino, they brought Chinese seafood to the masses.

                                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                                    Mon Kee was also in The Beverly Center for a short while in the 80's.

                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                      The Mon Kee space is now part of Mayflower and used as a giant banquet room, probably holds at least 15-20 tables

                                          2. re: darrelll

                                            Thank you darrelll for the detailed and super-informative rundown! This is just what I was looking for. It seems silly that it took me this long to venture to Chinatown but I finally did, and will use this as a guide for future trips. Recently tried JR Bistro and it had some hits and misses, but it had a nice modern atmosphere and it was priced very well. Phoenix Inn was a bit on the greasy and salty side, but still hit the mark more than any of the Chinese places westward. After ready your post I am ready for an outing to Master Chef; any must-try items on the menu they do particularly well?

                                            -----
                                            Master Chef Restaurant
                                            937 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                            1. re: maiweezy

                                              It depends how many in your party. I don't like going for Cantonese Chinese dining unless I have at least 6 people but 8-10 is optimal so that I can get a good variety of dishes as my rule of thumb is about 1 dish per person excluding rice, dessert and soup. This formula doesn't work good with less than 4 as I'd include soup as one of the dishes.

                                              So you tell me how many in your party and I'll tell you what I would order.

                                              1. re: maiweezy

                                                In my experience Master Chef is really good for anything that's pan fried. Everything else is lackluster,

                                                -----
                                                Master Chef Restaurant
                                                937 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                                          3. the description of the dish is so vague as to be puzzling. It could be zha-jiang mian, it could be a dark version of a regular shanghai yi-mian dish, thekind of thing that you can get at Meilong or Giang-nan on teh menu as shanghai style noodles. try 101 nolde in alhmabra and ask for zhajiang mian if that's close...
                                            in chinatown - have to say i well, i don't detest yangchow, but i won't eat there. wen tonce a few years back with "friends" who RAVED so i said maybe it's better. it was vile. they loved it. case closed.
                                            In chinatown, I like Full House (chinese yu dun- fisherman's village) on hill. good hours, good iron plate dishes (tie ban) when the live shrimp are in teh tank, cquite worrthwhile. Good job with sweet sour dishes and with the various yunduntang - wonton soup choices. Spicy? no. classic yue-cai cantonese. good quail and squab. nice variety of sea food.
                                            empress has lost a lot of love on the board, but still empress pavilion is good for chinatown and passable were it in the SGV. avoid xlb and guotiehr. But they have good taro cakes and luobo/daikon cakes. chicken feet are as good as anywhere. Given time, yes, 888 is my fave but empress is fine.

                                            the dumpling request is a problem because i have no idea what the OP means - northern jiaozi like dumpling master or 101 noodle or whatever the one with the number is that folks go crazy for (sole, pork and pumpkin, etc) - or Xiao Long Bao like at Din Tai Feng or ANY huaiyang ("shanghai") restaurant like JZ or Meilong VIllage or Giang-nan which will be fine, or southern shaomai, or the hargow/ cha siu bow type dumplings one finds at dim sum houses - or cat's ear "dumplings" like I found at that place on Tampa (name? can't remember) or the place out next ot the market on valley that has shanxi style food and cat's ears that's where the heavy noodling folks went (sorry - could look it up and i've posted about it but haven't been in months - help?).
                                            anyway - there's lots to try.
                                            kung bao (gongbao) chicken is authentic chinese food - have had it in beijing - in 1982. so by the way is sweet and sour pork (gulao rou) and is touted in an old chinese (language) guidebook i've got as a must try in Canton (guangzhou, ok) along with dog meat and dragon-tiger-struggle (3 types of snake and civet-cat). So there you are.
                                            btw - as an aside to nostalgia - back in the stone age in beijing, the cooks i knew were shocked that i wanted to eat at a sichuan restaurant - they didn't even consider it food.
                                            - by which I mean that authentic dishes from one part of china will have absolutely no resonance or nostalgia-value to someone from another region.

                                            Enjoy the hunt!!

                                            15 Replies
                                            1. re: Jerome

                                              "back in the stone age in beijing, the cooks i knew were shocked that i wanted to eat at a sichuan restaurant - they didn't even consider it food.
                                              - by which I mean that authentic dishes from one part of china will have absolutely no resonance or nostalgia-value to someone from another region."

                                              Totally true. I know Chinese people who will absolutely refuse to eat dishes from other regions of China because the foods from those areas are completely foreign/disgusting to them.

                                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                                I've found that there is a very pronounced bias among Cantonese/Toishanese/Hong Kong people against other regional cuisines, but not so much the other way.

                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                  When you've eaten the best, everything else is obviously inferior. :-)

                                                  1. re: raytamsgv

                                                    You speak the truth. If you go to cities having Chinese communities without much of a Cantonese population (e.g., Atlanta, St. Louis), you still find the biggest and best Chinese restaurants are Hong Kong seafood/dim sum restaurants, quite often operated by Fujianese entrepreneurs.

                                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                                      I think this might be the case b/c Cantonese cuisine is most easily assimilated by different palates.

                                                      Sichuan? A bit too spicy for most people.
                                                      Beijing/Northern? Not everyone digs dumplings, pastas, breads, etc.

                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                        it's also a fact that when most amercans of non-chnese backgrounds think of chinese food, they thnk of cantonese food. can you imagine the difficulty a piemontese italian place might have if it offered as limited pasta as one gets in piemonte? esp if it were one of only say two italian retaurants in a small city?

                                                2. re: Jerome

                                                  Hey Jerome, can you expand on the vileness of your YC experience? The last time I was there (about 5 years ago) I remember having the sizzling rice soup, which was not bad, and the slippery shrimp which was tasty for the first few bites and then rapidly downgraded to cloying monotony (can a brotha get a vegetable up in here?). I think we also ordered the moo shu, which was fine, but unextraordinary.

                                                  For comparative purposes, I'd call Panda Express vile, and the nasty Chinatown meal I once had at Golden Dragon 12 years ago (sponsors of the Chinese New Year Parade!) was utterly inedible (and I don't bandy about that word very often). In my opinion, calling YC vile is hyperbole.

                                                  Mr Taster.

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    I've said this before, and I'll say it again here, Yang Chow is simply Panda Express with silverware and table-service.

                                                    In fact, in some ways, Panda might actually have better food than Yang Chow.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      Indeed, Ipse... although it seems that your opinion has softened over the years.... at one point I believe you claimed YC to be worse than Panda. Have my opinions caused you to upgrade your assessment? :)

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                      yo taster:
                                                      I didn't see much difference between yang chow and pf chang. the sizzling rce soup - didn't have it. the slippery shrmp were too tomato-y if i remember. they insisted on ordering and everyting was gloppy as i recall and not worth the calories. I'm happy that they meet a need and people like them. let them stay in business (pfchang too!). but i'll go to full house happily.
                                                      also, panda express and p ? chang are clearly providing chinese food for an american audience. Yang Chow - it's the equivalent of an italian place offering deep dish chicago pizza and telling you this is just how it is in naples.

                                                      maybe that's hyperbole as well - and nothing against deep-dish pizza.
                                                      Years ago, i loved the food at Tai Hong - they had interesting dishes, and sea cucumber etc. haven't been in long time andi think it's closed.

                                                      but yang chow - not worth it. For me.
                                                      I had a rotten time vis-a-vis the food. it was pretty enough, and theservice was fine.
                                                      i just have no interest in ever going back.

                                                      -----
                                                      Yang Chow Restaurant
                                                      3777 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

                                                      1. re: Jerome

                                                        Tai Hong closed down in '93 or '94. Some kind of dispute with the landlord. The space ended up being subdivided into two or three storefronts. I think Hop Woo occupies part of the space now.

                                                        -----
                                                        Hop Woo
                                                        11110 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                                        1. re: Jerome

                                                          > also, panda express and p ? chang are clearly providing chinese food for an american audience. Yang Chow - it's the equivalent of an italian place offering deep dish chicago pizza and telling you this is just how it is in naples.

                                                          Great analogy... probably the worst Chinese meal of my life was about 12 years ago, in my pre-Chowhound years. It was at a Chinese place in downtown Burbank (Gourmet 88). The front of their menu claimed to use old, traditional recipes from China. And what did these old, traditional recipes consist of? Orange chicken in gloppy sauce. Ketchup-As-Sweet & Sour sauce. Lemon chicken looked (and tasted) like they had braised it in glaze, and then served me the full contents of the braising liquid.

                                                          Traditional indeed.

                                                          (And no comments from the peanut gallery please re: how ketchup was invented in China-- you know that's not what I'm talking about here! :)

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                            The worst service in my adult life - the WORST and RUDEST ever - was Yangchow in east Pasadena. I have tried to redirect as many customers as I can from this establishment!

                                                            Second worst was Mezbaan Indian in old town!

                                                          2. re: Jerome

                                                            Not too many people remember Tai Hong. We used to know one of the owners back in the old, old days.

                                                            1. re: raytamsgv

                                                              My Chinese Father-in-law was 75 when he visited from Hunan/Hubei. He had never had Dim Sum (or Yum Cha as they say in GZ) and did not know what it was.

                                                              Fashionable in Beijing now is "Imperial Cuisine" which is the food that was cooked for the Emperors in the Tang and Ming dynasties. The food lacks a lot of spices that are commonly part of Chinese food now as these were not known 1000 years ago.

                                                              My wife and and I were active in Chowhound before moving to Sac. We are moving back and hope to see old friends! We can sing revolutionary communist songs again. I have been practicing Dong Fong Hong

                                                              Jim