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Nov 1, 2005 01:27 PM

Attention LA old-timers... Is it Paul's Kitchen I'm thinking of? (divey Chinese)

  • m

Many years ago, before I knew much about authentic Chinese food (and before I really started exploring the SGV or downtown LA for excellent grub in earnest), an old boss took me to a place which I think was called Paul's Kitchen. I only know that it was in a shabby part of downtown, and the food reminded me quite a bit of the highly inauthentic but delicious stuff from back home.

In reading a recent post on 1960's LA Chinese menus from the General Topics board (linked below), my memory was jogged and I'm wondering why I've never seen the place mentioned here on the LA board.

What's the history of this place? Why the non-Chinesey sounding name? Now that my palate has been wildly expanded, I wonder if the place would still hold the same nostalgia for me (or is it just greasy, bad, Americanized Chinese after all)?

I'm contemplating a trip back (with my Taiwanese girlfriend, who finds Americanized Chinese food bad but entertaining) as an experiment.

Your opinions, hounds?

Mr. Taster


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  1. We used to go to Paul's all the time. I think it may still be there, iirc, on San Pedro Street. Last time I was there was about 15 years ago. This was the kind of Chinese food I grew up on, and despite its Amercanized inauthenticity, I still love it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LBQT

      Paul's is great. I have had the food. the meal is good, but in a rough part of downtown. it has its own parking. The food is great, just a little too much MSG. I now its bad, but it taste so damn good. if you have been you will be back. but i do worn u, the MSG might slow down your day a bit. Tommy lasorda eats it and most of the former dodgers.

      food: 5
      service: 3
      presentation: 3
      Pricing: 4

      Notes: get ready for a belly busting eveing. if you cant handle real food, dont eat. ** warning NOT a Lite healthy meal. but then again what is these days...


    2. Mr Taster,

      I've never been to the Paul's Kitchen in LA, but for the past 30 years have frequented their other Paul's Kitchen restaurant in Monterey Park, which serves wonderful "old school" Cantonese dishes. I love their chow meins, chop sueys, egg foo youngs, and bbq pork (chashu). Even the owner's son has told me that the food at the Monterey Park restaurant is better than their LA location.

      Paul's Kitchen
      1950 So. Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park
      just north of the Atlantic Square Shopping Center

      1 Reply
      1. re: John

        I tried the L.A. location earlier this year and was underwhelmed by the food. I love kitschy restaurants and don't require authenticity by any means. The place looked the part but the food we tried was very bland and dull and just not worth even finishing half. Maybe we ordered poorly, but I'm sure we got some of the basics (don't remember exactly what).

      2. It's still there.
        San Pedro @ 8th.

        1. As a native Angelino who remembers the 1940's in L.A. as a child I went to a few of the aforementioned Chinese places many years ago. I went to both the New Moon and Paul's as a child and into my college years.

          I took my wife (native midwesterner) to show her what old L.A. was like last month. We ate at Paul's and the food is how I remembered from childhood. The old style almond duck was absolutely fantastic(or was it just the fond memory of times past?). The neighborhood is indeed fallen on hard times, but is perfectly safe. Parking is free in the lot in front of the restaurant. I do intend to visit the other location and also give the New Formosa a try before its end which I guess will be when the old couple who own it can no longer run it themselves.

          1. g

            I just checked, both the L.A. Wholesale Produce Mart and Monterey Park iterations of PAUL'S KITCHEN are waiting to serve you steaming hot pakkai and egg fooyung on dome-tropped stainless steel platter.
            1950 S. Atlantic Blvd, 323-724-1855
            1012 S. San Pedro St. 213-749-5004