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Best Chinese Restaurant in Southern California?

What's the best Chinese restaurant in Southern California?

Use whatever criteria you want, whatever type of cuisine (e.g. Sichuan, Cantonese, etc.), type of food (e.g. dim sum, dumplings, noodles, fast food etc.), and price range to make your determination.

Let's not bicker about whether a particular restaurant nominated by a fellow 'Hound is right or wrong.

I just want to hear people's opinions on what they consider to be the best based on whatever criteria they want to use.

The only criteria is that it must serve some type of Chinese food -- be it fast food (Panda Express), Americanized Chinese (Yang Chow), dumplings (101 Noodle Express), or whatever strikes your fancy.

Personally, I have a hard time coming up with one. But if you put a gun to my head I'd probably say SEA HARBOUR.

There, I've committed. SEA HARBOUR would be my nominee for best Chinese restaurant in Southern California.

You?

(Again, please, please, no debating a particular restaurant choice -- lets leave that for a later discussion, if at all.)

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  1. I think there are other places that might beat Sea Harbour on individual dishes or styles but across the board your pick seems solid.

    1. Wow, that's a tough one, particularly given the diversity of Chinese food in Southern California. I have lots of favorites, as I'm sure many people do. I agree that Sea Harbor is great, as are Elite and King Hua for dim sum and Cantonese. I've been really liking Wok and Noodle lately and Shanghainese is one of my favorite Chinese cuisines, and it's hard to beat Dean Sin World for XLB SJB.

      But if I had to pick just one I think I'd opt for Chung King. I don't think I've ever had a dish I haven't enjoyed there, from the cold appetizer line up of smoked chicken and boiled peanuts to the intensely peppercorned boiled beef and fish and fried chicken, and the pork with pickled peppers. Even the more innocuous dishes like the deep fried fish are excellent.

      So Chung King it is for me.

      -----
      Chung King Restaurant
      1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

      Dean Sin World
      306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

      King Hua Restaurant
      2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

      Wok and Noodle
      828 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

      1. Yeah, as of January, 2011, my pick would have to be Sea Harbour as well.

        1 Reply
        1. re: J.L.

          Dumping House in Arcadia for dumplings.

        2. Sea Harbour!

          4 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            what do you mean? What are you saying? Are you trying help or what?

            1. re: bgazindad

              I'll hazard a guess that wienermobile is saying his vote for best Chinese restaurant in the greater Los Angeles area is Sea Harbour. But, remember, that's only a guess...

              1. re: Servorg

                Good guess.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  lol

          2. depending on the night, lo wai lo, chang's garden.

            1. In some ways, isn't this a little like Best European Restaurant in Southern California? I love Sea Harbour and Elite - which are similar - but I am no more always in the mood for their food than I am for, say, Italian or French or Spanish or Portuguese indiscriminately. I don't really go out for "Chinese food." I go out for Cantonese or other types of seafood, Sichuan, Shanghainese, dumplings, etc. I can't even recall the last time the thought process went like: I want Chinese food, okay, what type of Chinese food, where? It's more like, I want Shanghai food, where?

              One of the joys of L.A. is the diversity within cuisines. It's pretty much got the same way with Mexican food as with Chinese.

              11 Replies
              1. re: estone888

                ipsedixit posed the question fully aware of the absurdity and oversimplification required in order to answer it. It's just meant to be a fun exercise, not an analytical interpretation of the intricacies of Chinese food across LA. He's including Panda Express in the mix, fehcrissake! :)

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster

                  there is no better lettuce wrap than PF Changs.

                  NONE.

                  (whether it's Chinese or not is an entirely different question)

                  1. re: ns1

                    Ooh, I've been dying to check out Sea Harbour. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE SEA HARBOUR: What are their best dishes? Thanks!

                    1. re: Liquid Sky

                      You should review this review http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/726974 (g) and then make a battle plan and go.

                  2. re: Mr Taster

                    Okay, point taken. I was in a cranky mood I guess. It's been one of those sorts of days. I suppose for just plain fun dining with great food and reasonable prices my pick would probably be Newport Seafood, although for a special occasion I'd probably have to concur with Sea Harbour, although it's a close thing with Elite. (But it has been a while since I've been to Elite for anything other than dim sum.)

                    -----
                    Newport Seafood Restaurant
                    4411 W 1st St, Santa Ana, CA 92703

                    1. re: estone888

                      Thanks for playing estone888.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Just checked in and noticed this came up with the wrong Newport Seafood. I meant the one in Alhambra on Las Tunas. I've never been to the Santa Ana one.

                        1. re: estone888

                          While I enjoy the Newport Seafood in San Gabriel, not Alhambra, on Las Tunas, my favorites are Hunan Seafood on Valley near Rosemead, and China Islamic, with Newport Seafood 3rd place and Chung King 4th.
                          Not much of a noodles fan.

                          -----
                          Chung King Restaurant
                          1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                          China Islamic Restaurant
                          7727 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770

                          Hunan Seafood Restaurant
                          8772 E Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                      2. re: estone888

                        If you really want to get technical about it, Newport is "vietnamese chinese" but who really cares at this point right? Great place though!

                        1. re: chezwhitey

                          They refer to themselves as "Chinese seafood with Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Thai influences".

                          1. re: will47

                            Really is just Chiu Chou.

                  3. my fave is Tampa Garden on Roscoe/Tampa in Northridge.

                    they make Americanized dishes and authentic dishes and all are fabulous. her version of Orange Chicken is perfect. and somehow, when you reheat it in the microwave a day or so later, it's not at all soggy. still totally crispy. it's like a little Chinese food miracle.

                    i adore their handmade cat ear noodles with chicken. i do not know what they do to their chicken meat, but it literally melts in your mouth. you barely have to chew it. and it is flavorful and moist.

                    i love that everyone from the foddiest foodie to your Uncle Joe who thinks Taco Bell is ethnic food can find something on the menu and be happy.

                    -----
                    Tampa Garden
                    8241 Tampa Ave, Reseda, CA 91335

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jelly71

                      Well said, and thanks for chiming in.

                      1. re: Jelly71

                        Crispy? In a microwave? Is that even possible?

                      2. Yangming is number one! Oh - sorry, wrong thread... :)

                        Sea Harbour for doing a lot of things very very well. Still waiting for the maitre d' in the taylored suit to break out his version of, "Beyond the Sea."

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          What was the highest rated L.A. restaurant in that competition?

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            The "competition" shows eight different "Top 100" lists. The Palace Restaurant on Hillhurst came in at number 11 for Overall Excellence. After that, Happy Harbor in Rowland Heights comes in at number 34.

                            http://top100.chinesemenu.com/event/2...

                            -----
                            Happy Harbor Restaurant
                            1015 Nogales St # 126, Rowland Heights, CA

                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              There was some discussion of this on egullet recently too.

                              The competition is kind of absurd. For one thing, it's pretty clear that the restaurants have to pay a fee to be in the competition; for another, there are several different categories, so easy for a given restaurant to be in one of them. Very few of the restaurants are in a place where a lot of Chinese people live or work, presumably because this award is probably not followed by very many Chinese.

                        2. Elite for me. I don't have any technical reasons for my preference. I just like their dim sum and dinners.

                          1. Cheap and traditional Hong Kong food is at Tasty Garden in Alhambra on Valley Blvd. Opens late and their won ton noodles and clay pot rice are so delish! Must also try the waffle cake!

                            -----
                            Tasty Garden
                            288 W Valley Blvd 110, Alhambra, CA 91801

                            1. For dim sum, Lunasia on Main St. in Alhambra...no carts like the traditional dim sum places, but they make it fresh and hot usually.

                              -----
                              Main St Cafe
                              450 Main St, El Segundo, CA 90245

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jenn_grey

                                Mentioning Lunasia raises an interesting point. Should cost be eliminated in the determination of the best restaurant? I think Lunasia is a step behind Sea Harbour and Elite, but taking into account the lower cost it's a much better value and I go there more often than Sea Harbour and Elite. Logically cost should not play a role in choosing the best Chinese restaurant. But if cost is ignored would I be forced to say Yank Sing is the best Chinese restaurant in San Francisco and Chinatown Brasserie is the best Chinese restaurant in Manhattan? Because I would never ever go back to either of those two due to the highly inflated tab.

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  I was thinking about this while eating at Yujean Kang last night--good food and high prices. I've decided there's something called value to be considered.

                              2. Going by the only criterion that matters (the place I crave most often), the answer is JTYH.

                                -----
                                JTYH Restaurant
                                9425 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                  Hmm. On that yardstick for me that would be Union Buffet in West Los Angeles since I'm there once a week. But then I would be excommunicated from Chowhound.

                                  -----
                                  Union Buffet
                                  11819 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                    "But then I would be excommunicated from Chowhound."

                                    lol...I went again with my wife and our son and his girl friend for dinner a couple of weeks ago and I think I am the only one to say they liked it (and would go again). I guess I'm a heathen too...

                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                      "But then I would be excommunicated from Chowhound"

                                      We would never excommunicate you from Chowhound. However, you would need to do penance by eating some tacos at Taco Bell and chow mein from Panda Express.

                                      1. re: raytamsgv

                                        What's wrong with the chow mein at Panda Express?

                                        A better punishment might be chow mein tacos ...

                                      2. re: Chandavkl

                                        Hmm. On that yardstick for me that would be Union Buffet in West Los Angeles since I'm there once a week. But then I would be excommunicated from Chowhound.

                                        _________________

                                        Really? the "place you crave most often" is Union Buffet?

                                        I never realized that frequency can actually lead to addiction ... oh wait .. nevermind.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                          Addiction, eh?
                                          Would that be like posting 15-20 times a day on some food site?
                                          You can quit any time you want, right?

                                    2. For me, today, it's Omar's or Chung King.

                                      -----
                                      Chung King Restaurant
                                      1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                      1. My goto is Hu's Szechuan in Palms. It isn't fancy, but the food is delicious. The fact that they deliver to my house is a big plus.

                                        1. This is hard.
                                          New Chong Qing is the place that "haunts" me the most lately so I will say it. But the answer may change in a month or so.

                                          -----
                                          New Chong Qing
                                          120 N San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                                          1. Well, KABC Channel 7 just happened to do a segment on their 6 AM newscast this morning in which they weighed in on the top 7 (wonder why they couldn't figure out some way to use their Doppler 7000 weather radar in this story?) Chinese restaurants in LA.

                                            This was done by their "traffic reporter" Alysha Delvalle in conjunction with City Search.com. One immediate point about this story is that they started with their number 1 pick. Who doesn't know that you count down from the bottom to the top when doing this?

                                            In any case the top 7 were:

                                            1. WP24 at LA Live

                                            2. Yang Chow in Chinatown

                                            3. Chi Dynasty Los Feliz

                                            4. Din Tai Fung Arcadia

                                            5, Empress Pavillion Chinatown

                                            6. Happy Family Restaurant Monterey Park

                                            7. Full House Chinatown

                                            And they even gave a bonus ranking to places outside the immediate LA area with

                                            Orange County's number one: Peking Gourmet in Garden Grove

                                            Inland Empire's number one: Dragon House in Riverside

                                            and finally

                                            Ventura County's number one: Gourmet Oriental

                                            Whew, now I'm exhausted.

                                            -----
                                            Din Tai Fung Restaurant
                                            1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

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

                                            Happy Family
                                            301 S Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90020

                                            Dragon House
                                            10466 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92505

                                            Peking Gourmet
                                            9092 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92844

                                            Gourmet Oriental
                                            67 W Main St, Ventura, CA 93001

                                            WP24
                                            900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                            Chi Dynasty
                                            12229 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604

                                            17 Replies
                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              She's easy on the eyes, but I've disagreed with her choices when she did the top 7 hot dog places.

                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                What a mixture of decent restaurants and yuckiness. I'm saving up my money to try WP24. If I ever make it I'll let everybody know.

                                                -----
                                                WP24
                                                900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                                  I would not waste a penny on WP24. It was dismal experience. Upscale Chinese can be done – like Hakkasan in South Beach, FL where I had a great time. With resources they have WP24 has to do better job than they do currently.

                                                  -----
                                                  WP24
                                                  900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                  1. re: Ashibi

                                                    But...but...Channel 7 says they're the best in L.A.

                                                    1. re: Chandavkl

                                                      I would imagine that Chinois would be a good barometer for whether or not you will enjoy the food at WP24.

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        Actually I liked Chinois, particularly since I didn't have to pay.

                                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                                          That seems to improve my enjoyment of a lot of places...

                                                2. re: Servorg

                                                  Wow, these are her picks? Or her producers? Or a digest of Yelp postings?

                                                  1. re: mc michael

                                                    I got the feeling it was mostly City Search that came up with the list based on some number generated by their users. But I really don't know. Alysha is awfully pretty and the food that they showed at WP24 looked wonderful on camera. Hey, the upcoming Chinese New Year generated this whole "story" in any case.

                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                      Alysha is too good looking to eat at a dive like Dean Sin World/Tastio, for example.

                                                      People might mistake her for a misplaced mannequein from one of the boutiques in that strip mall.

                                                  2. re: Servorg

                                                    ...Peking Gourmet?

                                                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                      You mean there's an OC Chinese you've yet to try? lol

                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                        That was an ellipsis of disbelief, not of discovery.

                                                    2. re: Servorg

                                                      Why exhaust yourself typing it out when you can just provide a hyperlink to the article and video?

                                                      http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?sec...

                                                      Alysha tells us that Yang Chow serves authentic Chinese cuisine. How interesting!

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Mostly because I've seen these sorts of links disappear after the news story has run its course.

                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                          Then do an exhaustion-free copy/paste! Done & done.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                            The more you work out the better you feel...being exhausted is a necessary by product of improving ones health! Besides, doing it my way entailed running the program back and forth in slo-mo on my DVR as Alysha waxed enthusiastically about the food ;-D>

                                                    3. Sea Harbour is clearly in a class by itself when it comes to Dim Sum and I would venture the
                                                      guess its one of the best in the USA. I once asked the manager if his food was as good as his
                                                      sister restaurants in China which I believe are in Peking and he said the Restaurant in Peking
                                                      was much larger seating 500 and had a much bigger selection of DimSum as they could employ
                                                      more people. I found Sea Harbour by accident when driving down Rosemead and saw a parking
                                                      lot overflowing with expensive cars and checked it out and have been a happy customer ever
                                                      since then and by the way the service is terrific too and the prices also beyond fair.

                                                      1. I don't get to have Chinese nearly enough - but my pick is Din Tai Fung.

                                                        -----
                                                        Din Tai Fung Restaurant
                                                        1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

                                                        1. Okay.... slightly silly but I have some logic here....

                                                          How about Phoenix Bakery? Because now you can have some dim sum before you dig into what you really came for but couldn't order JUST that - the fresh strawberry cake.

                                                          -----
                                                          Phoenix Bakery
                                                          969 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: happybaker

                                                            Oddly, I have never had the strawberry cake there. I make wide detours on the way home to go to Phoenix Food Boutique for their mango shaved ice, their chaa yip daan (tea-smoked eggs) and those probably-not-very-good-but-strangely-addicting-anyway mini nut tarts.

                                                            1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                              Never? Oh my - you should!

                                                              When I first moved to LA, I liked it as it was the closest I could easily find to italian Casada cake - a white layer cake filled with fresh strawberries and vanilla custard, iced with slightly sweetened whipped cream and then topped with giant shavings of white chocolate. (It tastes much lighter and fresher than it reads, I promise.)

                                                              Now I love the fresh strawberry cake just for it's simple self.

                                                              But you've got me thinking - tea smoked eggs. I've never had those. Maybe it's time for another visit...

                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                Point of clarification... Happybaker is referring to Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown, not the SGV Phoenix you are thinking of. One is a modern cafe which caters to the Chinese community and the other is an old Chinatown standard with that kung-fu bamboo font on the sign outside.

                                                                We tasted their strawberry cake for our wedding and it was fine but inelegant..... More suited to a kid's birthday party. (we went with Van's in Rosemead).

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                -----
                                                                Phoenix Bakery
                                                                969 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                  that's so funny that you say that about kid's parties. my family is in Lincoln Heights and growing up we had that cake at every single kid's birthday party. me and all my many, many cousins. i probably ate that cake once a month.

                                                            2. I think you need to ask more specifically which is the best Chinese restaurant for cheaper eats (say under $25 per person) and best Chinese for finer dining (over $25 per person). Most, but not all, Chinese is cheap eats in So. Cal., so you may not get many replies in the latter ($25+) category. But, first-class/fine dining Chinese restaurants are now gradually popping up in the major cities of the world, so are there any like that in So. Cal.? I don't mean simply expensive, but value to match the price - high caliber, innovative and truly gastronomic Chinese food with polished service, big wine list and well appointed dining room enviroment to match the food. There are LOTS of great Chinese restaurants under $25 per person, but I can't think of even one in the $25+ category that is truly amazing. I can think of Mr. Chow and Phillippe Chow in the LA area, but are there any others? Chow and Chow are OK, but in my opinion nothing really that special in terms of food.

                                                              I traveled to Montreal late last year and had what I think is maybe the best Chinese fine dining ($25+) experience in North America called Le Piment Rouge. I was surprised to find such a restaurant in Montreal of all places, but I am craving their food and wishing there was a place like this in So. Cal.! I've seen fine dining Chinese of that caliber in Singapore and Hong Kong (Michelin 2 and 3 star Chinese restaurants), but nowhere else stateside. Does anyone know of a place like that in So. Cal. ...or maybe even in No. Cal.?

                                                              20 Replies
                                                              1. re: Ginger9

                                                                Maybe the Puck restaurants WP24 or Chinois on Main fall into that category, but you may notice there's very little mention of those two restaurants on this board, probably due to their inauthenticity. Likewise, Mr. Chow gets ripped to shreds here for the same reason, plus the fact that the food sucks.

                                                                -----
                                                                Mr. Chow
                                                                344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                WP24
                                                                900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                                1. re: Ginger9

                                                                  No, I specifically did not delineate any parameters, incl price, because I just want to know what you consider the best Chinese restaurant, period.

                                                                  For example, Langer's is often considered the ultimate restaurant in LA, even though it is far from fine dining.

                                                                  To paraphrase the words of one Al Davis ... "Just food, baby, just food!"

                                                                  1. re: Ginger9

                                                                    Mr. Chow makes something which barely resembles Chinese food, whereas Phillippe Chow offerings barely resemble food at all.

                                                                    WP24 is fusion Chinese, and their appetizers are decent - Certainly not my favorite in SoCal, though. While I'm on the topic of Wolfgang Puck, his original Sino-fusion eatery, Chinois on Main, is still serviceable after all these years, albeit a bit dated.

                                                                    Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver have large Chinese expat populations, so there's nothing surprising about finding great Chinese food there.

                                                                    Again, Sea Harbour remains my pick for both dim sum AND high end Cantonese banquet style (up to $100 per person) dining.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Mr. Chow
                                                                    344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                    WP24
                                                                    900 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                                      Good point that Sea Harbour and a lot of the other Chinese seafood restaurants do provide for high end dining options within their overall structure. That obviates the need for separate high end dining facilities.

                                                                      1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                        Are places like Sea Harbour, Elite, Lunasia, etc. really considered "high end" in the grand scheme of things?

                                                                        Unless all you order are fresh seafood -- e.g. fish, lobster, crab, abalone, etc. -- and nothing else, it's quite easy on average, if not par for the course, to have a fantastic dinner at easily $40/pp.

                                                                        Compare that with say Providence. Can one really have a typical meal at Providence for $40/pp a la carte? Not unless you just have an appetizer or two and nothing else. Same with places like Spago, Patina, Saam, Osteria Mozza, Hatfields, etc.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Spago
                                                                        176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

                                                                        Osteria Mozza
                                                                        6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                          That's their pricing issue, not mine.

                                                                          Just between you & me, I'd happily pay twice what they're charging for a high-end meal at Sea Harbour, but I'm twice as happy that they're currently not that expensive.

                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                            Sea Harbour has excellent Chinese food, but I agree with ipsedixit that's it's not high end like Providence, Spago, Saam, etc. It's a difference in the finesse and precision of the food and food presentation, service standards, quality of the dining room environment, quality of the wine program, etc.

                                                                            Many people are so used to good (but not high-end) Chinese food that it's hard to imagine what high-end Chinese food really is until you see it. Try Googling photos and press articles of Lung King Heen (Michelin 3 star Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong) - there is a big difference between what may be considered high end Chinese in So Cal vs. what really is high end Chinese by global standards.

                                                                            1. re: Ginger9

                                                                              Scene WSJ is also a great site for what's current in Asia. Terrific stuff.

                                                                              http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2011/01/04...

                                                                              1. re: Ginger9

                                                                                Michelin may know the thread count of the linens used in the dining room, but it has no idea that Uncle Harry's slow-cooked herbal chicken soup from the fluorescent bulb-lit hole-in the-wall eatery 3 blocks over bests Lung King Heen's by a mile.

                                                                                Michelin has no credibility when it comes to Chinese. Michelin stars are what first-time French visitors look for when they go to Honk Kong. And for that purpose, the Michelin system works great.

                                                                                In any case, the original question posed is for the best in Southern California, not the world.

                                                                                If the discussion were to extend beyond SoCal, I would argue that Singapore is a better food city than Hong Kong anyways.

                                                                                1. re: J.L.

                                                                                  If the discussion were to extend beyond SoCal, I would argue that Singapore is a better food city than Hong Kong anyways.
                                                                                  ___________________________

                                                                                  Yikes. Hornet's Nest straight ahead, captain.

                                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                    Damn the torpedoes! :-)

                                                                                    1. re: J.L.

                                                                                      Shouldn't that be ARM the torpedoes?

                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                        I always buy fixed interest rate torpedoes myself...when I tried to complain to my torpedoe lender that they were all underwater he looked at me strangely, as if I had a screw loose, for some unknown reason... ;-D>

                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                          Not really. In those days, torpedoes were actually what we call "mines" these days (Adm. David Farragut, Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864).

                                                                                          "I'll take useless trivia for $800, Alex."

                                                                                  2. re: Ginger9

                                                                                    "...there is a big difference between what may be considered high end Chinese in So Cal vs. what really is high end Chinese by global standards."

                                                                                    It depends on the standard used to judge "high end". I agree with others: Michelin has no idea about what good Chinese food is all about. It's like having a Chinese dining group rate restaurants world wide. Their standards of judging Western foods would probably be vastly different. Here's an interesting, older article about three Sichuan chefs evaluating the French Laundry and western dining in general: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/2000s...

                                                                                    1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                      Michelin has no idea about what good Chinese food is all about.
                                                                                      _____________________

                                                                                      That's probably too broad of a generalization. There are Chinese Michelin starred restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau.

                                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                        There are Chinese Michelin starred restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau.
                                                                                        _______________________

                                                                                        ...I surmise only because there's pressure for Michelin to write reviews in that part of the world.

                                                                                      2. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                        Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that link, raytamsgv. It should be a "must-read" in any cooking class.

                                                                                        The article presents a fine example of how the world is getting smaller (in a good way), one person at a time.

                                                                                        1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                          Great article - thank you...

                                                                                          1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                            Absolutely wonderful article. Although I suspect such a well-traveled writer and chef such as Fuschia Dunlop is "playing dumb" for dramatic effect about being surprised by certain aspects of Chinese culture (such as their revulsion of raw meat or uncooked vegetables, which is no surprise to anyone even marginally acquainted with Chinese people & food traditions... let along a food writer who actually lives in China.)

                                                                                            Thank you very much for sharing this link.

                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                2. My favorite recent Chinese pick is Shanghai Yu Garden (Shanghai Yu Yuan). I don't have a "favorite" type of Chinese food, but I probably go with Shanghainese more often than others. It may sound weird that nothing there really blew me away, but for me, Shanghainese food has always been comforting and satisfying. The place is small but has a relatively nice interior, and to top it off, a really convenient and huge parking lot behind it. Can't really go wrong with any of the Shanghainese dishes there, especially the small cold plates.

                                                                                  And since a lot of people are mentioning Sea Harbour, I'll weigh in with my experiences as well. I've only been twice, once for a banquet-style fixed price menu and the other for dim sum. Dim sum was outstanding, but I still prefer Elite for dim sum. The banquet-style menu was quite disappointing, though. It combined some live seafood dishes with others, and it was an early dinner, so it wasn't particularly crowded for the kitchen, but I didn't have any particularly memorable dishes. The seafood was very good quality but the dishes were bland.

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                                                                                  Yu Garden (Shanghai Yu Yuan)
                                                                                  107 E. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, CA 91776

                                                                                  1. I am by no means an authority on Chinese food but I never had a bad exerience at Ma's Chinese Islamic in Anaheim. I love the flat-bread they have :)

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                                                                                    Ma's Islamic
                                                                                    601 E Orangethorpe Ave, Anaheim, CA 92801

                                                                                    1. Has anyone been to XINO in Santa Monica? It is located in Santa Monica Place - top floor. I had a quick lunch there once. It was walk-in and I was expecting something along the line of PF Chang. But I though the food was unexpectly good. My husband, mother-in law and I enjoyed the several different selection from their Dim Sum Menu.

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                                                                                      Xino
                                                                                      395 Santa Monica Blvd #308, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Ashibi

                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/728699