NY style egg-rolls
Good news, I found them after searching Los Angeles for years! And, wouldn't you know it, they were within a mile or two of my house!
The name of the place is Emperor Express, a little hole in the wall takeout joint on Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys (Yelp it). They advertised "NY style egg rolls" and while I'm always skeptical I must always try them. So I got them tonight and they were spot on: Crispy, thick skin and stuffed with cabbage and pork and shrimp etc. The duck sauce they serve it with is a little "Panda Express-y" so I used some nice store-bought duck sauce but bottom line is I can say goodbye to having my NY friends fly egg rolls in dry ice for me across the country like they're transporting a kidney.
Anyone who tries them, let me know what you think...
i saw your post and was there an hour later.
I ordered the NY Egg Rolls, 2 were in an order and it came to $4.50.
I waited about 10 minutes got the bag and went to my car to partake.
My verdict: Delicious and not a bad attempt. In fact, the best I have had since moving here from Little New York (Miami) 20 years ago.
Good crispy outside. Loaded with cabbage and had a similar taste. The main negatives is the skin was not as thick as a NY Egg roll. I will say this though: They served it with the thickest hot mustard I have ever had and IT WAS HOT!!!!!
I will definitely be going back, but still looking for an authentic egg roll.
Thank you for the post!!
Never been to NY and tried one there, but from your description, it sounds like the Thai egg rolls I had at the Wild Rabbit in Costa Mesa, which were the best egg rolls I can remember eating in the last 20 years.
They were about 1" in diameter and about 5" long, cut into halves, definitely bigger than the tiny eggrolls you'll get at Chinese fast food takeout joints. Definitely a lot of pork meat, in comparison to other places which are heavy on the vegetables and light on the meat. The outer skin is deep-fried, and it has the perfect crunch when you bite into it, not so soft that it crumbles, but not so hard that you have to really chew it.
Here's the description from a copy of their menu:
Thai Egg Rolls - $5.95
Hand-wrapped egg rolls filled with ground pork, mushrooms, sprouts, noodles, crab meat and Thai spices. Served with spicy sweet and sour sauce.
That order comes with 3 egg rolls, which is sliced into halves, so there are 6 pieces total. I have eaten all 6 pieces by myself, in addition to my entree. :-)
Does anybody know about this spot? I received a menu in the mail today and it boast having "NY STYLE EGG ROLLS" 2 for $3.50 and the photo of them sure looks good. I will have to try this place its called:
13320 Burbank Blvd
in Sherman Oaks
includes a tagline says: under new management so must not be a new spot.
Any feedback would be great.
I didn't know about this spot until I read your post, so of course I had to head straight over after work and try it out. Especially since you resurrected a thread that features a 3-year old lament of mine....
I too have tried egg rolls without finding what I was looking for, finally resorting to making my own from a David Rosengarten recipe (I once posted, that, btw, on the home cooking board).
I picked up an order of two from Emperor Express. And, shock of shocks, I liked them. Though not exactly a NY egg roll, they come close, and I think they're pretty good. First of all, they were the fattest egg rolls I've ever seen. Perfect crispy, bumpy skin, not at all greasy. The insides were startlingly fresh - crunchy, shredded-more-thickly-than-usual cabbage, recognizable chicken, shrimp and mushrooms. True, there were no bits of roast pork, which would have been welcome. But they actually included some DUCK SAUCE in the package - okay, the most watery duck sauce I've ever encountered, but I give 'em points for not including ketchup or that bright red sweet sauce. I asked for hot mustard as well.
So this place definitely scored on the egg rolls for me. Not an exact match, but one that certainly could fill the craving between trips to NY. And, at 2 for $3.50, to my knowledge, the best egg roll bargain around.
I didn't try any of their other food, but I will be back, for the egg rolls at least.
we used to have those here in la too - but at fast food chinese places (before Panda Express) instead of at restaurants.
in particular, the egg rolls at the chinese place in the santa monica mall food court (pre remodel) were exactly that: they were about 6" long and packed with delicious bbq pork and cabbage, etc. they served it with the lovely red sweet and sour sauce. the outside of the egg roll was crispy, bubbly and bumpy from being deep fried but the inside was totally chewey - like dough. once they did the remodel (i don't remember when that was. . . maybe 1990 or late 80s) - the egg rolls slowly became more like spring rolls. i haven't been to that food court in years - so you might try it, but don't bet on it.
Yes! I remember those egg rolls at the Santa Monica mall. I only had them once a long time ago, but they were really good. I don't think they're there anymore.
Like "NY Pizza", there are some egg rolls around that aren't spring rolls - they have a bumpy skin -- but they still aren't NY style egg rolls full of cabbage and pork and that good chewy dough inside. Usually they have a thin layer of dough and flavorless covering and a beansprout and carrot and maybe chicken filling.
You can actually find something similar to what I described above in the frozen food section of markets and heat them up at home. I think Trader Joes has them.
I'm about a year late to this discussion, but I've just started checking out Chowhound again, since they redid the site.
Anyway, I'm a NYC transplant (17 years in L.A./O.C. now) and I still miss eggrolls. The ones here are ok, but they're what would be called spring-rolls back east.
Any updates on places to get these? Anything in central/south O.C. would be especially great. And no, I'm not one of those people who think that everything NY is better than out here. Overall, I much prefer the food out here with the Asian and Mexican influences. I do miss the egg rolls and pizza (love some of the pizza out here, but it's just different).
Also, changing the subject a bit, here's one I've never seen out here: fried mozzarella sticks with raspberry sauce! Many places in NY offer raspberry sauce in addition to the usual marinara. My wife and daughter (So. Cal. natives) thought I was insane, but on one of our trips back east we went ot a little Italian restaurant and got this and they thought it was fantastic. Anyone ever seen this out here?
Oh - and unfrosted blueberry poptarts (Kellogs said that no one bought them out here, but how could they if they're not for sale!?), but thats a whole other topic.
Actually, I had a pretty reasonable version of a NY egg roll at, of all places, the L.A. County Fair.
That doesn't help you until next September, though.
Nevertheless, there's a little cart (actually, two of them that I've seen) that bill themselves as "Thai" food.
Whatever it is, it's not really Thai.
They have bbq'd meat on a skewer, lo mein, and those thick egg rolls.
Years ago, they used to have the same kind of egg roll at Gelson's, in the hot food section. Haven't seen them in a while.
re: Joe B.
re: Joe B.
These aren't NY eggrolls, although you may have had them in NY. These were the pretty typical Cantonese-American eggrolls you'd get everywhere until the late 60's. I think the Chinese kitchen at the Farmers market had them as well. I'd check out the Phoenix Inn in Chinatown, the Far East Cafe when it reopens, and any place like New Moon or that big place on Lankershim whose name I can't remember now...
You'll have a better chance of finding them in the San Fernando valley, west side of LA, or San Pedro - anywhere pretty far from the residences of where folks who've immigrated from East Asia since 1975 might live in large numbers.
When my family first moved West, we thought the skinny spring rolls were oh so chic and sophisticated. But I miss the big rolls, stuffed with cabbage, red bits of pork and tiny shrimp, with the doughy interior and crispy outside.
I had them once here - at the restaurant owned by Michelle Kwan's parents -- The Golden Pheasant in Torrance/Carson.
I can't guarantee they still have them - it's been years since I went there, and for all I know the Kwans sold out to someone of the spring roll persuasion. But this appears to be the address and phone number:
1077 W Carson St. Torrance, CA 90502. Phone (310) 320-1030
I've had sort of passable ones at genghis cohen's on Fairfax. Once they were great, but for takeout they were lousy... coincidence? Don't know.
Just be prepared for 2 surprises...
1. Two eggrolls cost $5.00. (yes, that's five)
2. Unless you tell them otherwise, they cut them in half. (?!) (to my mind, this is like the pizza place that cuts a round pizza into squares)
Let us know if you find anything else...
By the way, it's not just an L.A. thing. As soon as you leave the NY metro area (or the northeast in general) eggrolls become flaky, flavorless, skinny pale things. It's a national phenomenon.