HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Can anyone recommend a chinese restaurant (not chain) comparale to PF Changs?

yummie Apr 21, 2006 12:22 PM

I am looking for more of an American influenced Chinese restaurant - and not the Chinese restaurants in Alhambra or Monterey Park. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. a
    Adsvino RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 12:36 PM

    Madame Wu's in the Grove was it, but they went under. I would try Genghis Cohen on Fairfax.

    1. j
      jaydee RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 12:37 PM

      xian in beverly hills.

      1. c
        chica RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 12:38 PM

        Panda Inn on Foothill -- it's part of the Panda Express chain, but the food is much better. Mushu pork/chicken is done tableside; delicate sea bass; fried fish in black bean sauce; spicy tofu and eggplant; brown rice; tangy Panda chicken salad (w/ pineapples); the honey walnut chicken. You get the picture. =)

        1. j
          JudiAU RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 12:57 PM

          Yang Chow downtown?

          4 Replies
          1. re: JudiAU
            David Kahn RE: JudiAU Apr 21, 2006 01:16 PM

            Harsh. (Lol.)

            1. re: David Kahn
              ipse dixit RE: David Kahn Apr 21, 2006 01:22 PM

              Yes, it's a slap in the face of all PF Changs.

              1. re: ipse dixit
                JudiAU RE: ipse dixit Apr 21, 2006 01:30 PM

                Actually, I don't have any personal knowledge of either. I just know that my sister loves both places so...

                1. re: ipse dixit
                  yotimbo RE: ipse dixit Aug 10, 2008 01:08 PM

                  PF Chang is such corporate nonsense "Chinese" food. Yang Chow is so beyond what Chang's would ever be.

            2. y
              your mom RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 01:41 PM

              buddha's belly on beverly. same idea, same caucasian servers (anyone see south park this week?) only much better food.

              1. s
                SpongeBobSquarePegs RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 02:15 PM

                I like Bamboo in Sherman Oaks.

                Link: http://www.bamboocuisine.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: SpongeBobSquarePegs
                  Das Ubergeek RE: SpongeBobSquarePegs Aug 10, 2008 04:01 PM

                  Since the topic has been reopened, I second this. If the wait is long you can go have a glass of wine at the bar at Cafe Bizou next door.

                2. p
                  PayOrPlay RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 02:31 PM

                  Wasn't Mandarette sort of the local prototype for this style of stylish westernized-Chinese cooking? It used to be pretty good, actually, and at one time was even thought to be innovative. I haven't been in years, and am not even 100% sure it's still open (website is still operable, at least). Can anyone address its current status? (Too bad the Mandarin in BH closed, that would have been perfect.)

                  Another local prototype was Chin Chin on Sunset before it chained. It's mediocre but about as good as PF Changs, and cheaper.

                  More upscale, maybe Yi on Beverly (which is more pan-Asian than Chinese): I understand the founding chef has left, so I have no idea how the food is now, but it's also a great-looking place.

                  Oh, there's always Eurochow in Westwood. Chowhounds tend to hate this place but it's certainly good-looking, and a PF Chang devotee might just love it. In the same category (I can't believe I'm saying this)--Chow-Enemy #1 Crustacean. Both of these places are overpriced relative to Chang's, however.

                  Link: http://www.mandarette.com/location.html

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: PayOrPlay
                    JudiAU RE: PayOrPlay Apr 21, 2006 03:11 PM

                    Chow-Enemy #1

                    Ho ho that is funny. I wish I had that of that moniker, I could have used it on Swill Hut before it closed.

                    1. re: PayOrPlay
                      Chowpatty RE: PayOrPlay Apr 21, 2006 03:53 PM

                      I have a coworker who loves Mandarette, so it's definitely still opened. I was even less impressed when I went there a few years ago than I was by Yang Chow or Plum Tree, but I guess for that neighborhood it's ok.

                      1. re: PayOrPlay
                        Never Misses A Meal! RE: PayOrPlay Apr 23, 2006 06:33 PM

                        I love Manderette. It's on the corner on Beverly Blvd. and Orlando in WeHo. I'm also fond of the Plum Tree in China Town (the WLA one closed, I think).

                      2. 2
                        2chez RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 03:00 PM

                        Pretty much every Chinese restaurant NOT in Alhambra or Monterey Park.

                        1. s
                          Silverlake Bodhisattva RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 03:42 PM

                          The Plum Tree Inns (a mini-chain; one downtown, one in WLA and one, if memory serves, in woodland hills) was pretty good last time I was there, and did both American-inflected and somewhat more authentic stuff pretty well.

                          Hunan Taste at San Vicente and Olympic also has been pretty good for a couple of decades now.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Silverlake Bodhisattva
                            JMil RE: Silverlake Bodhisattva Apr 23, 2006 01:50 AM

                            Plum Tree Inn in Woodland Hills, on top of the hill on Ventura closed a few years ago. We never found out why, we were wondering if it was because a Todai opened next door, anyways an Assisted Living Retirement residence sits in its place.

                            Bamboo in Sherman Oaks always had almost an identical menu, and Kung Pao Bistro on Ventura in Studio City has been open in the same place for quite a while now, so that must be a good sign.

                          2. c
                            carter RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 04:45 PM

                            Kung Pao Bistro in Weho or Studio City, where the seafood dishes and soups are very good, most other special entrees like mango or lemon chicken, twinkle walnut shrimp, crispy beef and hunan lamb are equally so. Stay away from appetizers would be my only complaint.
                            And PFC is truly awful, superceded only by Chin Chin and the ubiquitous panda, lower case please.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: carter
                              wilafur RE: carter Jul 14, 2006 12:02 AM

                              i agree with carter on this one. went to the weho location a few months back with a bunch of friends prior to partying in hollywood and all the seafood and beef dishes we ordered were pretty good for a westside-ish restaurant.

                            2. w
                              Will Owen RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 05:23 PM

                              Noticed the usual scornful mentions of Yang Chow below; it's certainly not our restaurant of choice, but the inlaws are addicted to Slippery Shrimp, so whenever they take themselves and/or the family out for (ahem) "Chinese", the Pasadena Yang Chow is where we go. Like last Saturday night...and ya know what? It was all really good. NOT "good" as in Real Chinese, but "good" as in tasty, properly cooked, hit all the buttons just right, not expensive, good service. OK, the eggdrop soup was so thick I could've used the chopsticks instead of the spoon, but the panfried noodles with pork were worth coming back for, honest. And I even had seconds on that Slippery Shrimp...

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Will Owen
                                MEalcentric RE: Will Owen Apr 21, 2006 09:50 PM

                                Will, I second your thoughts. Part of me really wonders about "hounds" that diss a place b.c its not authentic. So what if its not, as long as it tastes good. Fodd is supposed to taste good, regarless of a chefs take on authenticity.

                                1. re: MEalcentric
                                  EK RE: MEalcentric Apr 22, 2006 02:52 PM

                                  Hear, hear, a sentiment found far too rarely upon these pages.

                              2. j
                                Jerome RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 05:58 PM

                                I think I know what you want (and both my suggestions have been mentioned below)
                                Hunan taste at Fairfax and Olympic. Don't worry, there's nothing remotely like the stuff you'll find at Hunan Army in Rowland Heights at this place.
                                Bamboo in Sherman Oaks, Ventura just east of Hazeltine.

                                Both places are very appreciative of the clientele they have, which is interested in chinese food, likes to try new things, but also appreciates seasonings and serving styles with which they are more familiar.

                                1. s
                                  slbear RE: yummie Apr 21, 2006 07:13 PM

                                  how about Yujean Kang in old town pasadena? i went there about a year ago and had a nice meal.

                                  Yujean Kang's Gourmet Chinese
                                  67 N Raymond Ave
                                  Pasadena, CA 91103
                                  (626) 585-0855

                                  1. c
                                    Cicely RE: yummie Apr 23, 2006 08:20 PM

                                    New Moon, downtown. Reliably fresh, good food, rather Americanized as you say. I love the sizzling rice soup... you can get a single portion, and they're really generous with the chicken (and shrimp?). Supposedly Chinese chicken salad was invented here.

                                    102 W. Ninth St.

                                    Link: http://www.downtownladining.com/newmo...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Cicely
                                      Tom P RE: Cicely Apr 24, 2006 04:16 AM

                                      New Moon has also opened in Montrose and is excellent. They even have fat, New York style egg rolls, not wimpy spring rolls.

                                    2. p
                                      Pink Wasabi RE: yummie Apr 26, 2006 01:48 PM

                                      I can't tell you enough how much I like Chen's Panda on Jamboree and Chapman in Orange. As I have stated before, I LOVE their HOney Walnut Shrimp. I've never been disappointed...ever. I think the food is fresh, delicious and its a Chinese restaurant that is small yet mighty. I hope you will try it and let me know what you think. It's family owned and runned by their son that is so wonderful. I've tried the Three Ingredients...shrimp, chicken and beef in a delicious sauce...typical choices but great flavors.

                                      1. l
                                        love2chow RE: yummie Jul 14, 2006 01:30 AM

                                        i love panda inn as well (used to go to their west la location till it closed, they now have one in glendale), chin chin is horrible and ate at the kung pao on santa monica in weho and i was really displeased, the food was not good imo...xian in beverly hills is also excellent, great shrimp and lobster sauce and also the pine nut chicken or the clay pot chicken are both great (kind of dry but great! haha)...i also really like le chine wok on beverly blvd, those are all great places for americanized chinese fair.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: love2chow
                                          ITurnedOutTV RE: love2chow Jul 14, 2006 04:06 PM

                                          I used to like Le Chine Wok for delivery as well, but it's now the location of Hatfield's.

                                        2. o
                                          OCElizabeth RE: yummie Jul 14, 2006 02:36 AM

                                          Chen's on T.O Blvd in Thousand Oaks is delicious. No, it's not "authentic" but the food they make tastes great, and isn't that what matters?

                                          1. d
                                            Dylan RE: yummie Jul 14, 2006 03:30 AM

                                            I'm sort of shocked that no one has mentioned Genghis Cohen on Fairfax near Melrose. The old schoool vibe is pretty cool, all of the standard favorites are excellent (the new york style egg rolls, the Princess chicken, etc), and as a bonus, there's a great live music scene there too.

                                            1. n
                                              natincali RE: yummie Jul 14, 2006 03:35 AM

                                              XIAN on Canon in Beverly Hills is the only place I don't feel sticky and sick after!

                                              1. a
                                                applebob RE: yummie Jul 14, 2006 02:22 PM

                                                Try any place advertising on it's sign "$1 Chinese Food"

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: applebob
                                                  BeenThereAteThat RE: applebob Aug 10, 2008 04:09 PM

                                                  The better places have "1$ Chinese Food" on the sign.

                                                  Perfect 1 Dollar Chinese Food
                                                  1713 E Vernon Ave, Vernon, CA 90058

                                                  1. re: BeenThereAteThat
                                                    AAQjr RE: BeenThereAteThat Aug 11, 2008 12:23 PM

                                                    This thead is from 2006! lol I don't know how many times I've been sucked in...

                                                2. c
                                                  chowmominLA RE: yummie Aug 10, 2008 01:50 PM

                                                  If you like PF Chang's, why not just go to PF Chang's? Who cares if it's a chain? If you like the food that's all that matters.

                                                  1. bodie RE: yummie Aug 10, 2008 03:10 PM

                                                    I have never been to PF Chang's but I would highly recommend Yujean Kang in Pasadena.

                                                    Yujean Kang's Gourmet Chinese
                                                    67 N Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                                    1. maxzook RE: yummie Aug 10, 2008 03:24 PM

                                                      Chi Dynasty at 1813 Hillhurst in Los Feliz.

                                                      Chi Dynasty
                                                      1813 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: maxzook
                                                        Hypnotic23 RE: maxzook Aug 10, 2008 04:50 PM

                                                        anything is better then PF CHANGS, even Pickup Stix beats PF CHANGS.

                                                        When you go to PF CHANGS your going for the hip atmosphere, hip drinks, be seen, and definately not the food

                                                        1. re: Hypnotic23
                                                          Das Ubergeek RE: Hypnotic23 Aug 10, 2008 07:45 PM

                                                          Boy, I don't agree -- Pickup Stix is about the worst Chinese food ever, save the awful $1 places.

                                                      2. maxzook RE: yummie Aug 12, 2008 08:53 AM

                                                        I don't know if the comparison to P.F. Chang's is appropriate, but Eater L.A. reports that Joss will be reopening in Beverly Hills... always one of my local faves:


                                                        (Their website says they already reopened ...???



                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: maxzook
                                                          maxzook RE: maxzook Aug 12, 2008 09:11 AM


                                                          1. re: maxzook
                                                            maxzook RE: maxzook Aug 12, 2008 09:12 AM

                                                            Eater L.A. just updated to confirm that Joss "soft-opened" on Saturday.

                                                            Joss Cuisine
                                                            9919 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

                                                          Show Hidden Posts