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Best Sichuan in the Valley?

Hey all, after traveling far and wide (ok, living on the East Coast :)), I've developed quite a taste for real sichuan food. But all I ever knew in the Valley growing up was Americanized Chinese. Good stuff, but not dan dan, mala, red glistening-deliciousness good.

Any suggestions? I have no idea what the authentic Chinese (Cantonese, Sichuan, etc.) scene is like out here.

Please keep suggestions to the Valley- am sure there are plenty in LA, Downtown, and the inland provinces :)


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  1. Hot Wok Cafe has a separate authentic non-Cantonese Chinese menu. Not sure if it has Sichuan, though it might as it is geared to the Taiwanese students at CSUN. Address is 9135 Reseda Bl. near the CSUN campus. I think that might be the only possibility in the SFV. By the way there is no Sichuan in or anywhere near Chinatown or downtown LA.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chandavkl

      It's interesting that there are not one but two authentic Chinese places in the Valley named "Hot Wok", the other being out near Kanan and the 101.

      Still no Sichuan, though.

    2. I'm not aware of any true Sichuan in the San Fernando Valley. If it's the real thing you're looking for, you'll have to head to the San Gabriel Valley. Several Sichuan restaurants to choose from there.

      1. Unfortunately for you, "authentic" Chinese restaurants are mostly located in the San Gabriel Valley. The food is probably about as authentic as you can get without violating LA County health codes.

          1. re: AubWah

            Out here Valley=San Fernando Valley.

          2. I know you said keep suggestions to the SFV, but if this is really what you want, I think you would be wise to brave the freeways.


            3 Replies
            1. re: will47

              I have to agree. Thai, yes. Korean, yes. Vietnamese, sort of. Sichuan, or almost any other Chinese, no. Head to the San Gabriel Valley.

              1. re: ebethsdad

                Vietnamese yes!! I assume you have not tried Bistro Orient, in Woodland Hills, which occupies
                the space where the old Gorrikee used to be. Really good Vietnamese fusion.

                1. Well, tried Tampa Garden last night off of will's thread suggestion. Gotta say, damn impressed. Can't say every dish was spot on (dan dan and hot oil dumplings for example were in more of a peanut-based sauce than I'm used to), but overall I'd give it an 8.5. Better and more authentic than most Sichuan places I've been to in New York. Fish filet and tofu was spot freaking on, beef and spicy peppers was great, chicken legs and hot peppers was great. And it's so funny because the place is the picture of unassuming cheap chinese. They have a very general-gao oriented menu, and then a separate "real" section. The decor is nonexistant as you'd expect from a take out joint, but man was it good. Also, as we specifically requested a "non-gwailo" level of heat, the entire place filled up with vaporized pepper particles and all the patrons around us were coughing up a storm. Was hilarious :)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: BigBrother

                    Presume you're referring to Tampa Garden, well known on this board for dumplings and noodles, more of the Beijing ilk rather than Sichuan style.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Sorry, Tampa. (Corrected). Yeah, I know they're famous for the Bao, but a good half or more of the non-orange chicken menu was sichuan (including the specials of the day). And it was good!

                      1. re: BigBrother

                        I took my parents and brother there, driving halfway across the SFV. I tried to explain that it was not the place to order mu shu and orange chicken, but they just didn't get it. Then they wondered what the big deal was.

                        1. re: Jwsel

                          Ugh, that kills me. Reminds me of a place near Boston called Grand Chinatown that serves the best Cantonese seafood I've ever had. Reviews on yelp would complain that the General Gau's chicken wasn't up to snuff.

                          How do you cure ignorance? :)