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Dec 25, 2011 10:14 AM

Chinese restaurants open today?

It's Christmas, and I'm looking for good Chinese food, preferably delivery, in/near Santa Monica.
Any ideas?

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  1. A big "IF": If they're still there and if the ownership is still the same, then you might try the Kung Pao China Bistro on Santa Monica in WeHo. I was at their Studio City location last night and they had a sign in the window saying they would be open today.

    2 Replies
      1. re: wutzizname

        OP 'prefers' delivery which indicates s/he will pick-up.

    1. My goodness this might be an impossible request.

      You are looking for "good" and "Chinese food" and in "Santa Monica" and to top it off you want it on Christmas day?

      I'd have better answer for you if you'd asked for the winning Lotto numbers this week.

      18 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I'm a New Yorker,
        I guess I expect too much.

        1. re: adrouault

          You've made the rookie mistake of carrying your New York expectations over to LA.

          New Yorkers (like my sister) have come to expect everything be delivered to their doors, likely since cars and parking are such a nuisance.

          When my sis recently told me that they regularly order delivery sushi, I did everything I could to repress a dry heave. To my mind, delivery sushi is as absurd as delivery toast. If it's not consumed immediately, it decays rapidly.

          What you're seeking simply doesn't exist. Hop Li in West LA will be your closest bet. It will not live up to your expectations of New York style Canto-American Chinese food. No idea if they deliver.

          What does exist is an abundance of absurdly excellent Chinese food which tastes just like it does in China, and costs pennies on the dollar of what you'd expect it to cost. The catch is, you have to drive there. But hey, you're in Los Angeles. It's okay to drive.

          Get in your car and drive to San Gabriel or Monterey Park. Do your research here. Most restaurants will be open, and you'll realize how much better real Chinese is than what you've become conditioned to expect.

          Mr Taster
          (who for decades grew up eating the Chinese food you're seeking, before eating my way across LA, China, and Taiwan and realizing the folly of my ways)

          1. re: Mr Taster

            Mr. Taster has summed up the Chinese food approach in LA perfectly.

            Truer words have never been spoken before.

            If you must, in West LA area you can hit up Hop Wood, and you can hit up Mandarin Kitchen. And maybe Hu's Szechwuan.

            1. re: kevin

              never Hu's

              Hop Woo and Hop Li are equally acceptable if you must

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Ipse is right--you lose right away on the good Chinese food in Santa Monica request because it does not exist. I do know that Union Buffet on Wilshire, west of Barrington is open if you don't mind eating in. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the other good Chinese restaurants in WLA, such as Mandarin Kitchen and Hop Woo are also open due to the historic Jewish/Chinese food on Xmas day connection.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            HUH???? Jewish / Chinese connection????

            1. re: mucho gordo

              It is a Jewish tradition to go out for Chinese Food on Christmas Day. (Often it's because that is all that's open). Note holiday song at link below. It will explain it all.

              1. re: wienermobile

                HEH!, You must be right. We brought some in last night. Today, we're having a Chanukah party with goodies from Brent's so deli is another option.

                  1. re: adrouault

                    Thanks, adrouault and Chag Chanukah Sameach to you and your family.

                  2. re: mucho gordo

                    Brent's is closed today. Day off for staff. Happy Holidays!

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      Food must have been picked up yesterday. My B-in-Law also stopped at Bea's.

                      1. re: mucho gordo

                        Beas - LOVE those tiny little chocolate chip cookies.

                        1. re: foodiemahoodie

                          Their chocolate chip danish is my downfall. Those big, heavy suckers are so filling that I cut them in half and make one last two days.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  That's the reason I'm looking for it.
                  Jewish tradition.

                  1. re: mucho gordo

                    Very common topic on Manhattan board. If you want to examine the scholarly connection between the Jewish community and Chinese food, here it is.


                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      Great essay...

                      "Jews today still flock to Chinese restaurants on Sundays and Christmas."...

                      "The Jewish tradition of eating Chinese food on Christmas was apparently in place by 1935, when Chinese restaurant owner Eng Shee Chuck prepared 80 Christmas Day chow mein dinners for the orphans at Jewish Children’s Home in Newark."

              2. Try Hop Li.

                They have one on Pico near Westwood. And one on Santa Monica near Bundy in West L.A.


                1. I guess good Chinese is hard to find...
                  I guess I'll just get food from a Deli.
                  Mildly disappointing...
                  I don't mean to kvetch.

                  8 Replies
                    1. re: wutzizname

                      Is the Pico one open today, or just SM blvd?

                        1. re: wutzizname

                          Actually, looking at some of the online reviews it sounds like they might deliver. So you might call and ask. And/or there is probably one of those premium 3rd party delivery services that deliver for them, though not sure of those are working today.

                          1. re: wutzizname

                            Thanks. I'll let you all know how it is.

                    2. re: adrouault

                      Good Chinese food is easy to find - I just came back from a very tasty dim sum feast in Rowland Heights, with tons of additional location choices available.

                      But if you're not willing to hop in a car then yes, it is affected by your location.

                      However the chow chanukah elves are with you - the hop li suggestion looks like it might work, so my fingers are crossed for you!

                      1. re: happybaker

                        Warning: I've been to Hop Li on Pico on Christmas Day before and it will be very very very busy. Enjoy.

                        Hop Li Seafood Restaurant
                        10974 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          I haven't been with so many fellow Jews since i went to 770 Eastern Parkway.

                    3. Thanks for all your help everyone.
                      I had a nice Chinese lunch, at Hop Li.
                      I appreciate all of your suggestions.
                      It was good Christmas Chinese food.

                      1 Reply