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Jan 20, 2012 11:31 AM

Best Mandarin restaurant in Chinatown???

Hi all!

Looking for a great Mandarin spot in Chinatown before hitting up a friends art exhibit.

What are your thoughts ChowHounders?!

THANKS!!!!!!! x0

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  1. Mandarin is a language, no? If you're just looking for a good Chinese restaurant, here's one recent thread:

    Let us know what type of food - generic "American" Chinese, something more regional, dim sum or bbq, your various food issues, hole-in-the-wall or not, etc. It's *very* easy to be disappointed in Chinatown (like, being a vegetarian out for dim sum), but it's also possible to have an outstanding meal. But, just know that no restaurant does everything well - most places have just one or two types of foods/cuisines they can pull off, despite the size of those long menus.

    1. You're almost certainly looking for someplace like Mandarin Chateau. The menu is all over the map, but you probably want to concentrate on the old-fashioned Shanghai-style dishes: lion's head, braised fish tail, fried rice-cake noodles, shredded bean curd, pork with salted vegetable, etc.

      12 Replies
      1. re: condiment

        Why would you equate Shanghainese food with Mandarin cuisine?

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Well in the old Toishanese centric Chinese community of the 50s, 60s and 70s, Shanghai food would definitely classified as Mandarin.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Until the mid-1980s, Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles were divided into Cantonese (served egg foo yung) and Mandarin (served moo shoo pork). One has to assume that's where the OP was coming from.

            1. re: condiment

              Moo shu pork seems to be one of the signature dishes of "Mandarin cuisine".


              1. re: condiment

                Yes, and we also sometimes used the term "northern" to mean the same as Mandarin. Shanghai food was considered northern food because it was from north of Canton, even though it's not in the north of China.

              2. re: Chandavkl

                Historically, that might be true, but what of today?

                No one, not even the greenest of diners to Chinese cuisine, would consider Shanghainese cuisine to be Mandarin food.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Yeah, but there's enough old folks who do. Some of them also still use the word "oriental."

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    WOW! Not only am I getting some interesting recommendations but also a history/culture lesson! LOVE IT. Thank you everyone

                    1. re: Deidre7

                      Out of curiosity, what sort of foods were you thinking of when you asked for a Mandarin spot? Is there another Mandarin restaurant that you like, in LA or elsewhere?

                      1. re: Peripatetic

                        Hi I realize this is a super outdated post but was revisiting it and wanted to respond...Yes there was a specific spot that my family loved back in the Midwest called Yu's Mandarin (Schaumburg) soooo was looking for something similar. Since this post I have learned a lot more about Chinese cuisine and definitely a lot more to learn. Looking forward to learning/eating :)

                          1. re: Deidre7

                            So where did you eventually end up ????????

            2. By Mandarin I presume you're using the old time term for non-Cantonese restaurants. Since the Chinatown community is almost exclusively Cantonese/Toishanese and Vietnamese, any of the non-Cantonese restaurants are really interlopers and primarily tourist driven. This would include Yang Chow, Mandarin Chateau, Plum Tree and Chinese Friends. I wouldn't be caught dead in any of them. If you must go, Plum Tree is the most nicely decorated, Yang Chow is the most popular and Mandarin Chateau has the most authentic menu, so I'd probably choose that one.