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Best Mandarin restaurant in Chinatown???

Deidre7 Jan 20, 2012 11:31 AM

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. cant talk...eating RE: Deidre7 Jan 20, 2012 01:41 PM

    Mandarin is a language, no? If you're just looking for a good Chinese restaurant, here's one recent thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/770796

    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. c
      condiment RE: Deidre7 Jan 20, 2012 04:06 PM

      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
        ipsedixit RE: condiment Jan 20, 2012 08:51 PM

        Why would you equate Shanghainese food with Mandarin cuisine?

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Chandavkl RE: ipsedixit Jan 21, 2012 10:44 AM

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

          1. re: Chandavkl
            condiment RE: Chandavkl Jan 21, 2012 04:08 PM

            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
              Peripatetic RE: condiment Jan 21, 2012 04:27 PM

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


              1. re: condiment
                Chandavkl RE: condiment Jan 21, 2012 04:34 PM

                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
                ipsedixit RE: Chandavkl Jan 21, 2012 07:57 PM

                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
                  Chandavkl RE: ipsedixit Jan 21, 2012 08:07 PM

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

                  1. re: Chandavkl
                    Deidre7 RE: Chandavkl Jan 22, 2012 11:00 AM

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

                    1. re: Deidre7
                      Peripatetic RE: Deidre7 Jan 22, 2012 11:15 AM

                      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
                        Deidre7 RE: Peripatetic Nov 19, 2013 05:41 PM

                        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
                          Chandavkl RE: Deidre7 Nov 20, 2013 07:49 AM

                          Maybe Twin Dragon on Pico, then.

                          1. re: Deidre7
                            kevin RE: Deidre7 Nov 20, 2013 03:31 PM

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

            2. Chandavkl RE: Deidre7 Jan 20, 2012 05:13 PM

              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.

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