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Oct 10, 2012 12:58 AM

Looking for very specific regional Chinese food restaurants in LA area

I will be in the LA area soon and would like to check out the regional Chinese food.
I have not tried any Chinese food in LA for quite some time so I imagine the selection has gotten much broader recently. I am hoping to find some of the more interesting ethnic group fare if possible as well. Here are the areas I am most interested in sampling--starting from the most desired on down:

Guizhou Province--anything from the Miao, Dong, Shui, Bu yi, or Qing yi ethnic groups(needle in a haystack but you never know). If not available then any highly recommended Guizhou food restaurant. Not so interested in the sour fish soup unless they go the extra step to make both the white and red sour soup themselves.

Yunnan Province--hopefully something from one of the 3 Dai ethnic groups or the Yi ethnic group. If not available then any better general Yunnan restaurant.

Xinjinag Province--preferably Uighur food or at least Hui food.

Chaozhou Region--preferably from Chaozhou City.

Dongbei Region--more toward the Harbin or Dalian styles.

Sichuan--Yibin or Chengdu styles preferred.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  1. While LA has great variety of regional Chinese food, I've to say the variety that you are looking is rather specific that will be hard to find even in second tier cities in China. I tried to pick restaurant that are most loyal to the original cuisine, and not the Sichuan-by-way-of-Beijing style that is becoming very popular in San Gabriel Valley.

    The only Guizhou food available in LA is Guilin Rice Noodle. I would take a plain vanilla sour fish soup if there's any, but that's too niche to ask for.
    Eight Cafe
    1622 Alegro Sq # B San Gabriel, CA 91776‎
    (626) 307-1989

    Again, only generic Yunnan food is available, no ethnic specialty. Mostly across the bridge noodle blended in with a few Yunnan dishes.
    Yunnan Garden
    545 W Las Tunas Dr
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 308-1896

    Uighur : Omar's Xinjiang Halal. This is pretty authentic with chefs from Xinjiang who are Muslims. Noodles & lamb dishes are great.
    1718 New Ave
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 570-9778

    There's a lack of Chaozhou restaurants as CA ban on shark fin drove many of them out of business. I found the quality of Chaozhou food here hugely disappointing in comparison with other regional cuisine to an extent that I rather not have Chaozhou food in LA.
    Seafood Village
    684 W Garvey Ave
    Monterey Park, CA 91754
    (626) 289-0088

    Surprisingly good here. They don't have the seafood selection of a typically Dalian restaurant, but they are hugely apologetic about serving only folks from Northern China.
    Shen Yang Restaurant
    137 S San Gabriel Blvd
    Ste A
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 292-5758
    Easily the most authentic Dongbei experience in LA. I was half expecting folks to break out 3 bottles of Moutai in the middle of the meal. For those who never travel to Dongbei, the food here was downright strange.(think, a plate of chicken bones, dense bun designed for 40 below weather)

    The styles are blended here, more tending towards Chongqing. We used to have a great Chengdu style restaurant here but that went out of business. The best is
    Chung King Restaurant
    1000 S San Gabriel Blvd
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 286-0298

    2 Replies
    1. re: keepon

      As best I know, Guilin is in Guangxi province, not Guizhou province.

      1. re: keepon

        I'd recommend the Seafood Village location in Temple City over the Monterey Park one. It's bigger, easier to find parking, and the waiting area is larger.

        9669 Las Tunas Dr
        Temple City, CA 91780

      2. I agree with keepon's recommendation of Shen Yang Restaurant for Dongbei food. It's the best Dongbei restaurant I've been to in Socal (I lived in Harbin for 3 years as a child and my family is from there). If you're looking for Harbin specifically, you can try:

        Happy Kitchen
        301 W. Valley Blvd., No. 111
        San Gabriel
        (626) 284-2619

        The owner is from Harbin and used to work in the sausage factory and he makes a delicous smoked chicken leg. If you're looking for a broader spectrum of Dongbei cuisine, Shen Yang Restaurant is your place. It's better than Northern Chinese Restaurant (on Valley near Walnut Grove).

        For Xinjiang food, Omar's is a good Uighur choice. For Hui (what you would get in the Muslim district in Xi'an), try:

        Shaanxi Gourmet
        8518 Valley Blvd.,
        (626) 288-9886

        If your main interest is lamb skewers, those can be found in a large portion of Chinese restaurants in the SGV.

        1 Reply
        1. re: yizhang

          I have a friend from Shenyang who likes Shen Yang restaurant pretty well too. I've always enjoyed the stuff I've had there.

        2. Jonathan Gold of the L.A. Times submitted his list on the "state of play" a few weeks back: