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Best Chinese on the Westside/Beverly Hills?

pnutbuddah Jan 3, 2013 11:50 PM

I don't eat much Chinese food, and I have guests coming from the East coast who love it. They also do not like driving far distances in LA, so even Chinatown is a big deal for them. What is the west side of town's best Chinese?

  1. Ciao Bob Jan 4, 2013 10:33 AM

    They will likey enjoy Joss or Xi'an in the Hills of Beverly.
    If they are into the celeb-studded scene of Mr. Chow they may find bliss there as well.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ciao Bob
      ipsedixit Jan 4, 2013 11:00 AM

      And if they want something a bit more, shall we say, low-brow, maybe ROC Star Dumpling?

      1. re: ipsedixit
        kevin Jan 4, 2013 09:46 PM

        I do like ROC star.

      2. re: Ciao Bob
        Thor123 Jan 4, 2013 01:40 PM

        Those are good suggestions. Boa Dim Sum, although controversial here is another fun choice.

        1. re: Thor123
          latindancer Jan 4, 2013 11:33 PM

          <although contoversial here is another fun choice>

          I respectfully disagree and would not recommend. Tasteless and overpriced.

        2. re: Ciao Bob
          Thor123 Jan 5, 2013 10:23 AM

          The peking duck at Joss is very good.

          1. re: Ciao Bob
            westsidegal Jan 8, 2013 09:16 AM

            should be mentioned, that if they go for the celebrity-bliss of Mr. Chow, they will be foregoing food-quality-bliss.
            ingredients are high quality, but the result, imho is greasy and bland. also, if you blindly order champagne by the glass from the champagne cart that they incessantly wheel around the restaurant, you will be more than doubling the already high price of your meal.

            on the other hand, Kanye West was there the last time i went.
            there are some for whom that sort of sighting would be worth eating the nothing-with-nothing expensive food.

            1. re: westsidegal
              kevin Jan 8, 2013 12:10 PM

              I remember once sighting Robert Wuhl, at a restaurant that is now long-closed and that was pretty darn cool.

          2. Chandavkl Jan 4, 2013 01:36 PM

            This is a "tallest midget in the circus" question which has been discussed before.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl
              kevin Jan 4, 2013 09:45 PM

              I really liked Mandarin Kitchen for their Lobster Szechuan.

              1. re: kevin
                nosh Jan 5, 2013 02:58 PM

                I like Mandarin Kitchen for their lunch specials, served until 5 p.m. with a large entree, rice, and a cup of their above-average hot'n'sour soup for $5.99 or 6.99. An extensive listing of choices. I always order my dishes there with extra sauce. Their Mongolian beef is very good and I like their shrimp or three-ingredient (shrimp, chicken and beef) with mixed veggies and I sub in the spicy garlic sauce. Their kung pao and black bean dishes are boring, not only the sauces but insipid onion and green bell pepper.

                Hu's also does a good lunch combo (until 2:30) with a large entree (twice-cooked pork w/o tofu, kung pao chicken w/ extra sauce, eggplant w/ ground pork -- avoid the sweet'n'sour which is very bready), rice, a good hot'n'sour soup, and a nice mid-course of a Chinese chicken salad in a sweetish dressing. Their kung pao sauce is among the best I've tasted, and they only add peanuts and green onions, not the massive filler of onion and bell pepper so many others add. Not many choices for the lunch combos. I haven't tried them, but I've seen a generous plate of fried chicken wings come to other tables that looked big, crisp, and delicious.

                I have tried almost every Chinese place on the westside, mostly for lunch, and these two are superior. Cheng Du used to be in my rotation, but has deteriorated. In my experience these surpass Hop Li, Hop Woo, Chang's, Jin Jiang, Joss, California Wok, Dynasty, Twin Dragon, and most of the others.

                1. re: nosh
                  carter Jan 5, 2013 07:07 PM

                  Twin Dragon has fallen even turther since you probably tried it last.
                  It is truly dreadful now.
                  Not that it was ever that good, but by comparison...

            2. m
              maudies5 Jan 5, 2013 07:02 PM

              I also love Mandarin Kitchen. We actually had dinner delivered tonight. As much as I love this restaurant, it is not one to which I would take out of town guests. The ambiance of the restaurant is quite spartan, with just a few tables and chairs. I have no idea if they have a beer and wine license as I have eaten lunch there and delivery at home. Re: delivery.. they are pretty accurate when telling you the time your food will be delivered. Big Plus. BTW, dinner tonight was delicious... Hot and sour soup, shrimp in spicy black bean sauce and chicken with asparagus. Every dish was wonderful and arrived hot and ready to serve. Choice of brown or white rice.

              11 Replies
              1. re: maudies5
                Ciao Bob Jan 7, 2013 12:07 PM

                When they first opened the shrimp dishes were really great. Plump and numerous, and even pretty fresh. Is that still the case?

                1. re: Ciao Bob
                  maudies5 Jan 7, 2013 12:14 PM

                  Shrimp were exactly as you described.

                  1. re: maudies5
                    nosh Jan 7, 2013 06:28 PM

                    Had lunch at Mandarin Kitchen today. That parking lot, shared with Eduardo's and several more, has become more and more impossible -- had to circle the block and park on the street. My Mongolian beef was good, and a big order. But they charged me an extra buck for fried rice rather than steamed without telling me -- had to ask when I saw it on the bill. Most disappointing -- the hot'n'sour soup, which I used to really like, has been changed much for the worse. Not spicy. Paler in color than the brown it used to be. Much more stuff in it -- too much tofu, some shreds of bamboo shoot, clouds ear mushroom, egg -- but the hot bite and sour tang I liked so much were absent. Yep, they denied it has changed...

                    1. re: nosh
                      Ciao Bob Jan 8, 2013 08:56 AM

                      Is being charged more for fried rice a surprise in any way, shape or form? I would be surprised NOT to be charged more and a buck seems under-market anyway.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob
                        maudies5 Jan 8, 2013 10:56 AM

                        IMHO, fried rice is always more expensive than steamed. Agree that only a buck more sounds like a helluva good deal.

                        1. re: Ciao Bob
                          kevin Jan 8, 2013 12:11 PM

                          Regular rice there was only like about .65 cents. The prices there are already pretty darn cheap.

                          A whole lobster there for 9.99, even the SGV can't really beat that in price, if not taste (of course.)

                        2. re: nosh
                          maudies5 Jan 8, 2013 10:55 AM

                          I thought the hot and sour soup was delicious. I have had it many times and did not notice any change. Re: Parking--during the day I'll take my car to the car wash next door and tell them I'm going to lunch. Never a problem and I go home in a clean car.

                          1. re: maudies5
                            kevin Jan 8, 2013 12:12 PM

                            that's cool that they let you park there.

                            or do you mean, you get the gar wash and mention that you are going to be a few minutes late bc, you are also getting the goods at mandarin.

                            on another note, mandarin's lobster is pretty good, have you tried it yet ???

                            1. re: kevin
                              Servorg Jan 8, 2013 12:32 PM

                              Hey kevin, do they always have lobster on the menu? Or is it a special that comes and goes?

                              1. re: Servorg
                                kevin Jan 8, 2013 01:10 PM

                                They always do, I believe. In fact they have it listed as four different preparations on the menu with that dreaded moniker of "Market Price."

                                Though the preparation with ginger and green onion is always 9.99.

                                The other preparations are a few bucks more, but not like 40 dollars more.

                              2. re: kevin
                                maudies5 Jan 8, 2013 02:38 PM

                                I go to the car wash and mention that I am going next door for lunch and ask if they would please park it for a few minutes after the wash. They are always very nice about it.

                    2. p
                      pnutbuddah Jan 10, 2013 09:46 PM

                      Thanks Hound. Unless I'm misinterpreting this thread, Mandarin Kitchen seems to be the winner on the Westside. Although short on ambience, it looks like many are saying it's definitely the best food for the money. While my guests love those celeb sightings, a $$$ meh meal certainly detracts. I think the last time they were here we went to Xian and I was not impressed.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: pnutbuddah
                        Ciao Bob Jan 11, 2013 10:23 AM

                        Please don't take my mention of Xi'an as an endorsement by any means - just trying to satisfy the parameters of your query.

                        1. re: pnutbuddah
                          Thor123 Jan 11, 2013 10:41 AM

                          I have not been to the new location, but Joss used to be very good.

                        2. l
                          lastofthepirates Jan 11, 2013 10:39 AM

                          My pals and I really dig Golden China in Culver City. Dingy carpet and peeling wallpaper notwithstanding, they provide a good bite at moderate prices. They also have an extensive faux-meat veggie/vegan menu that I've enjoyed on occasion. Seems a bit closer to the great hole-in-the wall places I used to frequent on visits to NYC. Haven't seen Hound discuss it much, but I wanted to throw it in the ring.

                          Off-topic - do you post on Imgur, @pnutbuddah ?

                          1. p
                            pnutbuddah Jan 11, 2013 10:01 PM

                            Ciao Bob - did not take your comment at an endorsement
                            Thor - Joss looks pretty pricey these days, and I hear "artisan" portions.
                            Pirate - I do not post on Imgur....what is it?

                            The dinner guests arrive on Wed, so still have a few days to obsess about it!

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