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May 21, 2013 10:27 AM

CHI-LIN - Mr. Chow meets Bazaar meets Dr. No.

Made it to the new Chi-Lin at Doheny and Sunset. Spectacular setting that feels like a movie set from an exotic James Bond film. In some ways maybe too much stimulation. Very unique. The service was very attentive, perhaps too much so in the beginning to the point where I felt the server was hovering and rushing us. After a polite comment that we were not ready to order (having just sat 3 minutes) the service got much smoother. The one thing I did not appreciate is when we asked what she recommended and the two dishes were peking duck ($72) and japanese waagyu steak ($84) - the two most expensive items on the menu - with no mention of price. Anyway, the food we did order was for the most part very good in an updated Mr. Chow sort of take:

chicken potstickers - these were just ok and in no way special.
fresh kale and shitake mushroom salad - very refreshing.
heirloom rice - good.
bbq baby back bibs - small, tender with good flavor.
peking prawns - outstanding, plush and succulent.
hong hong pin pei chicken - like they used to do at Joss. Very good, peking duck type presentation (except $24 instead of $72).
mongolian lamb - served with a crispy rice cake and different is a very good way. Perhaps my favorite dish.
organic vegitable medley - nice and clean.

The place was backed by 7:30 on a Monday night, one week into its soft opening. Clearly its a scene place; but the food is very interesting. Seems like it may have staying power because there is nothing like it in town. In some ways the buzz was similar to Bazaar when it first opened, though the food is entirely different. Fun place to party and would go back again.

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  1. Love the reference to Chow+Bazaar+No.

    And it's about time that Mr. Chow had some real competition. That place has had the run of the city now for what seems like decades.

    The room at CHI-LIN reminds me of the Macau Casino in Skyfall. Same motif anyway.

    18 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Spot on! I think, at least in the short run, Chi-Lin will have much more buzz than Mr. Chow. There is another ultra high end Chinese coming to BH near the Montage. Cant recall the name.

        1. re: Searching4Dunny

          You win the prize! Thats the one. Have you been to the one in LV?

          1. re: Thor123

            They got a nice bar package - 500k for a cool 81L of Ace of Spades.

            1. re: ns1

              Sounds great. I will have to try it.

            2. re: Thor123

              I thought Hakkasan had entrees on the menu that were $150 bones or more.

              Wasn't Puck's WP24 somewhat in the same vein of a Mr. Chow though significantly more delicious from a food standpoint ?

              1. re: kevin

                <<significantly more delicious from a food standpoint >>
                At first -- when I read your post, Kevin -- I thought, "How can a place be more delicious from any other standpoint than from a food standpoint?"
                But now that I think a bit more it seems to me that, WP24 is in fact significantly more delicious than Mr. Chow from a VIEW standpoint. Both are kind of not so delicious from a VALUE standpoint, and from a food standpoint.

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  I think CHI-LIN is also more delicious from an eye-candy standpoint.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    It is for sure. Boarders on sensory overload.

                    1. re: Thor123

                      oh, eye candy.

                      i'm so there.

                      That's my kind of atmosphere.

                2. re: kevin

                  Good question.... Yet that is in a different hood, not in BH.

                    1. re: BSW6490

                      Responding to Kevin's question as to WP24 being in the same vein as Mr Chow, as in overpriced Chinese food, and stating it was in a different hood so not really the same....

                      Get it now?

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                        how do you come to the conclusion that Chinese food is overpriced? Why is Chinese food any different from Italian or French food? As I see it, there are many French restaurants that I have been to that is way overpriced for what it is but I never hear about it. Is it because you can get Panda Express for under $10? Just say'n..

                        1. re: MSorento

                          Many Chowhounds with expertise in Chinese food consider a place like Mr. Chow to be overpriced for what you get. It's like paying $50 for mediocre pizza that you could get in a pizza chain.

                          There are far better Chinese restaurants in the LA area, such as Elite, Sea Harbour, etc., that serve better Chinese food for the same or better price.

                          1. re: raytamsgv

                            Mr. Chow is like an upscale version of Panda Express.

                            How does not so great orange chicken for $70 a plate sound to you ?


                3. re: Thor123

                  Haven't been to the LV one (although I hear it is more of a club) but have been to the locations in SF and London. Wasn't very impressed at either location from a food standpoint. Not bad by any means - but not memorable either. I only returned for a second visit (to the SF location) because I was a guest at the dinner.

                4. re: Searching4Dunny

                  Hakkasan, at least the one in SF, is not comparable to Mr. Chow.

                  And I say that with all intentions of being complementary to Hakkasan.

            3. There is a lovely photo-centric blog post for Chi-Lin. I do know know the blog owner or have any connection.

              Is this okay?