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

Thor123 May 21, 2013 10:27 AM

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. ipsedixit RE: Thor123 May 21, 2013 11:01 AM

    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
      Thor123 RE: ipsedixit May 21, 2013 11:12 AM

      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: Thor123
        Searching4Dunny RE: Thor123 May 21, 2013 12:09 PM


        1. re: Searching4Dunny
          Thor123 RE: Searching4Dunny May 21, 2013 12:17 PM

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

          1. re: Thor123
            ns1 RE: Thor123 May 21, 2013 12:18 PM

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

            1. re: ns1
              kevin RE: ns1 May 21, 2013 12:30 PM

              Sounds great. I will have to try it.

            2. re: Thor123
              kevin RE: Thor123 May 21, 2013 12:29 PM

              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
                Ciao Bob RE: kevin May 21, 2013 01:04 PM

                <<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
                  ipsedixit RE: Ciao Bob May 21, 2013 01:38 PM

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

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    Thor123 RE: ipsedixit May 21, 2013 01:41 PM

                    It is for sure. Boarders on sensory overload.

                    1. re: Thor123
                      kevin RE: Thor123 May 21, 2013 02:53 PM

                      oh, eye candy.

                      i'm so there.

                      That's my kind of atmosphere.

                2. re: kevin
                  Dirtywextraolives RE: kevin May 21, 2013 04:23 PM

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

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                    BSW6490 RE: Dirtywextraolives May 21, 2013 08:05 PM


                    1. re: BSW6490
                      Dirtywextraolives RE: BSW6490 May 21, 2013 09:53 PM

                      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
                        MSorento RE: Dirtywextraolives Jun 3, 2013 04:13 PM

                        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
                          raytamsgv RE: MSorento Jun 3, 2013 04:35 PM

                          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
                            kevin RE: raytamsgv Jun 3, 2013 04:42 PM

                            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
                  Searching4Dunny RE: Thor123 May 30, 2013 09:51 PM

                  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
                  ipsedixit RE: Searching4Dunny May 21, 2013 01:40 PM

                  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. SilverlakeGirl RE: Thor123 Jun 3, 2013 05:46 PM

              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?


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