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Awesome Chinese food in LA Area next week - Help me choose

I'll be in the LA area next week. I'm probably going to have only 1 chance to eat Chinese food. I'm hoping for some advice about where to go:

Specifications:

- Somewhere I have not been, so this excludes Luscious Dumpling, Hui Tou Xiang Noodle House, 101 Noodle House, Beijing Pie House, Dean Sin World and 888 Seafood Restaurant. See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/913793 and http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/853414 for my thoughts on all of these places.

- Open on Christmas eve (lunch or dinner) and/or Christmas day (brunch/lunch). The meal is either happening Tuesday or Wednesday.

- Price of $20 per person or less.

- Really good food, preferably quality and/or items that I wouldn't easily find in San Francisco.

- Within a 1 hour car ride from La Mirada, CA. I'm guessing I'll be heading up to San Gabriel area for this meal, but if there happens to be something awesome elsewhere, it's not out of question.

- After the meal, I want to think to myself "Wow, LA really does have the most amazing Chinese food." And word of warning: I will be in Flushing, NY a few days later, so it has to compete with NYC as well.

In terms of type of Chinese food, I am pretty open. Could be dim sum, could be dumplings, could be Hunan or Sichuan or Yunnan or Dongbei. Just really good and really worth the trip. Also, if there happen to be two great places that could be combined into a mini-crawl, I'm open to that too, especially if they are close together.

Any help would be appreciated, and I promise to report back!
Dave MP

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  1. P.S. If I am sent somewhere that is on par with Luscious Dumpling or Dean Sin World, I'll be quite happy. Doesn't have to be similar style of food to these places, but I did really really like both of them, so that is the quality that I am looking for.

    2 Replies
      1. re: ns1

        I ate there about 1.5 years ago. Sorry to hear it's not as good :(

    1. Just curious, what do you consider really good in sf/bay area?

      1 Reply
      1. re: chezwhitey

        House of Pancake in SF, China Village in East Bay, Koi Palace, Cooking Papa are all places that come to mind.

      2. Skip Elite and Sea Harbour because Koi Palace does it better.

        Though NYC does Shanghainese well, I still would recommend Shanghailander Palace in Rowland Heights. Get the braised pork and crab sautéed with rice cake. Add the house special casserole.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/905793

        There is no one restaurant that will show you LA does Chinese food better. For Taiwanese go to SinBala (one in Rowland and one in Arcadia). Get the fatty pork with preserved vegetables over rice, the pork braised with bamboo shoots over rice, and vermicelli with pumpkin. Doubt you'll find better versions of these in SF or NYC.

        Then try Shen Yang in SGV per Tony C's rec for Northern Chinese. I haven't been yet but damn it looks good.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/923961

        2 Replies
        1. re: Porthos

          These ideas all sound really good!

          I realize that there's no one restaurant that will show me LA does better. I'm just looking for something different that I can't easily get in Bay Area, and something really good.

          I would be thrilled to try Shanghailander, SinBala or Shen Yang, so these ideas are great! Thanks

          1. re: Dave MP

            the *best* thing at shen yang IMO is their rendition of korean cold noodles. the quality of their other stuff had slipped IMO.

        2. A couple of suggestions for something different would be Shaanxi Gourmet (Shaanxi) and Omar's (Uighur/Xinjiang). Though they don't completely overlap, I like Qingdao Bread Food (across the street from DWS) better than Luscious Dumplings.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl

            However note that Qingdao does not do XLB

            1. re: ns1

              but i like the fish dumplings at QBF.

            1. re: J.L.

              The irony is that Northern California used to have an official branch of SinBaLa in Cupertino (where Tam's Café/Venus Café is now). It bombed and the quality never got close to the one in Arcadia, and eventually shut down. They were basically just reheating frozen SinBaLa sausage packets and serving their own style of rice plates and noodles. Aiya :-o.

              1. re: J.L.

                imo, Sinbala has been going downhill for a while. we tried their pork chop rice and chicken leg rice and a few other dishes last month and 2 months before, and it tastes heavier, more oily, total msg overload and super salty. we were disappointed. :<

                ymmv of course.