HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

A highly opinionated old Jewish man is taking us out to Yang Chow (Chinatown)

He says, "It's the best Chinese food in Los Angeles."

What would you order if an old Jewish man were taking you?

Mr Taster

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Pretty sure you're just supposed to order the Slippery Shrimp.

    1 Reply
    1. re: BacoMan

      It's good but gummy. The walnut chicken might be better.
      [well, it might be better because I don't see it on the menu.]

    2. Slippery shrimp.

      Garlic eggplant.

      Orange chicken

      Yes the same shit you worse at the Panda Express.

      And keep your mouth shut.

      1. I'd let him do the ordering (and I would have practiced my finest "Oscar" worthy lip smacking noises/face in front of the bathroom mirror the night before.)

        2 Replies
        1. Order a lot of water to counteract the effects of the huge amounts of MSG. Slippery shrimp is tasty. Won ton soup tastes like dishwater.

          4 Replies
          1. re: maudies5

            Can you taste the shrimp thru the batter and sauce?

            1. re: JAB

              My suggestion is to order the spicy won ton soup. It is made with prodigious amounts of garlic and red peppers. It has a narcotic effect on me and you may briefly lose the ability to speak. Their Yang Chow fried rice is also pretty tasty, with shrimp, chicken and pork, although I always add their chili paste, which adds a nice kick.

              1. re: bringiton

                The spicy won ton soup is excellent -- unusual heat and very sinus-clearing. Note it is listed in an unusual splice on the menu (specialties?) and not with the other soups.

                Slippery shrimp is a must. I also like the eggplant (with ground pork) and garlic sauce. And the spicy string beans are a group favorite, though I'd prefer skinnier beans.

                Yes, Yang Chow is Americanized Chinese. But I think a lot of their dishes are very good. Fairly easy parking, good service. I'm always happy and satisfied eating there.

                1. re: nosh

                  I typically get some chili on my vocal chords and lose the ability to speak for a few minutes, plus my eyes tear up....I just love it! Then, a few weeks later, I get the shakes and go into withdrawl for more!

            1. Here is their list of what they consider their specialties.
              http://www.yangchow.com/menu2.html

              1. potstickers there quite good.

                  1. re: maxcatsilver

                    They have pretty fair vegetable potstickers/dumplings but you need to order right away as they have to make them up then.

                    1. re: maxcatsilver

                      Ha

                      I suppose I should have clarified that I mentioned he was Jewish because I think it's funny that the restaurant is a favorite of the semitic elderly, and not because there are any dietary restrictions in play. He's very happy eating all manner of pork and shellfish, as am I.

                      Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster

                          Yes, all the Jewish people I know now and have ever known in my lifetime, LOVE Americanized Chinese. Every. Single. One of them.

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            They grew up eating it on Christmas Day?

                            1. re: TheOffalo

                              Oh yea, absolutely. I went to high school & college with lots of NY Jews. Pretty much every Christian holiday was celebrated with Chinese food.

                                1. re: ebethsdad

                                  Interesting article. Thanks for posting it.

                                1. re: JAB

                                  Okay, are you saying I didn't know my friends and fellow students and their families? Maybe you knew them better than I.....

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    As a 1/2 NY Jew and 1/2 California Catholic, I have to agree with you, DWEO

                                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    When I lived in NYC, the Kosher keeping Jews of my acquaintance usually had 3 sets of dishes; one for meat, one for dairy and one for Chinese.

                                    1. re: VenusCafe

                                      Actually there should be more: 2 sets for passover

                              1. And remember keep your mouth shuttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Shut that trap. !!!!!!

                                1. Who is this old Jewish man btw ???????

                                  4 Replies
                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        I happen to know that Tony Chen is highly opinionated YOUNG Jewish man who would not be caught dead taking anyone (alive) out to Yang Chow (Chinatown).

                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                          this guy.

                                          Drove down Pico the other night and thought: Chick ‘N Chow, one of these days...

                                          btw, when everyone (reading this thread) was doing Seder, I watched "When Jews Were Funny" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCNw8... with an Islay. Fascinating doc, but I think I did it wrong.

                                      2. Certainly not the same thing as if an old Catholic woman was treating.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          Thor, what would happen in that case ??????????????

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            Taster would need to throw a hail Mary bomb to avert gentrification...

                                        2. The basic asparagus is good, and 'tis the season.

                                          1. if he says it's best - maybe you should let him order. Does he know his stuff?

                                            1. Having had one of those (sort of) for a father-in-law, whose favorite Chinese place was also Yang Chow (though in Pasadena), I'll second the knee-jerk repetitions of Slippery Shrimp; when he ordered takeout there were always two orders of that. The orange beef is a lot better than it ought to be, as is the sweet-and-sour pork, and the sautéed spinach is some of the best I've had anywhere; my favorite niece (wife's niece actually) ordered that one night and earned her spot right then.

                                              1. I suppose I should have clarified that I mentioned he was Jewish because I think it's funny that the restaurant is a favorite of the semitic elderly
                                                _______________________________________

                                                Could you please explain what relevance his religion has to do with your question? How do you know what religion people are? The timing of your post relative to the recent shootings is poor, though you probably did not mean to offend.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: orythedog

                                                  Anyone here who knows Mr. Taster (the OP) would not even begin to ask this question. I personally resemble the description and I didn't find it offensive in the slightest. It's just a point of 'charicature' associated with 'Americanized' Chinese food and possibly also with being 'opinionated'. I'm pretty sensitive to these images and it didn't bother me at all. Just sayin'.

                                                  1. re: orythedog

                                                    Of course I didn't mean to offend. My comments don't offend me.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                    1. i find this post pretty bizarre. Back somewhere in the late 70's a business associate of mine took me to lunch at Yang Chow on their opening day. I worked for the old Broadway Department Store chain with offices on Mission Road (a few miles up North Broadway from the restaurant). Back in those days there were a number of 'authentic' Chinese restaurants of varying cuisines in the San Gabriel Valley, but Chinatown was much closer. When we didn't go to Little Joe's (up the street) we'd go to Yang Chow.

                                                      I became friends with Michael Yun over the years. He was a son who really had different ideas about how to spend his life, living in Africa and Hong Kong, and visiting family in Germany........ rather than working in LA in the family business. I'd meet him in Hong Kong for dinner to catch up. I haven't been to Yang Chow (or the sister location in the West Valley) in maybe 20 years and didn't know there was one in Pasadena (where I worked in the 90's).

                                                      So the tone of this topic is disturbing. Throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s I traveled throughout much of Asia on business, so I DO very much get the difference between great 'authentic' Chinese cuisine and what is degraded here as 'glop'. It's just something of a shock to hear Yang Chow placed so solidly in the 'glop' column. On the other hand, they're still in business after 35 years, so that says SOMETHING', though I'm not sure just what.

                                                      Mr. Taster, I could very easily be your host. I wonder if Michael's still around and what he'd have to say about all this.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: Midlife

                                                        Quite frankly, it's been ages since I was last at Yang Chow, though my absence is more like 10 years versus your 20. I recall ordering the slippery shrimp and mu shu pork.

                                                        In my original post, I was careful not to cast aspersions on the place, only to paint a picture. I don't particularly have bad associations with the place, other than paying the much higher price than I would pay for a plate of something similar-but-different in the SGV.

                                                        I'm actually quite curious to go back. Since my last visit, I've spent a lot of time eating my way through China and Taiwan (and the SGV), as well having as a lifetime of eating poor-to-decent New York style Chinese food as it was a staple meal for me growing up in central New Jersey.

                                                        Lots of good suggestions here, and those allusions to my being anti-semitic have kept the conversation amusing. Thanks to all for your contributions.

                                                        Mr Taster

                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                          Glad to help....... In so many ways!!! ;o)))) and I'm really looking forward to your take on the food. I know you'll be able to place it in its proper context of both quality and 'authenticity'.

                                                        2. re: Midlife

                                                          Well you have to realize that authenticity is a moving target. 30 years ago my wife and I would go to Yang Chow and think it was pretty good. However, Chinese food has improved so much over the years that neither of us would be caught dead there today, and it's probably been that way for 20 or 25 years.

                                                          1. re: Chandavkl

                                                            Well, Yang Chow was never (IMHO) in the 'real' Americanized column, but it sounds like they've stayed stuck while other places have opened or moved forward to 'true' authentic. When I used to go there it was far more 'authentic' than New Moon of Paul's Kitchen.

                                                            1. re: Midlife

                                                              Well Yang Chow to the places on San Pedro St. is kind of apples to oranges. New Moon and Paul's Kitchen were authentic in their day, but their day was the 1950s and 1960s. Our family gatherings were held there or catered from there. Yang Chow and Plum Tree brought a different kind of food to Chinatown in the 1970s.

                                                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                                                I've got a fascination with the history of Chinese food in America and it's always interesting to hear about Los Angeles' specific evolution of the cuisine.

                                                                Yang Chow currently describes itself (did it always?) as serving "Mandarin & Szechuan Cuisine", which certainly does seem to make a definitive statement against the Paul's Kitchens of the world-- i.e. "We're not your grandpa's American-tonese food."

                                                                Interesting stuff. Thanks for this perspective, Chandavkl.

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                  I seem to prefer Chinese Friends over Yang Chow anytime, especially when it comes to pricing. Also, I've always enjoyed their Kung Pao Chicken ever since I first dined there in the 1980s... It's all Mandarin & Szechuan cuisine cooked by Toishanese from HK and Southern China anyhow...

                                                                2. re: Chandavkl

                                                                  I thought that was what I was saying.

                                                          2. Remind me -- the ubiquitous server at Yang Chow with the very friendly personality? Joe??? Asian guy, on the thin side, been there forever, probably around 50 by now...

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: nosh

                                                              Sounds like the server at Hop Li. Does Yang Chow have a special Joe as well?

                                                            2. "A highly opinionated old Jewish man"

                                                              Is there any other kind?

                                                              People have probably written Ph.d theses on Jews and Chinese food. For people my father's generation, going to Chinatown was an illicit pleasure where you could try non-kosher food. Like a culinary red light district. And it was cheap. There's probably also something about the sharing of dishes that appeals to the Jewish family spirit.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: MarkC

                                                                >> People have probably written Ph.d theses on Jews and Chinese food.

                                                                Not probably.

                                                                http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/~hlevine/S...

                                                                Mr Taster

                                                                1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                  That was really interesting, I love stuff like this, thanks! Although I doubt it was a Ph.d thesis at only 23 pages.

                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                    Woody Allen only eats Chinese food.

                                                                  1. re: DeanHodes

                                                                    Chinese on Pesach ?????

                                                                    Oh. Vey.

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      Chinese is ideal for Passover -- easy to avoid bread.

                                                                      1. re: nosh

                                                                        Yup.

                                                                        Some segments of jews avoid rice in Passover. Some can eat it. So - fun!

                                                                  2. I'd say, "Hi Uncle Rocky."

                                                                    1. A highly opinionated old Asian man is taking me to the Deli….

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. assuming that he's trying to be kind (and he's buying), reciprocate that with your choices.

                                                                        otherwise, say mazel tov to the house special shredded pork, and clams in black bean sauce.

                                                                          1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                            We were supposed to go on Saturday and our friend postponed due to illness. Too bad, really-- I was ready to try that spicy wonton soup.

                                                                            We ended up instead wandering to the KTown night market, and after about 5 minutes realizing that this was not a food destination. So we instead went to Polla Ala Brasa and devoured a whole chicken. (Cedar, oak and pecan wood that day.) Magnificent bird, seriously-- even the white meat was juicy perfection. The only quibble (and it's a minor one, considering how exceptional the meat was) is that the skin wasn't too crispy. But it absorbed the rich wood smoke flavor, so who cares. We ate it all.

                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                Of course. And the whole bird cost $12. A total steal.

                                                                                Added bonus-- nary a whisper of hipster, as they were all a few blocks away (waiting in line for hours, and overpaying for food at the KTown night market.)

                                                                                Mr Taster