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Chinese For One

My family and I enjoyed Muse Garden Shanghai in Artesia on Pioneer very much and it may be close enough for you to grab lunch.

May 06, 2015
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Chinese Wedding Banquet -- Help Please

Senior moment! NBC. It was $238 under family menu. Don't remember any dishes we didn't like. For the price, it was fine. Nothing fancy but enjoyable.

Jan 24, 2015
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Chinese Wedding Banquet -- Help Please

I had 40 people for lunch last Oct. and they gave us a private room at 1:30pm. Room was a bit tight, chairs up against the walls but it was o.k. The banquet manager wouldn't book us any earlier, too busy with dim sum lunch crowd. Take a look at their website, "family" menu for a budget option. Really not too shabby for the prices. Service was good. Guests were commenting how much they enjoyed the food. When they presented me with the check, they charged me $40 extra for 2 bottles of no name brand sodas placed at each table. The room was set up with the sodas and I assumed it was included in the cost. I thought this was rather sneaky. Good thing only 3 bottles were opened and I made them take off the charge for the unopened bottles. I told him I didn't ask for soda and you didn't tell me it was extra. Otherwise, everything else was fine. I would tell them in advance you don't want the soda, if this is the case. They had extra small tables for cake, gifts, etc. They didn't charge me any corkage fee for a few bottles of wine. If you are considering restaurants that offers dim sum and you want this to be a lunch affair, I think most are not receptive to booking a large group until after the dim sum crowd is over. Also, parking was not an issue at 1:30pm.

My niece had a wedding banquet last Oct. at Sea Empress for 100 people. I was actually surprised they did a nice job on the food. This place needs cosmetic work, a little neglected. Price wise, NBC is cheaper. I don't know if they have smaller banquet rooms. Even for 100 people, they partitioned the room and space was tight with chairs against the walls. Fire hazard, honestly, but it's Chinese. Silly of them not to give us the entire banquet room. Otherwise, food and service was surprisingly good. The staff was helpful and accommodating.

PV Palace in Lomita has a small banquet room. Been there several times for small birthday and wedding affairs. Decent food and service too but they were all in the evening. Don't know about lunch time.

I hope this helps your friends.

Jan 22, 2015
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Qin West Chinese Cuisine Westwood (A Photo Story and Review)

Thank you for the write up with photos. It was the final push getting me there today at 11:15am with a friend. It was empty but as we were leaving, people were starting to come in. Service was better than average Chinese restaurants. We both enjoyed Liuzhou Soup very much. It was just enough spice for mild if you feel unsure of spiciness. Next time, we'll order it with beef. Yes, parking was challenging but it was convenient to park and shop at Sprouts too. Looking forward to many future meals here.

Jan 20, 2015
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Any recent dinner experiences at King Hua?

Sorry, not for dinner but five of us were there two Sundays ago for dim sum at 10:45 am. While the experience was better than NBC, it didn't wow us. When you go to an order off menu restaurant for dim sum, you expect to receive steaming hot food but that was not the case. The experience left me with the impression they keep the popular items hot in the kitchen and serve as ordered. I've had hotter dim sum from carts before at other restaurants.

Our first item arrived less than 10 min. after we ordered, not enough time for the server to place our order in the kitchen, cook it, then bring it out to our table. Two orders were very hot, eggplants (dim sum) and egg white with scallop fried rice (not dim sum item). The other dim sum were just very warm, not hot enough to burn your lips. Taste wise, from average to better than average.

This was the first visit for 4 of us out of 5. Service was fine and the decor was nicer than most Chinese restaurants. They didn't rush us out like most places even though there a large group waiting. I actually enjoy dim sum with the carts but thought we give this place a try after reading all the positive reviews. I felt a little deceived because I doubt very much the dim sum we ordered were actually steamed/cooked at the time we placed the order, but rather they were kept heated in the kitchen waiting to be ordered. Yes, I would go back but no rush. Now I know what to expect.

Nov 12, 2014
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

There's a comment at the bottom of this link indicating he/she is former EP employee and the re-opening is fake. The ad in their Facebook on the right column about Mother's Day is dated 2013.

Jun 30, 2014
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Anyone tried Polentoni in Culver City??

I couldn't help but to chime in on this one. Been there at least a dozen times since the Cafe Roberto days, hoping things would improve. We enjoyed it when it was new at that time, then the service deteriorated. The experienced wait staff disappeared, replaced by amateurs, we noticed. We gave them many chances, living in the neighborhood. The last visit about 5 years ago, I remembered two tables of customers were complaining loudly about the food and lack of service. The owner himself came out to our table checking asking how was everything. I told him our dishes were good but the service...... He replied with "Yes, I know". Never been back and doubt we ever will no matter what he calls his restaurant.

Jun 07, 2014
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Moon House -- New Chinese in WLA

That's too bad it was disappointing for you. Thirteen of us were there last night for dinner and we all had a great time and enjoyed both food and service. Only one of us was not Asian. Agree, the food is not outstanding here but we don't expect outstanding Chinese food on the Westside, otherwise you set yourself up for disappointments. For a large group, Mr. Ma, I believe he is the owner (from Mandarin Kitchen), offered to come up with a set menu with an agreed amount. We had 10 dishes and steamed lotus paste bun with salted duck egg for dessert. Peking duck, minced duck from the Peking duck with lettuce cups, Westlake minced beef soup, string beans, baby bok choi with Blk mushrooms, Yang chow fried rice with nice size whole shrimp, French style steak, fish fillet in Blk bean sauce and asparagus, and walnut shrimp. It was all inclusive $15/person. Oh, he also gave us spareribs which we would change to something else next time. Not that it was bad, but this kind of appetizer is too "guai low". He gave us the small private room too. He did offer the lamb dish but I told him last time we ordered this, the dish was tasty but meat was tough (the served took this off our bill and even boxed it up for us to take home). Been living on the Westside for + 40 years so yes, I have tried all the Chinese restaurants in the area and travel to China Valley for the better stuff and dumplings when we can. I asked him to leave out any msg and lower salt. No one got sick, no one complained about the seasoning. 4 stars for food and service. We all walked out full and pleased with enough left overs for one meal. The egg plant dish was very good from a prior visit. This was my third and plan to come back for many more visits. I would never order dim sum here, it's not their specialty.

Dec 09, 2013
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Is Shanghai #1 Seafood Village the SGV's Next Great Chinese Restaurant?

Not crowded at all at 10:15 am and still no waiting at about 12:30 p.m. when we left. Free parking in the parking structure below (nice wide spaces too). Street level parking too inside the plaza but limited in the front. We always go early to avoid any crowd and bad traffic in that area.

Dec 28, 2011
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Is Shanghai #1 Seafood Village the SGV's Next Great Chinese Restaurant?

Sorry to read about the nightmare experience and hope that won't happen again to anyone.

We were there yesterday about 10:15 am for dim sum and enjoyed it very much. Best service we experienced in a Chinese restaurant. Our plates were changed 3 times and tea was constantly refilled (and poured) without asking. Let's hope that won't change in time.

What I liked best (aside from the tasty food) was the room set up - several dining rooms that were either small or medium in size instead of dining in a huge massive room. It wasn't noisy like your typical dim sum restaurant. The place is nicely decorated, beautify shade of red on the wall. The servers even swept under and around the table when diners left. It was rather odd to hear an American radio station playing top 40's. Some nice Chinese instrumental music would have been a nice touch.

I found the check off menu challenging to read. The English words were not in alpha order so if you were looking for a particular item, it was difficult. Also, the translation not exact. Ha Gau not listed but it was listed as shrimp dumpling. One of the servers was kind enough to help me with the selection. Everything was tasty and delicious. The only disappointment was the skin on the Ha Gau, Fun gaw, shrimp with chives. They all fell apart when you pick them up from the containers. Not firmed, rather mushy and probably over cooked. Kind of mushy. The fillings were very good though. I agree about XLB in the tiny tin. Would have been better eaten with a soup spoon. Still, they were tasty.

Yes, it was more expensive than other dim sum places but I don't mind paying a little more for better dining experience. Worst thing is paying more and they are rude. No one was rude here. We hope to go back soon with more friends to try other items. But I have heard from a good foodie friend that the $8.99 dishes were not worth the price for such a small portion and just average in taste.

I could not find the hours listed anywhere. M-F opens at 10 am, weekend opens at 9 am. Close at midnight. They don't have a phone recording. I don't know if any Chinese restaurants do come to think of that!

Dec 27, 2011
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Soup in LA - Preferrably West Side

I am willing to pay a little more for the best and will keep that in mind next time for the day old bags. Their jalapeno cream cheese (lite) is to die for! and I'm not a big fan of cream cheese. We get a large container of soup which comes with 2 bagels, take an extra large coffee cup, get 2 spoons, and take it to the Landmark theater. The ticket person told us they don't mind outside food.

Oct 17, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Soup in LA - Preferrably West Side

My favorite westside soup is Bagel Factory's Sonny Soup at Sepulveda and National in the Von's shopping plaza, southeast corner. If you like spicy, their Very Veggie Chili is the best. I understand the 15 varieties of soup (changed daily) is also kosher. Other locations I have not tried their soup is at Robertson and Cadillac and 3rd one in Torrance at Hawthorne and Torrance. Best fresh made boiled bagels too!

Oct 17, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Snails w. Black Bean Sauce

I remember eating snails at Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine in Chinatown back in the 70's! Not sure if with black beans. Not a fancy place and cash only. I do remember having many good meals, late night too. Great rice soup (jook) with Chinese donuts. 301 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012. (213) 629-2812.

May 12, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Cheap West Hollywood/Beverly Center/The Grove eats?

I enjoy Andre's too. Not the best but good value and large portions. Once towards the end of the evening, they came around and gave out slices of pizza. My friend, knows the owner, says he has a generous heart and treats his staff well (long time employees). Always good to support this type of business. Long line at times but moves.

Mar 28, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Fu Yuan Low in Rolling Hills Estates

From Yelp - UPDATE (Nov 7 2007). Golden Lotus is now closed. The current rumor in PV is that it will be torn down and a Trader Joe's will be built in it's place.

Feb 13, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Fu Yuan Low in Rolling Hills Estates

I second Harbor Palace. 1949 Pacific Coast Hwy (at Eshelman Ave), Lomita, CA 90717. (310) 539-8220. My family and I have been going there for many years. They do have smaller rooms for private parties. My husband gave me surprise Bday party for 50 people. Banquet style menu offered. Their sizzling plates (oyster with green onion and volcano beef?) are extremely good, string beans, both salt and pepper squid and shrimp, westlake mince beef soup, Chinese broccoli with black mushrooms, both deep fried whole fish and steamed, are some of our favorites. Don't expect a friendly staff. They take your order, serve and you pay. They are not offensive but just typical "Chinese service". Weekends at lunch, especially on Sundays after church time, are very busy because they offer great lunch specials with very good portions.

Feb 12, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Din Tai Fung -is it that bad??

I am also a big fan of DTF. I think they have one of the best juicy pork dumpling (prefer the thin skin). Also like the appetizer (only 1 kind), veg & juicy pork with crab dumplings, their string beans, and chow mein. We arrive at 10 am at the NEW location which is only next door to get in the first seating. They have the cleanest restrooms you will ever find in a Chinese restaurant, which is an issue for me. There are some items I don't care for and the shrimp shu mai is over priced ($9?) IMO, but I still enjoy going there with my group of friends and we have never been disappointed. We also enjoy the shops nearby. Also like Dumpling 10053 on Valley very much. No juicy dumplings here but veg, shrimp and 3 flavor dumplings are outstanding. Veg with meat sauce and spicy beef soup noodle also on my regular orders. Did not enjoy any appetizers here. They open at 11:30 am but they will allow you to come in early. Prices cheaper here. Restroom acceptable but you need to drive to other locations for shopping.

Dumpling 10053
10053 Valley Blvd, Temple City, CA 91731 - (626) 350-0188
(small parking lot, most spaces are not was wide as standard)

Jan 26, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Jalapeno Cheese Bread

The Pavilion (Culver City) has great Jalapeno Cheese Bread, especially when they just took them out of the oven. Their olive bread (black and green) are great too.

Jan 20, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Santa Monica at La Brea -lunch suggestions

I will be relocating to Santa Monica at La Brea for work, a plaza where Best Buy and Target is located. Never been in that area. Understand traffic will be ugly regardless of the time of the day. Can anyone advise some eating places where I can walk to? I'm afraid to take the car out of the parking lot during the day. I'm very open to food - fast food, low-medium price, all Asian, Latin, etc. Thanks for any suggestions/recommendations!

Jan 12, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Good reasonably priced Italian in West LA or Santa Monica

Playa Del Rey is near by. Always enjoyed the food at:
Caffe Pinguini
6935 Pacific Ave.
Playa del Rey, CA 90293

Take Jefferson blvd going towards the beach, turns into Culver Blvd. to the very end. There are some street parking. Romantic, indoor and outdoor dining. The coconut ice cream is to die for.

Jan 11, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Do you know good restaurants in and around Manhattan Beach ?

I never had disappointing meals at:
REED's Restaurant
2640 N Sepulveda Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Phone: (310) 546-3299

Jan 11, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

WLA: Hop Woo, da Pasquale, Hu's, El Rincon Criollo, Royal Star

I recently took my non Chinese friends there for dinner and they are still talking about how enjoyable the meal was. I must admit, the first two times, we just couldn't select the the "right" dishes. There were some dishes not so great but we do enjoy roast duck, wonton noodles in soup, salted fish chicken fried rice, Singapore style Mein-Fun, dry style beef chow fun, minced beef porridge, pepper salted shrimp in crispy shell, rock cod fillet with black bean & chili sauce, braised string bean. Will have to try their ong choy and ask if they will cook with shrimp sauce next time. For a small fast food mom and pop business, Happy Express seems to be doing good business. Must be at least 10 yrs or more that I can remember. I order party tray of chow mein for office pot luck (only $8.50) and home parties and everyone enjoys this simple meatless chow mein dish (add costco chicken to this dish, yummy). So cheap and good. Their beef noodle soup is very good. Order 3 item combo and you'll have enough food for 2 (maybe 3) lunch meals. Small parking lot but you can find street parking too.

Happy Express Restaurant
5495 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA 90230-5558
Phone: (310) 390-3691

Jan 01, 2008
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Great Chinese Food on the Westside

I agree, Hop Woo is my first pick for this area for good Chinese food. Service not the best but not too terrible. Parking is one of the worst but I won't complain too much since I think their food is best in this area. Any Chinese restaurant that offers Salted Fish Fried Rice outside of SGV area is authentic. They do a very decent job on that dish too. Been to Little H.K. Cafe several times and not impressed at all. Half the time they served luke warm tea, not acceptable for Chinese restaurant. Twice, I asked them to please give me hot tea. Had to wait a good 15-20 min. Can't understand what's the problem with something so simple. The food is not terrible but as long as Hop Woo is open, I won't settle for so so Chinese food.

Dec 27, 2007
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Low Sodium Smoked Salmon - Where to buy

I just purchased wild Alaskan Smoked Sockeye Salmon from Culver City Costco (1 package contains two boxes) for $18.99. Kasilof Fish Co. Sodium at 340mg for 2 oz per serving, slightly less than what you purchased. Received as gift last year, very good. I think it's a holiday item, didn't see this during the year. It was located on the floor, outside isles near all the food stuff across from clothing, not refrigerated.

Dec 09, 2007
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Cheap homemade party favors

For my daughter's wedding 2 weeks ago, we bought some beautiful tea cups (clear glass with the gold band) from Wing Hop Fung in Monterey Park. Regular at .99 each but we asked for 20% off since we needed 260 pcs. They have the stock at their warehouse so you'll need to make arrangements to go back to pick up. In their wonderful tea department, we purchased 2 kinds of loose tea (blooming Jasmine bulbs and Jasmine pearl, both at $39.95 per pound). We wrapped in nice cellophane (Kelly's paper, one in Culver City), printed description and brewing instructions to tie with ribbon. Received nice comments on the tea. My ex, we are barely on speaking terms, even asked if I have any extra left over favors. About slightly over $2.00 each. For children/under 18, See's candy suckers. Have a wonderful wedding!

Jul 05, 2007
dragonanna in General Topics

Weekend Din Tai Fung Strategies?

They open at 10:30 am on weekends, but they'll start seating at 10:20 am. We arrived at 9:50 am to be 2nd in line last time. I think they have only 3-4 larger round tables (more comfortable and conversation friendly). If we can't arrive by 10am, we just don't go. Our 2nd favorite place is Dumpling 10053 which opens at 11:30 am.

Jul 05, 2007
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Wing Hop Fung Wine!!

I love that store. It's 2nd to Culver City Costco for wine. Have been shopping at WHF for over a year. I also purchased a few different German Reisling, wonderful with Chinese food. It's nice to do some sampling before purchase. Guillaume Galand is organizing a wine paring dinner at Opus in the near future. Next, the tea dept. Great selection. Prices are good. For my daughter's wedding a couple of weeks ago, I packaged 2 different kinds of tea in tea cups (many choices) with description and instructions for brewing. That was a big hit.

Jul 05, 2007
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area

Seafood Town - Torrance

Been there once and was turned off by the dirty carpet and service. They tried to fit all 15 of us at one table for 12 at most. When we complained about not being able to fit all at one table, the server replied we should be able to fit due to several children at in our party. I told her yes, we have children but the CHAIRS don't fit. How stupid to argue when it was physically impossible to fit 15 chairs unless we all sat a foot away from the table! Finally, they split us up into two tables. There were plenty of empty tables near by and no parties waiting. I just don't have any patience with people who don't use their common sense. And the food was not great, even though it was inexpensive. My favorite (and my family) is Harbor Palace, 1949 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717
(310) 539-8220. Have been going there for years. Service can be spotty, especially during peak times like weekend lunch time. Great lunch specials, great food with some exceptions (like hot & sour soup) but mostly very good.

May 29, 2007
dragonanna in Los Angeles Area