Best Los Angeles Chinese Restaurants Well Worth Discovering

Chinatown isn’t the only place for top notch Chinese in Los Angeles- although Yang Chow Chinatown’s infamous Slippery Shrimp certainly fits the bill.  From Rosemead to Redondo Beach, there's something for everyone in Los Angeles from traditional dim-sum to elegant Chinese fare.  Try traditional dim-sum at some of LA’s finest including Ocean Star, Sea Harbour, and Lake Spring Shanghai but be sure to arrive early as waits are typically out the door. Sea Harbour serves you directly from the menu and is a bit quieter than the usual raucous family style dim-sum atmosphere given no wheeled food carts are used.  Celebrity haunts like Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills will satisfy your need to see-and-be-seen while WP24’s elegant atmosphere and high priced menu offers a chance to experience panoramic views Los Angeles while eating in style.  For some of the freshest seafood in Los Angeles, Empress Pavilion will deliver at affordable prices.  If dumplings are your desire, head to Din Tai Fung in Arcadia and experience their tender dumpling pillows filled with pork, beef or shrimp.  For an affordable date night, check out the ambiance at W’s Chinese Bistro which feels like a step above P.F. Chang’s.  If you’re looking for a cheap date, W’s Chinese Bistro features a zen happy hour with amazing discounted prices on appetizers, entrees and wine. Don’t forget to finish the night off for a second date with a chocolate covered fortune cookie at New Moon.

10 WP24 by Wolfgang Puck
If luxury Chinese dining makes your heart pitter patter, rev up the Bentley and venture to WP24 by Wolfgang Puck located at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles. Sitting 24 floors above the Los Angeles skyline, WP24 has cornered the market on fancy Chinese to say the least. Soak in panoramic views as you sip one of 400 wine selections and crunch your way through a variety of Chinese fare from Asian small plates to sushi and nigri. Speaking of crunchy, the Peking duck is a work of authentic Chinese art. All fine art comes with a price, so bring your wallets. ((213) 743-8824)

9 Yang Chow — Chinatown
This popular Chinese cuisine palace is a favorite among locals and celebrities. Known for its excellent Szechwan menu, the extensive selection will satisfy even the most authentic of Chinese eaters. With it's 1970's-esque atmosphere still in tact, this eatery is a Chinatown favorite for its history and nostaglic feel. If you don't see a celebrity while there, ask your server to see the photo album of the many celebrities who have visited. The delectable slippery shrimp are the most famed menu option and not to be missed. The hot and sour soup as well as minced pork with green beans also receive favorable reviews. (213-625-0811)

8 Ocean Star
Ocean Star offers dim-sum at its finest, with a myriad of menu options whizzing by in the traditional cart stye offering. Enjoy the gigantic floor plan, making it perfect for group dining. Try the deep fried fish, shrimp dumplings, chinese broccoli and chicken feet. Prices are extremely reasonable, so have a feast for a great value. If you're feeling adventurous, try the shark fin soup which is a bit more pricey. Although somewhat chaotic, the friendly atmosphere combined with a diverse seafood offering ranging from shrimp, lobster, and crab to scallops make this a popular destination for any dim-sum lover. (626-308-2128)

7 Empress Pavilion
This traditional Hong Kong dining site serves some of the freshest and most delicious seafood in the city. Favorites include the peking duck and shrimp dumplings, as well as the clay pot with crab and vermicelli which also receives rave reviews. Dim sum is available throughout the day. Some consider it the dim sum mother ship, where carts of infinite dim sum options wiz past from women servers with zest. Experience a feast of dim sum at a price you can afford. A large dining room suits the crowds, so arrive early on weekends. Ambiance includes traditional decorations with private rooms available as well. (213-617-9898)

6 Lake Spring Shanghai
While it's true that Monterey Park doesn't lack for excellent ethnic eateries, Lake Spring stands out for its stalwart Shanghai-style menu. The signature pork pump, a fatteningly delicious leg of pork marinated in sweet plum sauce, may seem daunting to first-timers, but seasoned veterans know that it's earned its fine reputation for a reason. Peel back a few layers of pork fat to get to the delicious meat. Be sure to try the House Special Ham Hock as well, steamed for seven hours for maximum pork deliciousness- served with a dipping sauce of ginger and soy sauce. The decor, while predictable, nevertheless creates a hospitable atmosphere that's complemented by a friendly waitstaff. (626-280-3571)

5 Din Tai Fung
This far-flung branch of the Taiwanese chain is renowned for having some of LA's tastiest Shanghai-style dumplings. Tender steamed pillows are filled with a wide assortment of savory items -- pork, shrimp, beef, and even soup. Pork buns, rice dishes, noodle soups and entrees, and some unclassifiable choices -- steamed red bean paste cake for instance -- round out a menu that manages to be brief yet completely satisfactory. Lines are almost always long at Din Tai Fung, so arrive early and be patient. Fortunately they take your phone number and text you when your table is ready- so take a walk around the corner to Bun Bun to have some tea while you wait. (626-574-7068)

4 Sea Harbour
A bit more elegant, bright and quiet than your typical dim sum extravaganza, Sea Harbour offers all the same goodness for the eager dim sum palette. There are no wheeled carts 'o goodies flying around at this establishment. Instead, servers deliver dishes straight from the kitchen. Typical favorites such as the milk bun, shrimp dumplings, and BBQ pork bun definitely deliver, but if you're in an adventurous mood, try the shark's fin soup, braised abalone with goose webbing, or the deep-fried pigeon. Prices are a bit higher than other dim sum locations, but the service and freshness deliver. Dim sum is offered until 2:30pm. (626-288-3939)

3 New Moon
New Moon devotees happily make the short journey from Los Angeles for inventive Chinese dishes and a relaxed atmosphere. A cozy bar is complete with a large-screen TV, friendly service and happy hour on weekdays. Regular menu favorites include candied pecan shrimp, Mongolian beef, won ton soup, and a distinctly un-rubbery calamari appetizer. The grilled shrimp also receives rave reviews, so be sure to ask for all the different sauces that come with it. Family-style dining creates a laid-back vibe that welcomes groups of friends as well as families with little ones in tow. A great beer and wine selection is additional enticement. (818-249-4868)

2 W's Chinese Bistro
This hip, modern bistro serves updated versions of Chinese classics to customers who return as much for the cuisine as for the relaxed, elegant ambience. Take a seat at a stylish dark wood table, or snag a cozy booth along the wall. Then try Asian seafood paella, a generous portion of scallops, shrimp, calamari, mussels, and clams in a delicious sauce over jasmine rice. W's citrus salad is a lighter option, delivering refreshing slices of orange and pear in a sweet raspberry vinaigrette. Banana and walnut spring rolls are hard to resist, served with vanilla coconut ice cream and caramel topping. (310-792-1600)

1 Mr. Chow
Since 1974, Mr Chow has delivered a unique experience of art, style and celebrity clientele with Chinese cuisine. Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, the establishment still draws some of Hollywood's biggest stars making it a premier destination. "Seen-and-be-seen" ambience and sublime menu options make this a true Los Angeles experience. Everything on the menu is delicious, and the prices reflect it. Be prepared to sit very close to your neighbor as the tables are set very close together. If you're lucky perhaps you'll overhear a celebrity conversation. Try the green shrimp, lettuce wraps, spicy beef and glazed prawns and then top it all off with the blueberry green tart for dessert. (310-278-9911)


Alison is a licensing professional, yogi and travel writer based in Los Angeles.   Her Bachelor’s degree in French fueled an early desire to travel, while her Master’s in Business Administration later served her career.  As a 500-hr certified yogi, her passion for yoga and travel has led her on retreats around the world from Bali to Brazil.  When not working or yoga’ing, Alison writes for jetsetextra.com, 10best.com, hotelchatter.com and her blog at http://anecdotali.wordpress.com.  Alison’s life mantra is to stay lighthearted, with an eye toward laughter and never taking oneself too seriously. Follow her on twitter @anecdotali.

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Maps and Directions

1
WP24 by Wolfgang Puck 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Downtown
COST: $$$$
2
Yang Chow — Chinatown 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Chinatown
COST: $
3
Ocean Star 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Group Friendly
Neighborhood: Monterey Park
COST: $
4
Empress Pavilion 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Group Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Chinatown
COST: $
5
Lake Spring Shanghai 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Disabled Accessible, Family Friendly
Neighborhood: Monterey Park
COST: $
6
Din Tai Fung 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Arcadia
COST: $
7
Sea Harbour 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Cantonese, Chinese, Seafood
Dining Options: Group Friendly, Parties / Private Rooms, Take Out
Neighborhood: Rosemead
COST: $$
8
New Moon 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Family Friendly, Group Friendly, Live Music, Take Out
Neighborhood: Montrose
COST: $
9
W's Chinese Bistro 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Bar Dining, Family Friendly, Non-Smoking, Take Out
Neighborhood: Redondo Beach
COST: $$
10
Mr. Chow 10Best List Arrow
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Dining Options: Bar / Lounge, Group Friendly, Non-Smoking, Parties / Private Rooms
Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
COST: $$$$