Before each home game this season, ClipperBlog will run “ClipperBlog Eats,” a restaurant recommendation from its resident restaurant reviewer, Ben Mesirow. Below is today’s suggestion:
Lately all the buzz in Chinese cuisine has been focused on the San Gabriel Valley and its infinitely renewable collection of specialty shops – spots dedicated to fiery, numbing Szechwan food; sweet, flaky beef rolls; gigantic dumplings full of hot broth; and so many more. The focus is there for good reason – there may be no other part of LA with such incredible quality and diversity of cuisine, and the vast majority of the restaurants in the SGV are also shockingly affordable.
And yet, if that focus causes us to marginalize the classic Chinese restaurants, home to pan-fried dumplings and moo shu pork and kung pao comfort, then something has gone wrong. Yang Chow in Chinatown falls into this old school category, a Los Angeles staple since the 1970s. Eating there feels like a celebration no matter when you walk in, big round tables weighed down with giant plates of beef and broccoli, garlicky spinach, and steaming bowls of hot and sour soup, boisterous families making loud conversation, and dozens of photos of celebrities, many of them with their arm around the owner, decorating the walls. We’ll forgive you if their perfectly crisp dumplings don’t excite you like they used to, if their spicy, sweet Slippery Shrimp, Yang Chow’s signature dish, no longer lights your fire, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t spectacular. If you haven’t been to Yang Chow in a while, or if you’ve never been at all, you owe it to yourself to make the trip.
819 North Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012; www.yangchow.com