The chefs at China Grill Bistro, an outpost of the Chong brothers' local restaurant empire, serve up traditional Chinese dishes alongside creative fusion creations. Kung pao chicken and spicy hunan beef share menu space with banana leaf-wrapped chicken tamales and paella on saffron rice, a combination that pays tribute to the brothers' Chinese heritage and childhood spent in Latin America. The cooks never add MSG to any of their dishes, because they believe it obscures the flavors of their top-notch ingredients. To complement these flavors, there's a wine list made of up nearly 100 California varieties.
Robot chicken: popular television show or crispy chicken dish in a sweet, tangy sauce? At Kung Pao Bistro, it's the latter. The Chinese eatery packs a huge selection of meat, vegetarian, fried rice, and noodle options on its menu. While the chefs specialize in traditional Hunan, Sichuanm and Cantonese dishes, guests will also notice other Asian and American flavor influences in their meals, which are prepared using house-made organic chicken broth and high-quality soy and wheat meat substitutes when desired.
From Chick 'N Chow's tables, which flaunt the rosy crimson hue of a bowl of sweet-and-sour sauce, soups launch warm steam alongside kosher and vegetarian dishes. Entire rotisserie chickens emerge from trips to a fryer with a golden cloak and satisfying crunch, and the menu also cheers dieters with low-calorie steamed dishes topped with broccoli that spells out encouraging affirmations. Beneath a fan painted with a traditional landscape, diners gather to-go containers, and delivery drivers tote bags laden with lo mein and memos from telecommuting fortune cookies.
This Los Feliz favorite for Chinese cuisine offers just enough fancy – white tablecloths, red lacquered walls, dim lighting and a hopping bar with signature mai tais – to make it romantic for a date, but it also remains family-friendly. The Palace is family owned, and features traditional Chinese harp music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, adding a lively artistic ambiance. Szechuan, Mandarin and Cantonese cuisines spin out traditional and authentic favorites like soup dumplings, lettuce wraps, crab rangoon and barbecue ribs to start; tangerine shrimp, sizzling scallops, Szechuan peppery chicken and Beijing duck are offered as mains. There’s a big vegetarian menu featuring dishes like mapo tofu and snow peas with fresh water chestnuts, and plentiful fried rice and pan-fried noodle dishes. The restaurant features a private upstairs banquet room that occasionally hosts live entertainment, and offers delivery to the neighborhood.
With three restaurants sprinkled throughout southern California, Chi Dynasty represents the holy trinity of Chinese cuisine in Los Angeles. Its flagship location in Los Feliz is a neighborhood staple that’s been serving up generous portions of traditional Sichuan and Mandarin fare for more than 30 years. Dragon-emblazed gold medallions hang alongside the true focal point of Chi Dynasty – a textured, wall-sized mural of deep red waves set against a black backdrop. This, paired with the restaurant’s low lighting and metallic fixtures, naturally elicits a sleek, modern feel that’s ideal for date night. However, it’s Chi Dynasty’s knockout menu that keeps patrons coming back for seconds. The Chinese chicken salad with black bean garlic sauce is a top seller, as are the Sichuan garlic string beans. The shrimp with candied walnuts is another signature dish that won’t disappoint.
This quaint little restaurant sits under a trio of red silk lanterns, right across from the Hollywood & Highland complex, and serves up traditional Chinese favorites. A charming, faded-Hollywood ambiance is found amidst lacquered reddish wood tables and chairs, Chinese inspired art and a lively fish tank. Hollywood Walk of Fame tourists frequent the tables inside Le Oriental Bistro, while many locals take advantage of takeout. Popular Chinese-American standards like General Tso’s chicken, garlic shrimp, Mongolian beef and sweet and sour pork anchor the menu, while specials might feature filet mignon in pepper sauce, Peking duck and crispy honey chicken. Vegetarians can look to the menu’s many vegetable dishes, including sautéed black mushrooms and mapo tofu. For dessert, there are banana fritters or iced lychees, and a short beer and wine list is available.