Go China Restaurant's cuisiniers cook up a menu of traditional Mandarin and Szechuan dishes. Shredded pork in hoisin sauce ($9.25) or sautéed spinach ($6.95) each arrive backed up by steamed rice ready to play starchy host to ladled-up flavors or shout warnings of incoming shuriken during tabletop street fights. Knock back a brew or glass of fermented grape juice and mingle taste buds with the sapid company of tea-smoked duck ($9.25) or sweet-and-sour chicken ($7.55), which pays playful compliments before tastefully pouting. Go China's 15 single combo dinners such as the three-flavor chop suey ($7.95) or fish fillet with mushrooms ($9.95) are chaperoned by accompaniments that include the soup de jour, fried cheese wonton, egg roll, and fried or steamed rice. Meals unfold across the white tablecloths spread throughout Go China's colorful interior, allowing diners a refined evening of sparkling conversation and calm observation of the restaurant's terra-cotta waiters.
Since its modest beginnings as a three-table Arcadia eatery, Starlight Express Chinese Food has expanded into an Old Town Monrovia venue packed with a large dining area, a steam table of quick-serve Chinese favorites, and an array of cooked-to-order specialties. Inside the kitchen, chefs prepare shrimp with black-bean sauce alongside plates of spicy kung pao scallops and sweet-and-sour chicken. The chefs' healthier steamed-veggie dishes fill niches in low-sodium diets. Blue pendant lamps light dining-room tables, and red paper fans and framed Chinese characters adorn the walls, with translations meaning "luck," "dragon," and "remember to buy eggs."
A line wrapped around a corner often designates a tourist trap, but Din Tai Fung’s queue attracts locals, too. Steamed consommé-filled dumplings—a specialty from Shanghai—tempt with pork, crab, veggies, or fish. They led the Asia Society to name Din Tai Fung a top Chinese restaurant in America.
For nearly a quarter-century, the chefs at Golden China Restaurant have filled bellies with authentic Chinese food, including nine varieties of dim sum. The bite-size snacks vary from sticky rice in lotus leafs to sesame-rice dumplings to barbecue-pork buns. To complement the mini morsels, the lengthy menu includes Chinese food standards, such as orange chicken and kung-pao shrimp. Three gourmet dinners facilitate full-on feasting, each served with tea, cookies, appetizers, and entrees to share with another diner or friendly shadow person. The hearty meals pair with beer and wine, along with sweet treats, such as lychee nuts and coconut tarts.
Hainan, an island just off China’s southern coast, inspires the signature dish at Savoy Kitchen, the Hainan chicken rice. Patrons brave lines for a taste of the juicy chicken, which is slow-poached in broth for hours until it is tender and ready to be dipped into ginger, chili, and soy sauces.