Food critic Jonathan Gold advises approaching Wang Xing Ji’s crab and pork buns “cautiously, as if an undiffused bomb.” Seasoned patrons will understand and heed his advice––though the dumplings’ steaming contents are tasty, it’s best not to bite until the near-boiling juices cool.
The first Kee Wah Bakery appeared in Hong Kong in 1938, where its moon cakes, bridal cakes, and other pastries gradually generated a loyal clientele. In 1985, when much of that clientele had migrated to the United States, Kee Wah set down new roots in LA to offer its signature floury goods to Californians. Patrons pick from crispy egg tarts, red-bean swirls, and pineapple crust buns using a self-serve bakery system, which is refilled with fresh breads baked three times a day. During the autumn, when the Chinese Lunar Festival is in full swing, the bakery churns out moon cakes filled with lotus seed and red-bean paste. The shop's three locations in the San Gabriel Valley?Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and Rowland Heights?help meet the demand for Chinese wedding cakes and almond cookies throughout the valley.
The cooks at A&J Hot Point Hot Pot lay the foundation of a delicious, belly-warming meal—the broth—at your table. The rest of the work, they leave to you. The soup remains at a simmer while you submerge the ingredients of your choice, ranging from meats to a variety of veggies. As you dip these morsels into the stew, it simultaneously cooks and flavors them in traditional Chinese dining style.
The broth menu itself is international in scope. Choices range from a Mongolian herbal mix to soups tinged with Korean kimchi and Japanese coconut curry. Some, such as the hot and spicy or spicy chicken broth, add additional fire. Guests dunk unlimited bites into the hot pot during all-you-can-eat lunches and dinners, then balance out the heat with a dessert of ice cream or a nice bowl of cold broth.
The easiest way to order at Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant is to simply point. The Mandarin-speaking staff uses a photographic menu—a divergence from standard dim sum carts—but that doesn't make the traditional dumplings, pork ribs, and shu mai taste any less delicious.
Face Cafe's expansive menu of authentic Chinese comestibles runs the gamut from sandwiches and grilled protein to stir-fried spaghetti and curried dishes. Chefs can prepare each dish with varying degrees of spice, depending on whether each patron wants to roast marshmallows on their breath for dessert.
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.