O Phở & Teriyaki’s chefs prepare a flavorful array of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese fare served inside a glowing, golden dining room. Steam rises from healthful bowls of phở, where beef brisket and rice noodles float in hot, clear broth, served with cool bean sprouts, spicy jalapeño, and tart lime for building complexity. Chinese staples such as kung pao tofu and shrimp fried rice accompany tall glasses of honeydew bubble tea, conspiring on tactics to overthrow general tso’s chicken army.
Seated in the midst of the International District, China Club Bistro wraps its guests in a casually upscale environment characterized by long horizontal lines and shades of crimson. Globe lights illuminate sleek hardwood floors, red chairs, and leather benches where patrons settle to investigate the menu. The kitchen crew serves Chinese cuisine ranging from egg foo young to spicy morsels of szechwan chicken and sizzling platters of prawns or calamari in black-bean sauces. Crimson curtains and painted wood beneath the bar echo the balance of color that the chefs—using their 30 years of culinary experience—create in each dish. Parties of people and prehibernating bears also come together over spreads of dim sum that include plates of fried sesame balls, steamed pork buns, egg tarts, and beef rice noodles.
Pastel hues fill the dining room in the form of pink-cushioned chairs and mint-green banquettes that match the partitions lined with potted flowers and plants. The menu collects a Pan-Asian spread of recipes, including chow fun and chow mein noodles loaded with shrimp and sparerib meat, and a Vietnamese-style sole fillet. Guests can also sample LA Cafe's unique protein delicacies, such as ox tongue, roasted pigeon, and wild tofu caught grazing outside a natural food store.
Toy’s Café and Bakery specializes in the spicy entrees of Mandarin and Sichuan dinner fare as well as traditional Chinese and Taiwanese baked goods. With more than 100 options, the menu features a range of sauces available atop pork, chicken, beef, or seafood, as well as the chef’s hometown specialties of black mushrooms in braised e-fu noodles and beef chow fun. The bakery complements the complex flavors of the kitchen with traditional pastries and baked goods such as fresh-fruit chiffon cake, mango-mousse cake, and curry beef buns. All of these pastries are made in-house using only seasonally available fruit and hand-whipped cream to add a rich decadence to desserts without delivering them to patrons wrapped in chocolate-coated money.
Bamboo Garden's authentic Sichuan cuisine floods palates with spicy flavor while diners relax in a sleek, bamboo-trimmed dining room. Dinner patrons can follow up hearty servings of dip-friendly green-onion pancakes ($3.99) with popular dishes such as the tongue-scorching spicy basil beef ($10.95) and eggplant swimming in hot garlic sauce ($8.95) and snorkeling between the rocky outcroppings of diners' teeth. On the Wild Side menu, sour-and-spicy jellyfish ($6.95) appeases taste buds looking for an adventure more palatable than hanging out with Lou Reed. Lunch specials include entrees such as chopped-pepper hot chicken ($5.99), which prove appetizingly fiery and capable of swiftly silencing hunger growls.
At Peking Wok, supple meats and veggies sink into Mandarin- and Szechuan-style sauces crafted from scratch each day. Diners populate the dining room for lunch, dinner, or a family-style grazing session, complete with soups and appetizers such as pot stickers, egg rolls, and fried shrimp and lobster chips. Portions of aromatic barbecue pork, sweet and sour chicken, and honey-walnut shrimp arrive at tables weighed down by full wine glasses and manner-less elbows, or tucked inside to-go boxes for carry-out or delivery.