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.
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.
Le Chine Wok sizzles up an MSG-free spread crowded with spicy Chinese, Thai, and Vietnamese dishes. Fresh and natural ingredients pepper the menu, turning taste bud against taste bud in intense palatal debates between sea-centric plates such as the candied walnut shrimp or spicy soft-shell crab with serrano peppers ($15.95 each). Dishes, such as the basil eggplant chicken ($12.95), send sweet aromas drifting through the dining room, and the boneless smoked duck is prepared over burning tea green-tea leaves to absorb complex flavors and fortune-telling abilities ($16.95).
Liliya China Bistro's comestibles curators craft authentic Mandarin and Korean-Chinese cuisines using fresh ingredients for dinner and lunch. Four vegetable egg rolls make for flavorful starters or hair curlers, paving the way for heartier eats, such as mongolian beef ($12+) or spicy shredded pork soused in hot garlic sauce ($12+). Otherwise, diners can select from the large stock of seafood spreads, noodle dishes, or vegetable-based entrees, which include a spicy mabo bean curd ($12+) and bok choy mushroom ($12+). During afternoons, guests can peruse the cast of savory midday eats, including bulgogi bedecked with marinated chicken ($9.50), beef ($10.50), or pork ($9.50). Or they can opt for a helping of shrimp, which comes to tables performing an aquatic dance within a sea of lobster sauce ($9.25). Each lunch entree arrives at tables equipped with a savory regime of salad, rice, and soup of the day.
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.