LA’s Chinatown is a fantastic place – the restaurants, the shopping, the art, and of course the culture. You feel like (is just for a moment), you have left Los Angeles. CLICK HERE find out more about the annual New Year Parade in the Destinations Section, or CLICK HERE to read a more personal account of my experience at the parade. 

photo courtesy of ChinatownLA.com

Here is a list of some of ETG’s staff picks for the best longtime restaurants in Chinatown. Yes there are many new eateries popping up all the time, but this article features the traditional tried-and-true restaurants. Unfortunately for all of us that recognizable restaurant Hop Louie shut down after a 75 year run, but below you’ll find some excellent contenders. 

Hop Li Seafood Restaurant is one of writer’s (Cindy Brenner) favorite restaurants in Chinatown. She claims she has been dining at Hop Li for the past 15 years. The wait staff is friendly and the food is consistently good. 

Tablescape at Hop Li Restaurant; photo courtesy of the restaurant

Cindy recommends the Pu Pu Platter, which offers a variety of option for two people. Other favorites include Beef Chow Mein, Braised Yee Mein Noodles and Shredded Black Mushrooms with Oyster Flavor Sauce, and Scallop with Garlic & Black Bean Sauce. Her husband Jonathan (also an ETG writer) told us his favorite dish is the B.B.Q. Pork and Oyster in a Hot Pot. He also noted that beer, wine, and sake is available at the restaurant! Hop Li Seafood Restaurant, 526 Alpine St,. Los Angeles, CA 90012; https://www.hoplichinatown.com/

Hop Woo Restaurant is another traditional staple which started with just eight tables back in 1993. Offering classic dishes along with lobster and fish plates, It has kept up with the times by providing an entire vegetarian, and vegan section on the menu. Hop Woo Restaurant, 845 North Broadway, LA, 90012;  https://hopwoo.com/

One of my favorites…Yang Chow opened its doors in 1977, in the heart of Chinatown. Located beneath the Bing Wong Hotel, it was a former diner that was converted into a two room eatery. Started by a family of five brothers, the restaurant was named after their hometown. The Yun family comes from generations of cooks and restauranteurs. An LA Times article highlighting the restaurant’s signature dish in the early 1980s, Slippery Shrimp, brought Yang Chow to the limelight. Some customers came with the article in hand asking to try the dish with a memorable name. From that time, business started to climb steadily and the business has expanded over the years.

“Slippery Shrimp” from Yang Chow; photo courtesy of the restaurant

With three locations, LA, Pasadena, and Long Beach, you can please your taste buds at several spots in the city. The downtown LA is known for its Slippery Shrimp (which is delicious) but other staff picks include: Sate Sauce Three Ingredients Chicken, shrimp, and beef with Malaysian spicy, Sizzling Platter with scallops, and House Special Chicken (Shredded black mushroom, snow peas, and carrots with chicken). Yang Chow, 819 N Broadway, LA, 90012; https://yangchow.com/

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