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On Menus: In Los Angeles

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Restaurant Reviews

Spring Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(1) page(s): 14

Los Angeles Chinatown was settled in 1852. In its heyday and up to 1919, it kept growing. After that, there was considerable decline. However, things did get better when a new Chinatown emerged in the 1940's. That, too, took a downward turn, and now the Los Angeles Chinatown is a shell of its old self. These days, some sixty-plus years after its second revival, folks believe that an ever-spreading Chinatown does exist. It does, but not in LA, but in the San Gabriel Valley ten plus miles from this city's downtown.

That means Chinatown is less of an easy tourist destination if one wants to eat and shop where most Chinese venture. A car is required to visit and eat in the towns in the town 'in the Valley' as it is called, where sizeable Chinese and other Asian populations venture. There are many of them, and they attract hordes who love great food from the Asian continent.

Good Chinese restaurants draw afficionados to Monterey Park, San Gabriel, Rosemead, Arcadia, El Monte, and other surrounding communities. There, thousands of Chinese live and huge numbers join then to patronize their restaurants, huge supermarkets, tiny stores, and the other Asian venues. They shop and salivate, and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and enjoy snacks in between in all of these places.

On our most recent visit, in conjunction with the Los Angeles All Asia Food Exposition, we did many of them. The only problem we had was not enough days and not a large enough stomach to take full advantage. Nonetheless, we will report on several finds in this issue and the next. We need to return soon because there is more in this region that needs our tasting attention. In this issue, we do review the Macau Street Restaurant; 429 W. Garvey Avenue: Monterey Park CA 91754 and the Din Tai Fung Dumpling House; 1108 S. Baldwin Avenue; Arcadia CA 91007. Read about them individually in the Restaurant Reviews section.

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