I know this place gets very mixed reviews, but I myself am distraught at the news that A-1 Chinese BBQ in Lomita is closing. It has been my favorite restaurant for 30 years. Through all the food phases I've followed for the past 3 decades - fusion, Cal-Ital, molecular, nose-to-tail, etc. - this place has been my constant. It's the first stop on my way home from a long trip, it's what I want when I'm sick, it's what I eat when I'm well. I've dragged many reluctant friends there and made fans of them all.
Yes, it's divey, dingy, and greasy. The waitress/owner can be brusque. But it's delicious, homey food that your Chinese grandpa would make you if he loved cooking and had a freakishly hot wok fire. So for anyone in the South Bay who is a fan or may have been curious, you have until November 30 to check it out. Must haves: Beef chow fun (dry version, best anywhere), salt & pepper shrimp (butterflied and without heads), peking duck (best in the South Bay), mixed BBQ plate with roast pork, duck, and chicken, Won ton noodle soup, congee (so delicious - I like it with pork and preserved egg), dry braised long beans (done the right way), beef chow fun with gravy, crispy fried noodles.
RIP, A-1. I will miss you so.
PS - I went with friends last night and ordered 15 dishes, including the peking duck and crab with green onion, the most expensive dishes on the menu. The total was $146.
PPS - It's BYOB, no corkage or fees. Bring whatever you want. They'll give you cups. No glasses.
A-1 Chinese BBQ
2014 Pacific Coast Hwy
Lomita, CA 90717