Some recent discoveries to file under that rarest of the rare category: good Chinese west of the San Gabriel Valley.

Find #1: xiao long bao (juicy, soup-filled dumplings) and cats’ ears noodles in the Valley. The place goes under multiple names: some call it Tampa Garden, the exterior signage says Chinese Delight, the menus says Tampa Garden Chinese Delight, and the Chinese-language business card carries the parenthetical name Happy Dumpling.

The place may look like a fast food Chinese place, says jotfoodie, but it’s not. It’s a sit-down restaurant, with rough, homemade dumplings and noodles. The folks there are genuinely nice. The cats’ ears noodles are a little thicker and chewier than is optimal, think a few hounds, but really: homemade dumplings and noodles in the Valley. That’s seven kinds of awesome all in itself.

Find #2: Mandarin Kitchen, a semi-authentic Chinese restaurant in Westwood. It’s owned by the folks who used to run Hop Woo. This place is mostly Hong Kong style, and it’s decently good, says Chandvakl. One strong point: fish maw, an internal fish organ, is a serious rarity on the Westside.

Tampa Garden [San Fernando Valley–West]
8241 Tampa Avenue, Los Angeles

Mandarin Kitchen [Westside–Inland]
1822 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles

Board Links: Xiao Long Bao and Cats’ Ears Noodles In Reseda
Westsiders Rejoice! Fish Maw on Westwood Boulevard

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