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On Carl Chu's guide to LA CHinese

Jerome | Dec 23, 200301:57 AM

Finally looked at it in Borders. It's a decent guide for Cantonese/Hong Kong and for JiangZhe restaurants.

He doesn't get Shandong food. The descriptions have errors. River fish in Shandong is famous. Yellow river carp. The variety of seafood is bigger than he mentions. As well, the most famous banquet restaurants in Beijing were shandong food. Just look up fengzeyuan or cuihualou and read about some of their banquet dishes - peach flower rice, etc.

There are plenty of vegetables in Shandong. It's a temperate climate. So in the winter there's a lot of cabbage, like in Northern Europe. But in the summer there are tons of vegetables. Pickles are set up for winter. Lots of temperate fruit as well, apples, pears, sand pears, persimmons and in summer watermelon and muskmelons, peaches, etc.

Also, the cuisine is famous for a wide variety of cooking techniques and is the home of the guotie(r) potstickers.

The descriptions of Shanxi food is equally weak (the duck isn't even mentioned), the shaanxi food is ignored (paomo with lamb soup is marvelous).

As for the Huaiyang sections, Ningbo food is the source of Shanghai food- first major post 1860's merchants moved to Shanghai from Ningbo. Ningbo is famous for certain dishes as well, goose liver (non euro nonfoie gras style) and turtle with rock candy(crystal sugar). Shanghai is a different cuisine because it has dishes from much of China (esp. from the poorer areas of Anhui and Jiangxi whence many immigrants) and it uses some Western techniques and ingredients (cow dairy - Guangzhou/Canton and Tianjin/Tientsin do as well, as to some extent does Harbin).

It's a good basic guide, but I hope a second edition will be better. Also, as noted before, JYZ or JZY and QUanjude are both closed.

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