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"East Coast Style" Chinese Food in LA?

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"East Coast Style" Chinese Food in LA?

Jarrod San Angel | Jan 7, 2005 01:04 PM

Hey Fellow Chowhounds -

It may seem a strange request, to seek out what is likely White-washed Chinese cuisine muted for the American palate, in a city where some of Hong Kong's best chefs have migrated to, and where oodles of authentic Chinese grub can be found (one trip to the San Gabriel Valley, and you've saved yourself a culinary trip to Asia!); but much as I love the serious dim sum to be found in Monterey Park, and the luscious dumplings in San Gabriel, and the wonderful fast food of places like Sam Woo BBQ, a part of me longs for the nostalgic bliss of the Chinese food I experienced as a kid growing up in New England. That's not to say that what I remember from back then is in any way better - definitely not the case. The authentic Chinese food I've found here in California is spectacular, and I'd never trade it for anything less. But the East Coast does seem to have its own take on many Chinese classics. For instance, what passes for chow mein here in Los Angeles was very often called Lo Mein back East. Also, the BBQ pork fried rice back East was dark, smokey, powerful stuff, full of egg and loaded with richly flavored bbq pork cubes.. unlike the basic white fried rice you find out here where they throw in a few cubes of pork and call it BBQ pork fried rice. Also, just about every Chinese restaurant back east serves Chop Suey and Egg Foo Young - two items you almost never see in more traditional Chinese joints here in LA. (And for good reason, I'm told.. neither of the dishes are authentically Chinese. Chop Suey, so I've heard, is an American invention..)

All the same.. can anyone point me to an "East Coast" style Chinese Restaurant within Los Angeles county?? I'm willing to travel.. Eastside, Westside, the Valley.. doesn't matter..
Thanks for any and all help - very much appreciated.

PS - by the way, does anyone know WHY Chinese Food tends to be a bit different on the East Coast? Are the Chinese who settled there predominantly from a different province or region in China where the food is a bit different? Or do they simply cater to American tastes more back East? Curious to see if anyone knows.. thanks again!

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