Well I hadn't had a sit down meal at ABC Seafood in Chinatown in several years and lately have only gone occasionally to the take-out section, so this is more of a historical note. But still it was very saddening to walk by ABC Seafood today and see the windows papered over and the doors shuttered. For those unfamiliar with the evolution of Hong Kong style food in LA and the US, the year was 1984, and Hong Kong style seafood restaurants were just starting to pop up locally, mostly in the San Gabriel Valley. But no killer restaurants of this genre had opened up in the first four or five years of this food phase. Then ABC Seafood comes along in the old Lime House space, serving what clearly was superior to anything that had been available in Los Angeles, and in retrospect, the United States. The food was so good it seems like we ate there every week, and the restaurant was such a big hit that just two years later they opened up another, much larger location in Monterey Park and called it NBC. But while NBC had the huge crowds and the glamorous bustle, ABC was clearly the mother ship from a culinary point of view. It wasn't until the late 1990s when Koi Palace opened up in Daly City that anything in the US surpassed ABC Seafood. But shortly after Koi Palace opened, the owner-chef of ABC retired, sold the restaurant, and took his recipes with him. Some of the cooks landed at NBC, most of the waiters started up CBS, but the food wasn't the same and I was heartbroken. Now I'm sure that by today's standards, the food that ABC served in the mid-1980s and 1990s doesn't compare to the Hong Kong style food we can get today. But in a way I never got over the passing of the old ABC.
ABC Seafood Restaurant
708 New High St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
730 N La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069