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Restaurants & Bars 40

First Look At Peking Tavern

Chandavkl | Oct 19, 201310:06 AM

It's ironic that just a couple of days after an out of town visitor made a request on this board for Chinese food in downtown outside of Chinatown, with the responses pointing out the relative lack of such fare, that I made an unscheduled visit to Peking Tavern on Spring St. and found a potential gem. In the unlikely location of the basement of an old building near the corner of 8th and Spring, we have what might be the best Chinese food in downtown, including Chinatown. Now in one way saying that Peking Tavern is better than anything in Chinatown isn't necessarily that large of a compliment, since compared to the San Gabriel Valley, a comparison to Chinatown is setting the bar kind of low. Also the main fare at Peking Tavern is dumplings and other types of eats that off the top of my head can't be found in Chinatown, so technically there's nothing in Chinatown to compare it to. On the other hand, given that during its soft opening Peking Tavern is crowded with locals and hipsters, it's surprising to find food this good being served to that audience. We tried the pork dumplings, the juicy beef dumplings, the pumpkin shrimp dumplings, plus a combo salad. Everything was excellent, and the dumpling wrappers were great. The pumpkin shrimp dumplings may sound odd, but the sweetness and texture of the pumpkin works well. Of course, Peking Tavern is in its soft opening period, the menu is evolving, so things could change. But at this point things are very encouraging. Peking Tavern is at 806 S. Spring, adjacent to the garment district.

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