For many years, requests by expat New Yorkers for New York style Chinese food have meant large egg rolls and old time Cantonese American favorites. However that brand of food is dying out, even in New York itself. More recently, I’ve noticed newer New York transplants looking for New York style Chinese food, but they’re looking for something different. What some of them want is the quick cook to order Chinese takeout where you order your dish and it’s done and packaged in about 5 minutes in assembly line fashion. I presume these types of Chinese restaurants arose in Manhattan in response to the high density office buildings which can produce a high level of demand for quickly cooked food. These types of Chinese take outs hardly exist in Los Angeles, where Chinese fast food is more associated with steam table food that has been cooked in advance. Not sure why there’s a difference between LA and NY–perhaps the NY bodegas satisfy the steam table demand. In any event, I just ran across one of these New York style rapid cook take outs at Far East Cuisine in Diamond Bar. Menu is not Americanized Chinese food, but rather Hong Kong Cantonese favorites. Far East Cuisine is remarkable on at least two counts. First of all, most dishes are under $6 for a full sized order. (French cut steak is a couple dollars more, though.) Rice plates are a buck cheaper. Secondly they’re doing this with one cook. Talk about a cooking machine! There’s a gal taking orders and another packing, but the sole cook is cranking all these dishes out like crazy, working the deep fryer and the wok simultaneously. Far East Cuisine is at 1220 S. Diamond Bar Blvd., #C.
If I understand you correctly, a “rapid cook take out” would be someplace like Main Noodle House in Midtown West.
If so, how is that style of NY take-out any different than any other places in LA like, for example, in Chinatown, or any of the Sam Woo iterations or it’s kinship like Sham Tseng that have their own dedicated takeout counters?
The difference is speed, volume, and lack of table service. Most takeout orders in Los Angeles Chinese restaurants take 10 to 25 minutes to be prepared. Also most of the time there’s customers getting table service. In the places I’ve been to in midtown Manhattan there’s no table service, and the only eat-in diners are those who decided to eat on premises out of their styrofoam containers. And of course, the order is filled within 5 minutes.
I agree with you about the table service, or the complete lack of table space period (sort of like the Chinese food version of the Soup Man), but the LA restaurants with takeout counters can usually spin something out in less than 10 minutes.
Heck, even DTF (in Arcadia, both places) can whip out a medium sized take out order in 10 minutes.
Ok, one last try, how about Little Wang Kung on Hoover and 7th in MacArthur Park? There is, I think, 2 tables in the entire place, with a majority of their tickets destined for the takeout bin, and the place just sort of reeks of NYC chic.
that sounds pretty fucking exceptional.
I’m curious if our resident chinese restaurant seeker is one the scene of the Mac Curther park joint, two tables.
That would be cool if the chef were cooking up the proverbial fucking storm.
Or maybe do a mash up: Langer’s pastrami shreds with the kung pao sauce, the term of art going as “kung pao pastrami” in NYC for 1/4 the price. sounds like a dope fucking idear.
chandavl, did you happen to say NYC chinese ??? meaning back from mostly the 1970s ???
if so, you just made mr taster’s fucking day.
and that ain’t no fucking joke.
Haven’t been to Little Wang Kung in 35 years. Maybe it’s time to go back. Sometimes I can get LA Chinese takeout in 10 minutes, but besides Far East Cuisine and some place in Manhattan Beach I’m too lazy to look up, I don’t recall any place locally that does it faster than that.
L.A. Kitchen right across MacArthur Park on Alvarado is pretty good for steam table Chinese. Indeed their steamed fish fillet is as good as anybody’s if you catch it freshly made.
Hailing from the east coast myself, the place that most closely matches the Chinese Food that I grew up eating can be found at Genghis Cohen on Fairfax in Hollywood. When I worked in the film industry, my boss (a fellow east coaster whose NYC apartment was actually in Chinatown) would eat here all the time.
Which is not to say that NYC-style Chinese food is the best or even close to something I generally crave. But if that’s your jam, this place is king. Runner up: Hunan Taste in the mid Wilshire area.
“Authentic Chinese Food NY style” is:
- not a thing
- if a thing, an oxymoron.
Almost all (626) noodle houses can whip out a full order in 10min at non-peak hours. This is true at Pearl’s, pp pop, Liang’s, flavor garden, etc. but NOT fortune no 1.
- speediness can be great feature of Chinese cooking, but expecting good food in < 20min, at a reputable restaurants, is simply unfair, and shouldn’t even be a criteria to judge a restaurant’s goodness.
I don’t know about “authentic,” but from what I hear from friends that are NY Chinese food-lovers, it is a real thing. They like/love the Chinese food here in LA, but they have a hard time finding something that more closely resembles to home… well, besides going to NY and stuff.