Chinatown Not Faring Well

Ventured into Chinatown for the first time in over a month and things don’t look too good. Places that had continued to operate at the beginning of the crisis now appear to be closed–CBS Seafood, Fortune Gourmet Kitchen and Family Pastry, with ABC Seafood only having a few cooked items and no dim sum for take out. With Golden Dragon, Ocean Seafood and Won Kok having closed down early, the only place I know for sure that is open for dimsum is Tian’s on Hill St. Walking by the side-by-side Chunsan Plaza and Far East Plaza centers they were almost dead. Perhaps Pearl River Deli and EndorffIne might be the only open businesses. In contrast to the San Gabriel Valley where a good majority of the places appear to be open for takeout, the ratio appears much lower in Chinatown.

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Is Lao Tao also still open? When I was at Far East Plaza this past weekend, I saw numerous people enter and then exit w/ a large brown paperbag that appeared to be take out (from some eatery there, I know not which).

Agreed. I rode my bike down there 2 days ago to grab some ingredients and it was a ghost town at 4:30 pm.

I think Lao Tao may also be open. They closed initially but then opened back up.

From Eater NY:

Which was taken from this article from Gothamist:

And a link from the Eater piece:

Regarding the NY situation, is LA (or SF, or Vancouver) looking at similar supply chain issues?

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I’m not having trouble sourcing products right now, in fact most of my suppliers have reduced the number of days they operate a week because its so slow for them.

As far as Chinatown is going it is a ghost town most of the time. I’m open and Endorffeine. Lao Tao reopened recently but they are mostly doing delivery. Lasa is doing weekend preorders. Howlin Rays will be starting up again soon but you have to be on the mailing list for pickup only orders I believe.

It sucks for most of the Chinese restaurants but their lack of social media engagement, marketing, and updating their business models was going to lead to this unfortunately sooner or later and COVID19 just accelerated it. Many of the more modern Chinese restaurants in SGV have adapted quite well but they tend to be run by younger and more adaptable operators. So the situation here is sad but at the same time not surprising.

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Chinatown icon Hop Woo on Broadway is barely hanging on with takeout and grocery sales. A Go Fund Me has been set up for them. https://www.gofundme.com/f/hop-woo-chinatown-fund

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Trying my darndest to support the sister Hop Woo location on the Westside.

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Good news on Spring Street. CBS Seafood has reopened their takeout annex, and Family Pastry has reopened. Family Pastry still has their crispy baked bbq pork buns, but it looks like instead of calling them snow mountain buns they’re now egg white snow buns.

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Interesting- is their topping made with egg whites? It was my (very anecdotally based) impression that it’s typically made with mayo and condensed milk. Egg whites could theoretically serve the same function as the mayo and maybe even promote some maillard browning.

That sounds like a good explanation. You convinced me!

My favorite Chinatown restaurant, Fortune Gourmet Kitchen (it was my short list of the one and only Chinatown restaurant where I would dine in with family members), has reopened for takeout. Hooray!

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just noticed today as I was walking into the plaza, will def be ordering takeout from them for my staff.

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Has anyone heard any intel on Chinatown dim sum (re)openings? Was sad to discover - before checking FTC - that Oceans had closed.

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The good news is that most of the Chinatown Chinese restaurants managed to reopen. The main casualties were Ocean Seafood, Plum Tree Inn, Lollicup and New Dragon, and Plum Tree was replaced by Broadway Cuisine which has a similar menu. Furthermore Pearl River Deli is moving into the New Dragon space (which was occupied in the interim by Today Starts Here). And Golden Tree has opened in the space abandoned years ago by Yum Cha Cafe. So the overall stock of Chinese food might be back near where it was. But there’s a big void left by Ocean Seafood as that leaves Golden Dragon as the only real sit down dim sum place. You can get take out dim sum at many places including ABC, CBS, Won Kok, Longs Family Pastry, Lucky Deli and others. And if you’re dining in at ABC or Tian you can order dim sum from the takeout corner. But the only other dine in dim sum option that comes to mind is East Garden which has a small dim sum section on their menu, actually with some pretty good stuff on it.

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Go all out with some takeout at Longs

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Was New Dragon on Broadway and it participated in a city lunch program for senior citizens? I hope the program comes back at another Chinatown location, to help the seniors in the neighborhood.

EDIT
The restaurant I was thinking of is actually Golden Dragon and according to my mom, it’s still very much in business. The senior lunch program is on hiatus.

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It was in Central Plaza on the Hill St side.

They were known for their wonton noodle soup!

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Ok, oops on Broadway, I meant hill.

I’m sure it’ll be panned as being not ‘authentic’ or something like that, but I started going to Yang Chow the day it opened and became friendly with one of the family members who left the business and moved to Hong Kong, where I would meet up with him on business trips. This place is still open. I notice they have a takeout type location in Long Beach now. Still too far from South OC. :hot_face:

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