Never in my wildest dreams did I ever contemplate that you could get Chinese fish dumplings in Westwood Village. But Northern Cafe has finally opened, and they’ve brought the menu from their Hacienda Heights and Cerritos stores with them, full of dumplings, noodles, beef rolls, onion pancakes, meat pies and more. And for the west side crowd they’ve added kale and pork dumplings. Actually I don’t think I’ve had their fish dumplings before. For those of you who know what I’m talking about they are highly reminiscent of the fish dumplings at Qingdao Bread Food, though smaller and juicier. And they open until midnight seven days a week. (Can you get beef rolls anywhere in the SGV at midnight?) Northern Cafe is at 1064 Gayley.
The westward expansion of the SGV?! I see pork and kale dumplings in my future lol. Thanks for the heads up
It’s the university effect. Happening in virtually every large college community in the United States. Interestingly when I wrote the article below less than 2 years ago, the trend had not yet hit Los Angeles. I had surmised that local Chinese college students were content to make the trek to the SGV. But since then we’ve seen a number of new Chinese restaurants targeting UCLA students including Qin West, Top Leaf and Koala T Cafe. Not sure about USC though. I think there is one Chinese food truck hanging out there and a place in University Village (if that complex is still there).
No they’re not. They closed at 10PM tonight. Ask me how I know.
And the menu posted on their (closed) door says they plan to only open 1 hour a day: From 11AM to 12PM. (Because Engrish)…
Uh, maybe it’s a soft opening thing?
Oh, wait, did you mean to imply it’s a typo (and that it should be 11AM-12AM)? I’m not very swift when it comes to jokes.
Or you could be right - They can only sustain one hour of business per day.
101 Noodle is open until 1 a.m.
I think Chinatown, in all of its gentrification glory, fills that void.
Looking at the pictures there are some warning signs things have been altered a bit. For example, the Chongqing chicken is described as “crispy,” not “spicy,” and appears to have more onions than hot peppers:
Hope I’m wrong, though.
Clientele when I was there was almost exclusively Asian, presumably mostly UCLA students. I presume that’s their targeted demographic.
Yes, Chinatown is probably close enough, though the only places of interest to the Mainland student crowd would seem to be Qin West and the boba places.
Nice write-up by Josh Lurie of Food GPS, for Eater LA: http://la.eater.com/2016/5/12/11661220/northern-cafe-westwood-chinese-los-angeles
Also, our very own self-exiled kevin was in the house last night and was properly impressed. So that’s two non-Asians there…
Only skimmed the review, but it sounds like I gotta go there. A line 25 deep! Argh. If it doesn’t work out this month, the crowds should thin out a bit when the quarter finishes…
KEVIN!!! Come back ! ! ! We miss you…!
I went yesterday around 3 pm and it was more than half empty.
chandavki, you went and no review?!
@chandavkl kinda reviewed it in his OP
OP had to be posted Tuesday. Newer post seems to indicate return trip Wednesday.
I went tonight (05/13). Line was fairly long but moved very quickly (counter service).
I thought it was pretty good overall. I’ve not been to the locations in the SGV, so I have no idea if this location tastes the same.
I’d say that, compared to the places I go to in the SGV, the food at the Westwood Northern Cafe would be in the totally-decent-but-unmemorable category… Which means I think it’s excellent for the area and a most welcome addition.
Would skip the XLB. They’re not actively bad, but they’re vaguely gummy, and the liquid isn’t as richly flavored as I would like. The bowl of rice accompanying the cumin lamb is TINY (pic is misleading), and there was a bit too much cumin for my taste (but I liked the dish overall). Don’t know if I can say it’s worth the $11, since I could’ve used more lamb.
I think a lot of the tables had the lao gan ma noodles, but I thought the 4 dishes were ordered were enough for 2 of us. Plus a 10% tip, the total cost was $39-40.