So for the past decade or so the Conejo Valley has sprinted way ahead of the San Fernando Valley when it comes to authentic Chinese food due to what I have suspected to be the “Amgen effect” of hiring a lot of Chinese American professionals and bringing them into the vicinity. However this has taken an interesting turn recently with the opening of more specialized, less common regional purveyors. Today I went to Seven Spice Kitchen in Newbury Park, which looks like a typical Chinese fast food steam tray operation, but which has a large menu over the counter that includes liang pi (possibly the best I’ve ever eaten), Chinese burgers and spicy noodle soups, and where most of the customers are Chinese… Heaven knows there aren’t that many liang pi places in the San Gabriel Valley. Also in Newbury Park is a branch of San Gabriel’s Dong Ting Spring, with a full Hunan menu, again a not terribly plentiful cuisine in the SGV compared to Sichuan, Hot Pots, and skewers. Not to mention in Westlake Village where eLoong Dumplings recently opened up. Not sure what’s going on, but certainly is interesting.
The owner(s) of Szechuan Place in Northridge used to run a Sichuanese restaurant in Newbury Park and one in Agoura Hills. I think the owner sold both restaurants to focus on Northridge. So the Conejo Valley has had a taste of Szechuan cooking for a while (hoping the customers order the typical Chinese fare of chow mein, fried rice or orange chicken.
Also in Simi Valley, there was a Chinese restaurant that had Taiwanese dishes on their menu as well as a Peking Duck. They had a write up about their food and Peking Duck, which was how I learned about them. Dined there one, but din’t get the duck. We thought it was pretty good - some hits, some misses. Name has now been changed to Bao Su.
There’s probably over a dozen authentic Chinese places around Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Newbury Park and even down to Camarillo. The difference is that in the past the restaurants used a two menu system–one with gringo food and the other with authentic Chinese items. However the new places are using a single integrated menu.
Got a chance to stop by Bao Su a. It’s the real deal–who would have thought in Simi Valley?