With one of the largest diasporic Chinese populations outside of Asia, Los Angeles is renowned as a mecca for Chinese cuisine. Although the San Gabriel Valley is widely regarded as home to the highest concentration of great Chinese restaurants, there are increasingly more top-notch options in neighborhoods throughout L.A. From the SGV to historic Chinatown and the Westside, read on for our guide to the best Chinese restaurants in Los Angeles.
Sichuan Impression co-founder and chef Yang Liu opened 19 Town (18065 Gale Ave, City of Industry 91748) in January 2023, showcasing her contemporary take on classic Chinese cuisine. Eschewing traditional Chinese restaurant decor, LA-based designer Jialun Xiong created a theme for the 6,600 square-foot indoor-outdoor space: The Lavishness of Restraint features a modernist design with steel-backed booths and jade-colored chairs.
Start with the Assorted Baskets Combo, which includes Spinach Ball with Black Sesame Paste, Mushroom, Wasabi Edamame, Bean Curd with Pickled Pepper, and Assorted Pickles. Instead of ground beef, for the veg-friendly Cheese Mapo Tofu (roasted peppercorn powder, Chinese chive, baguette) Liu uses Mozzarella, which she says provides similar flavors and a unique texture to the dish. Signature mains include the Dry-Aged Fish with Chili Sauce, Wok-Tossed Lobster Tail, and Slow-Cooked Beef Rib. Liu's globally-inspired dishes include Scallop Ceviche, Gnocchi con le Cozze and Lamb Shank Paella.
Located in the former Plum Tree Inn space in Chinatown, Broadway Cuisine (913 N. Broadway, Los Angeles 90012) opened in August 2021 and continues the beloved restaurant's tradition of serving a wide range of authentic Chinese classics and Chinese American favorites. The massive menu spans nearly 250 items - the selection ranges from House Specialties like Beef Steak in Black Pepper Sauce and Hunan Fish, to Chop Suey and Hawaiian Fried Rice. The Peking Duck is an homage to Plum Tree Inn's signature dish - it's available half or whole, along with Roasted or Crispy options. The weekday Lunch Specials include a choice of chicken, beef, pork, seafood or veggie served with soup and white rice.
Dan Modern Chinese
Burgeoning local chain Dan Modern Chinese opened its original location in Pasadena in 2018, and has since expanded to Sawtelle Japantown (2049 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles 90025), Playa Vista, Manhattan Beach and Santa Monica. Upcoming locations include Woodland Hills and Long Beach.
Served with snow pea leaves in a sweet garlic sauce, the excellent Dan Mien (thick, house-made noodles) is offered with several choices, including the popular Short Rib and a vegetarian option. Available in a variety of fillings, Dan's xiao long bao can give Din Tai Fung a run for its money. The Dungeness Crab Fried Rice is a fantastic shared plate. Veg-friendly items include the Scallion Pancake, Seaweed & Tofu Salad, and several vegetable dishes like the gluten-free String Beans with Garlic.
Joy on York
Owner-chef Vivian Ku opened Joy on York (5100 York Blvd, Los Angeles 90042) in 2018 on a busy corner in trendy Highland Park. The follow-up to Ku's wildly popular Silver Lake restaurant, Pine & Crane, Joy on York features a sun-splashed interior with exposed brick and dark wooden benches, with accents of bright red.
Favorites from Pine & Crane's fast-casual Taiwanese menu include Minced Kurobuta Pork on Rice with pickled daikon and a soy-braised egg; and a daily selection of Cold Appetizers. Inspired by Taiwanese street food, the Thousand Layer Pancake was an immediate hit - options include plain, egg, cheese, or egg & cheese. (Be sure to ask for chili sauce and basil!) Joy also features Clamshell Buns and Scallion Bread Sandwiches, available with braised pork belly, five spice beef, or braised bean curd & mushrooms. The sesame scallion bread is also offered by the slice and as a loaf to-go.
Lunasia Dim Sum House
DIm sum is traditionally a breakfast or brunch meal, but at Lunasia Dim Sum House (500 W. Main St., Alhambra 91801) it's an all-day affair, served daily from open to close. Wait times are long - especially on weekends - but well worth it for dim sum that's on par with the best in Hong Kong. (Protip: Lunasia offers reservations for groups of 8 or more; call ahead up to a month in advance.) Instead of traditional push carts, diners fill out menus for made-to-order dim sum. Tea is served in cast iron teapots.
Everyone has their favorites at Lunasia, but the massive Jumbo Pork & Shrimp Shumai and Jumbo Har Gow are musts. The Baked BBQ Pork Bun is another standout - the sticky-sweet bun melts in your mouth. Other highlights from the 100-item menu include the Pan-Fried Turnip Cake, Macau-style Egg Custard Tarts, and Rice Noodle Rolls - filling options include char siu, beef, shrimp, Chinese donut, brown rice & mushroom, and the luxurious Live Lobster.
Part of the Chengdu Taste group, MIAN ("noodle" in Chinese) opened its first location in San Gabriel in January 2016 and has since expanded to Rowland Heights, Artesia and West Adams (5263 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles 90016). Unique among the MIAN locations, West Adams features an open kitchen and counter seating for guests to get an up-close view of dumplings and other dishes being made.
MIAN specializes in Chongqing-style noodles and soups. The Chengdu Zajiang Noodle is a standout - perfectly chewy hand-pulled noodles are tossed over a spicy bean sauce with ground pork and topped with a fried egg and bok choy. The vegan Sichuan Cold Noodles are also a must if you like spicy fare. A popular starter is the MIAN Cold Combo, ranging from the mild Sweet & Sour Seaweed to Spicy Black Fungus, Spicy & Sweet Radish, and the mouth-numbing Chengdu Beef Jerky. For dessert, cool off with the Sweet Ice Jelly (bingfen), a traditional Sichuan snack with sesame, brown sugar, raisins and watermelon.
In January 2023, the Leon family followed up their Chinese-Peruvian concept, Chifa, with Monarch (1212 S. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia 91007), which serves up a menu of modern takes on Hong Kong and Taiwanese dishes. With its current Thursday-Sunday hours, Monarch is by default a special occasion dining destination - the striking, blue-tinged interior design by Opening Ceremony co-founder Humberto Leon adds to the experience.
Leon's brother-in-law, chef John Liu, features standouts like Slippery Egg Crab Fun, Trinity Fried Rice (a Chifa collab with Solange Knowles), whole lobster tail wok-tossed in black pepper sauce; and Si Yao Chicken, a half-free range chicken poached in "Popo's fragrant aged soy sauce."
Desserts include plant-based exclusives by Lavender and Truffles: White Pepper oat milk ice cream and Metamorphosis - butterfly pea coconut milk ice cream with dark chocolate bits and shaved coconut.
Former Otium and Trois Mec chef Ryan Wong opened Needle (3827 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles 90026) in October 2019, serving up Hong Kong-style fare elevated by his fine dining experience. The char siu made with Berkshire pork belly is a must - honey-glazed and served with a side of hot mustard. Recent specials include pork belly curry, chicken steak in black pepper sauce, spicy salt chicken wings, and ong choy with fermented bean curd, garlic, and chili peppers. Follow @needle.la on Instagram for Wong's latest offerings and upcoming Siu Yeh tasting menus, featuring superb skewers of meats and veggies grilled on the patio.
Northern Cafe Chinese Hot Pot
Following its dumpling spot on Gayley and noodle house on Weyburn, Northern Cafe opened a third Westwood Village location, Northern Cafe Chinese Hot Pot (1061 Broxton Ave, Los Angeles 90024) in December 2020. Guests select one of 11 individual hot pot options and choose from five levels of spice: None, Mild, Medium, Hot, and Flaming. Hot pots are packed with ingredients, like the No. 1 Spicy Beef: sliced Angus Beef, fish tofu, crab stick, firm tofu, fried tofu skin, taro, corn, enoki mushroom, tomato, tempura, luncheon meat, beef ball, vermicelli, napa cabbage, green onion, and cilantro. Other hot pots include Seafood Tofu, Sauerkraut Lamb, Miao's Village Fermented Tomato Soup, and Fish Maw Chicken.
Pearl River Deli
In June 2021, The New York Times named Chinatown as the most exciting place to eat in LA. Chef Johnny Lee and his Cantonese comfort food restaurant, Pearl River Deli are featured prominently - restaurant critic Tejal Rao described the zong as "treasures" and one of the reasons she "can't stop going" to Chinatown.
After a brief hiatus, Pearl River Deli reopened in a new location at Central Plaza (935 Mei Ling Way, Los Angeles 90012) in March 2022. Lee now helms the kitchen in a space that's three times the size of PRD's previous spot in Far East Plaza.
While favorites like the acclaimed Hainan Chicken and Macau Pork Chop are currently unavailable, PRD's noodle-focused menu features classics like Braised Beef Noodles and Wonton Noodles - housemade pork and shrimp wontons, gailan, and yellow chives in a pork and dried seafood broth, served with choice of egg or rice noodles.
Located at the Spring Arcade Building in Downtown LA, RiceBox (541 S Spring St #131, Los Angeles 90013) is a contemporary Cantonese BBQ restaurant from the husband-wife duo of Leo and Lydia Lee. RiceBox touts its use of organic ingredients - the meat is ethically-sourced, antibiotic- and hormone-free. Produce comes from local farms that use sustainable practices.
Voted "Best Char Siu of 2020" by Los Angeles Magazine, the signature OG Char Siu RiceBox is a must - slow-cooked BBQ Duroc pork is roasted and honey-glazed, served with jasmine rice and topped with an optional sunny side egg. Other RiceBoxes include Soy Sauce Chicken, Porchetta Crackling, the veg-friendly Mapo Eggplant, and Grandma's Curry Beef Stew with six-hour braised brisket.
You can also build your own RiceBox, or try the Bao Box - a sampler of the housemade almond milk buns with the OG Char Siu, RBX Bao (OG with Monterey Jack) and Shrooming Bao, a wild mushroom mix with vermicelli noodles, onion and RiceBox vegan BBQ sauce.
Sea Harbour (3939 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead 91770) is well-known as one of the best Cantonese and dim sum restaurants in Southern California. The specialty is seafood - the cooking is light and subtly flavored, unlike some Chinese restaurants that can overdo the saltiness and the sauces. The bustling restaurant feels like it's been imported straight out of Hong Kong, with its orange-red carpeting and tanks filled with fish and crab. The Whole Lobster is a showstopper - stir-fried with chilis and toasted garlic chips.
During the always-busy dim sum service, many tables will order the Instagram-ready Squid Ink Har Gow and Steamed Lava Salty Egg Yolk Bun - they're jet-black and topped with gold foil. Other favorites include the Pork & Shrimp Shumai with Truffle Sauce and French-Style Baked BBQ Pork Bun.
Tucked into the second floor of a strip mall a couple of miles from UCLA, the third location of Sichuan Impression (11057 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 90025) has a lively dining room that's perfect for groups, families, and even date night for couples that love the fiery cuisine. The huge gatefold menu conveniently lists dishes with peppers to gauge diners' spice tolerance, ranging from mild/no peppers, to tongue-tingling and mouth-numbing (1-2 peppers), to the scorching three peppers.
Start with "Impressive" appetizers like Grandma's Pickled Cucumber, Wontons in Chili Oil, Home-Style Fried Rice (available non-spicy), and Street Corner Potato Strips - rated two peppers, but even Sichuan newbies will enjoy noshing on the spicy fries.
Properly warmed up, the table will be ready for specialties like Mapo Tofu, Toothpick Lamb, Boiled Fish with Rattan Pepper, and Sichuan Impression's most popular dish, the Tea-Smoked Pork Ribs. For those that can handle the three-pepper Dry Pots, there's Fried Squid, Fried Shrimp, and Fresh Bullfrog.
Tasty Noodle House
From its original location in Hacienda Heights, Tasty Noodle House has expanded across SoCal, from Beverly Grove (8054 W 3rd St, Los Angeles 90048) to Sawtelle Japantown, Lomita and more. The Shanghai Grilled Pork Buns (shengjian bao) are essential - soft and pillowy on top, crunchy on the bottom, and juicy on the inside. Explore the extensive family-style menu with Green Onion Pancake and Shanghai Sticky Rice Shumai with Pork to start; then dive into generous portions of Salt & Pepper Pork Chop, Shanghai Style Pan-Fried Prawn, and Combo Fried Rice with beef, chicken and shrimp. Veg-friendly options include Vegetable Dumplings, Eggplant & Mushroom with Basil, Preserved Vegetables with Pea Pod & Tofu Skin, and Mixed Vegetable Chow Mein.
Westfield Century City
One of LA's top shopping destinations, Westfield Century City (10250 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles 90067) offers three excellent Chinese dining options on Level 2.
DIN TAI FUNG
Founded in Taiwan in 1972, Din Tai Fung spans more than 170 branches around the world and has earned Michelin stars at several locations, beginning with Hong Kong in 2010. Along with Westfield Century City, LA locations include Arcadia, Glendale and Torrance. The setting at Westfield is sleek and stylish with dark wood and high ceilings - a minimalist take on Chinese interior design, with views of the Century City skyline in the backdrop.
Din Tai Fung is globally renowned for its xiao long bao (soup dumplings), skillfully prepared with the "Golden Ratio" of 18 folds. The ultra-thin skin is filled with minced Kurobuta pork and savory broth - crab & pork XLB offer a naturally sweet, seafood infused option. Non-soup dumpling choices include jidori chicken and steamed cod. The vegan dumplings are filled with a mix of bean curd, baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, glass noodles, and jicama. Freshly squeezed spinach juice is rolled into the skin to give these dumplings their eye-catching green color.
Start with the refreshing Cucumber Salad or Soy Noodle Salad. Top-notch shared plates include a variety of fried rice, noodles and Shanghai-style rice cakes.
The famed Sichuanese hot pot chain from China, HaiDiLao opened its first U.S. outpost at Westfield Santa Anita in 2013 and then at Westfield Century City. Known for its upscale design, high-end ingredients, and customer service, HaiDiLao offers a wide range of meats, seafood and veggies for its hot pots. Choose up to four soup bases to start - the Classic comes with Sichuan peppercorns, chiles and beef butter. Mix your own dipping sauce with the provided sauces, herbs and aromatics. You can go all in with the Miyazaki A5 Wagyu, or select from less extravagant proteins like American Kobe beef brisket, Prime ribeye, Australian lamb shoulder, Mexican wild shrimp, jumbo scallops and quail eggs. Get dinner and a show with the "Dancing Noodle" - for an extra $4, your server whirls dough until it's shaped into noodles, then simmers them in your hot pot.
Founded in 1996 by husband-wife restaurateurs Wang Gang and Liang Di, Beijing-based Meizhou Dongpo spans 100+ locations and opened its flagship U.S. location at Westfield Century City in December 2013. The upscale interior design is striking, but many guests opt for patio seating. Available half or whole, the signature Meizhou Roast Duck is carved tableside and artfully presented on a ceramic duck platter, along with "pancakes" (thin-skinned wrappers), duck sauce, scallions, cucumber and sugar. Other highlights include the Dan Dan Noodles, Dongpo Style Mung Bean Jelly, Classic Dongpo Pork, and Steamed Scallops with Garlic & Vermicelli.
Originally launched by Keegan Fong as a series of pop-ups, Woon (2920 W. Temple St, Los Angeles 90026) opened its brick-and-mortar in Historic Filipinotown in March 2019. Inspired by the comfort food from Keegan's childhood, Woon features the Shanghainese and Cantonese recipes created by his mother, Julie (aka "Mama Fong").
Do not miss the Beef Noodles - Woon homestyle chewy noodles stir-fried with marinated flank steak, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and Woon Stir Fry Sauce, served with a side of Mama's Way (chili garlic sauce and white vinegar). Starters from the concise menu include Pork Belly Bao (braised Beeler's pork belly, mustard greens, house-pickled carrots & cucumbers, cilantro) and Fried Tofu Fishcakes stuffed with fish paste, cilantro and green onions. The Fried Rice is also a must-try - wok-fired white & black rice, Chinese sausage (lap cheung), Chinese broccoli (gai lan), eggs and green onions. A veg-friendly version features gai lan stems, shiitake mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, bok choy, eggs and green onions.
Opened by the Yun brothers in 1977, Yang Chow (819 N. Broadway, Los Angeles 90012) has since expanded from Chinatown to locations in Pasadena and Long Beach. Yang Chow specializes in Mandarin-Sichuan cuisine and is best known for its crunchy, tangy Slippery Shrimp - deep-fried shrimp are tossed in a sauce made with garlic, ginger, cayenne, ketchup, vinegar and wine. Other standouts include Steamed Fish Fillet with sliced ginger, scallions and soy sauce; and Sizzling Rice Soup - a Chinese American classic with chicken, shrimp, snow peas and crispy rice in a flavorful broth.