Chandavkl On The Best Chinese Restaurant In Los Angeles You May Not Have Heard Of

While a number of you are familiar with Embassy Kitchen in San Gabriel, it’s probably the most under the radar Chinese restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley and many people are unaware of it. Chandavkl’s blog post tells the story (which is not a review of the restaurant). Chandavkl's Blog: The Best Chinese Restaurant In Los Angeles You Probably Never Heard Of


More people coming from the Mainland and the recent popularity of Sichuan has made it under the radar.

There’s always been good Canto food that is non dim sum and bbq in SGV.

SGV has changed. I grew up in a SGV that was mostly HK/TW, and now I hear Mainland accents everywhere.

the pictures look good

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That chicken with shrimp paste and crispy skin looks so good.

The claypot braises, scrambled eggs, and pork patty are all standard homestyle Canto and available at most Canto places

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i want that right now


I would rather see a Chi Huo review of this place than Yelp

Yeah, the chicken shrimp paste dish is tremendous. Possibly the best thing on their menu.


I think the rice balls are very good, the chicken patty is good beer food.

I do with they used better white rice, however.

Guessing some of these are private kitchen style/advanced order type dishes:

From what I can recognize, the pork belly dish is the Hakka “Mei Cai Kou Rou” 梅菜扣肉 (pickled mustard greens braised pork belly). This looks more like the Hakka Cantonese version where the pickled mustard greens are on the sweeter side (vs the more pungent/bitter varieties found in Taiwan).

The stuffed duck dish is unmistakenably “eight treasures stuffed duck” 八寶鴨. Since this is a Cantonese restaurant the recipe should be similar to what’s featured in this youtube video. 《飲食男女—大廚秘技》第三十回 八寶鴨 - YouTube (lotus seeds, mushrooms, salted egg yolks, pork etc)

Also interesting, glutinous rice stuffed chicken (but sliced like ramen chashu/round cross sectional slices) and the signature almost Macau style like deep fried pork knuckle which the now shuttered SoCal branch of “The Kitchen” may have offered.

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unfortunately, you can never have it “right now” as the dish (as well as the soy sauce chicken) must be ordered 24 hours in advance. i discovered this today and had to settle for the chicken with ginger and onion which was still pretty good.

two of us saw the minced pork with salted egg and had to order one. it’s a humble dish, but with their level of execution i’d order it any time for anyone.

the beef and spinach in black pepper sauce was also well received.

the fried squid with spicy salt, though not all that spicy or salty, exceeded expecations by a huge margin; it was hands down the best order of fried calamari i’d ever had. delicately battered and perfectly deep fried without a hint of greasiness.

the BBQ pork and preserved vegetable with egg was probably the least favorite dish but still pretty good.

no charge for tea or rice. everything except the chicken was on the lunch special menu for about $8 and well worth it.

and i have no idea what this is:

would anyone care to enlighten me?


Good call on the salt and pepper squid. Wouldn’t have thought to try that here but it’s certainly superior. Also had the glass noodles with egg and cabbage and it was awesome.

Oh wow! This place is actually one of our family’s choices when it comes to celebrations. Some dishes you do have to order ahead.

Yup, here’s some pics from out last celebration

Yes,everyone jumps on it right away and going through the bare motions of offering it up to other people LOL! I put up the pic on Facebook and friends immediately wanted to set up a trip.

Mom likes this dish for the presentation. Have to order this ahead. They fillet the fish, make little roll ups with the meat stuffed with ginger. The whole deboned fish is deep fried.


Hi @Jase,

Nice pics! :slight_smile: I’ve never seen these dishes before. Very cool.

What’s inside the duck?

And for the chicken & shrimp paste, is it on the salty side, or is it OK?


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I believe @beefnoguy described it better than I could

Not at all. My wife doesn’t like things too salty and she thought it was fine. Great textural interplay with the skin, meat and paste.

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wow can I like a post multiple times?

How’s the English situation over the phone? Do I need to find my canto friends/family to set this up?

I need that shrimp/chicken dish in my life ASAP. And that fish one is pretty cool too, my dad will love it.

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If you ask for a manager you should have no issues. The chicken and duck you should be able to describe easily. I’m not sure what the fish dish is called though. If you want, send me a private message with your email. I’ll scan and send you a copy of the menu I have in my files.

Yes, I’m dorky enough to grab a to go menu from any place that has it and I have a file.


this pic clears up a misconception; i saw “shrimp paste” and i thought it was referring to the fermented stuff whereas from his pic, the shrimp paste looks likes the prawn forcemeat similar to the fish paste

that i’ve seen substituted for wonton at delicious food corner. which is typically flavored with cilantro and orange peel.

it looks like the same kind of flavoring in the chicken.

The chicken is called 百花雞 (bai hwa ji in Mandarin [thanks JL for the correction!] or Bahk Fa Gai in Cantonese) according to a Chinese blog, with 百花 loosely meaning “hundred flowers”. And yes it definitely requires an advanced order. Whole chicken is de-boned and stuffed with a meatball “paste” consisting of both fish and shrimp.

This may be a fusion dish, a combination of 百花釀蟹鉗 (which are the deep fried crab claws stuffed with shrimp/fish paste, a classic Cantonese banquet/wedding banquet course which seems to be less seen these days), and crispy skin glutinous rice stuffed chicken.

The fish dish is probably just called “fish rolls” 魚捲 and could be a black bass or tilapia (at least in Northern California it’s typically black bass of some sort). This prep reminds me a little of aji tattaki, though the only thing in common is the deep fried skeleton. Typically with the rolls the flesh is rolled up and stir fried

Epoch Times says the duck requires one day advanced order

They also list these items you can request, in case anyone is interested:

醬爆脆牛 - crispy beef
梅子鴨 - sour plum duck
蒜香煎雪魚 - pan fried garlic cod
生炒糯米飯 - stir fried glutinous rice
法式牛腩- “french style” beef brisket
桂花銀針炒素翅 - vegetarian “shark fin” (probably bean thread vermicelli) with egg, maybe Chinese ham, bean sprouts
煎釀鯪魚 - pan fried stuffed dace fish (this will be interesting, think of it like the chicken pre order dish, except it’s a whole fish, then sliced like a meatloaf). One of the definitive Shunde Cantonese dishes. Following photo lifted from the net for the example.


Bai Hwa Ji (sorry)

The second picture you have there, the fish “paste” irregular shaped meatball is referred to as 魚滑 (Yu Waat in Cantonese). Subject to much interpretation, but typically deboned fish chopped up into shreds, either grounded and/or pounded (pounding is key to create the necessary texture and stickiness) then hand molded/pressed/shaped, and mixed in with various ingredients. Almost always there is some cilantro mixed in. You could in theory mix some fatty pork in there too, as well as diced mushrooms and salt/pepper and seasonings. Simple comfort food.