Chinatown LA is the most interesting food neighborhood in Southern California

I have a soft spot for Chinatowns. Both LA and SF.
If you been on FTC here long enough you know I love me some SGV, Ktown, Thai Town, Little Saigon, and South Bay eats.

For the small area of Chinatown, there is no other neighborhood in Los Angeles and Southern California with this much variety imo.

Here me out…I’ll start with the #1 busiest restaurant in LA where the lines have not stop…

Howlin Rays…Nashville Hot Chicken with Chef Johnny Ray Zone’s take on Nashville Hot Chicken.

Pearl River Deli…enough said with our multiple threads here and visits. Along with Needle serving up some of the best Cantonese food in So Cal!!!

LASA…thee new school 2nd gen Filipino food.

Burgerlords…vegan burgers

Wax Paper…sandwiches
More sandwiches: one of the most iconic and classic Philippes, Eastside Deli, Little Jewel of New Orleans, Katsu Sando
(French-American, Italian-American, New Orleans, and Japanese!!!)

Also French at Oriel, which is probably one of the coolest restaurants at night with Blade Runner like lighting and mood. Nicks Deli is a classic u-shaped diner. A minute walk away is LAX-C the largest Thai market that I know of with a very good takeout steamtable and on the weekends the best Thai coconut cakes around. Of course Majordomo, nuff said but this is what peak fusion food should be like.

Coffee? Well there is Endofferine which probably makes better espresso based drinks than down on Sunset know what I mean, Chimney (Thai coffee beans and Thai influence food) and SPLA (Brazilian, São Paulo).

Late night Little Tokyo favorite Suehiro also has a spot here in Chinatown, serving up that Hayashi rice that I still think about.

I still like places like New Fortune for their white cut chicken, Jade Wok for their housemade tofu special, Longs Family pastry for some baos, Phoenix Bakery for almond cookies and the iconic strawberry cake that has been copied around our country, Phoenix Inn for drinks and desserts.

Bars? You got General Lees and Melody Lounge. Beer? Lot of snobs like Highland Park Brewery so I trust you.

Food aside, Olvera St and Union Station are right there.

And that cool ass Bruce Lee statue! Anyways thanks for reading Dear Diary just sharing my thoughts.


There’s also Steep LA for Chinese Tea, and coming soon Angry Egret Dinette by Chef Wes Avila (in the old Lately space)


and right by there is Apothecary.


now serving


Best damn food bookstore around


scouting report @moonboy403

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Looks like a Taiwanese breakfast joint. What’s the draw?


It’s Vivian Ku from Pine Crane/Joy

No draw I would just drive 10 minutes more on the 10 and go to Huge Tree Pastry but I am partial to them because I have been going to them all my life. They used to have the smallest restaurant in all of SGV when it was next to Diho Market (where Elite is)

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Thanks for the info! I don’t seven see their hours of operation.

i tried it a few weeks ago and posted it in the October rundown thread. Portions are smaller than Huge Tree Pastry and it’s pretty decent quality, but I’m not that experienced with Taiwanese breakfast. I did appreciate that they had vegan/vegetarian options for things that normally wouldn’t be at more traditional places. I can’t eat the scallion pancakes at Huge Tree because they’re made with lard (which I think is the traditional way it’s made, if I’m wrong, please correct me).


Thanks! I thought I remember reading it somewhere. I’m interested in their desserts for sure.

Yup, hanhgry gets the credit on the scoop for this one!


Not sure if this is the right topic to post in but it didn’t seem worth creating a new thread. Does anyone know what happened with Phoenix Inn (NOT Phoenix Bakery) regarding wage theft and if they ever paid out?

They popped up in a recent Eater listicle this week for 20 Classic Restaurants Every Angeleno Must Try and I was reminded why I hadn’t tried them.

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If they’re still open, presumably they paid the fines.

Unfortunately, it’s laughably untrue that a business needs to pay off those fines to stay in business. Having gone through the legal system for unpaid wages (along with dozens of colleagues at the same company) we ALL won our wage theft cases easily in small claims and/or the Labor Commissioner’s office. However, winning a case and getting the company to pay out are two different things entirely.

Very rough but easily backed up estimates we cobbled together showed the company owed at LEAST six figures in backpay and fines in California alone but I’ve yet to hear of a single person receiving any wage violation penalties and most didn’t even get their invoiced pay. That was in 2017 and the company is still up and running.


Phoenix was fined by the feds.

Do you have a citation showing that the feds collect on behalf of the plaintiffs? If so I’m genuinely glad to hear it but that’s not been my experience in other jurisdictions.

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There are no plaintiffs in an enforcement action.

Cool. Citation that the feds collected the penalties? Or even that they collect the money in any enforcement action like this? Seriously, I want that to be true and I asked if it actually happened because I want to find out.