In LA’s Chinatown, New Restaurants Face Sharp Opposition on Social Media From

Thank you for sharing your perspective. I was curious what you thought being in the trenches in Chinatown.

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So was I.

I was going to post this with the :eyes: but didn’t want to come in off the top rope too much. Because it seems like many of the businesses like yours (@JLee) and others like Endorffine, Lasita, and Sesame to name a few have Chinatown and the community’s best interests in hearts and minds.


LA Chinatown started dying decades ago when the San Gabriel Valley emerged as the magnet for Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans. When was it when I started to feel uncomfortable in Chinatown after dark? 30 years ago? 40 years ago? How many years did Chinatown go without any new construction? There was no way Los Angeles was going to remain a vibrant, complete Chinese community. It’s revival has been awesome and to paint that revival as being something bad to my mind takes a distorted view of the world.


Agreed. Total lack of understanding of the history of LA Chinatown by those folks.


Weird that they attack small neighborhood businesses by name but rhen expect to remain anonymous.


Working on a modest blogpost which I hope to finish later today if I can work on it.

Yeah, this bothers me a great deal. They call out businesses in pretty juvenile ways on social media (at least as described by the Eater article) but won’t say who they are. It’s bizarre. And, TBH, cowardly. And how does opening a “fancier” restaurant result in residents’ access to healthcare being reduced (unless the restaurant took the place of a low-cost clinic, which I kind of doubt is the case)???

I used to go to Chinatown a lot w/ my parents in the 1980s (we stopped going once the western part of the SGV became what it is now), and, I’m sorry, but I believe that it was pretty dead until the last few yrs. It used to be such a busy and vibrant place, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the renaissance that’s been occurring recently (although it’s still nowhere close to what it used to be, although obviously one may perceive things very differently as an adult than they did as a child).

One of the people quoted in the article used to go to Chinatown w/ her parents (so, as far as I’m concerned, may know nothing more about Chinatown’s history than do I) and another might only be familiar w/ the Chinatown of the past 20 yrs. No offense, but WTF do they know about Chinatown’s history (b/c I feel that I personally don’t know much about it)? Fetishizing a location by wanting it to remain inorganically static is just as objectifying (and possibly damaging) as gentrification, IMHO.

@chandavkl: I hope you post a link to your (possible) blog post here. Same for @JLee with your own response(s).


I wonder how old these CCED volunteers are and what sort of work and business experience they’ve had.

Grandparents. Her parents were probably shopping in the SGV by then!

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Not sure if this is the absolute final version, but the article is up here.


One just interesting point out of this too was:

Jack Benchakul, the co-owner of third-wave coffee shop Endorffeine that opened in Far East Plaza in 2015, recently began donating monthly to CCED.

Kind of like paying protection money to the mob?


Well more precisely the Joe Boys.

Yes, my thoughts exactly! Rather disturbing, IMHO.

Yup, I was thinking the same thing.

Their social media callout and childish approach of drawing devil horns on the owners of the wine shop, along with the overall amateur hour graphics and language used isn’t particularly endearing. Heck it’s not even edgy provocative activism. It comes across as a bunch of temper tantrum throwing toddlers.


Actually have we already forgotten when all the restaurants had to play ball with the Wah Ching?

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wait, that actually happened?

Absolutely. I’m actually happy to see your reaction because that indicates that the practice ended a long time ago. Do you know Sam Wong, who ran and developed several Chinese restaurants in Chinatown and the San Gabriel Valley for decades? He has some harrowing tales to tell, though he presents them in a light hearted manner.

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Were LA’s Chinese gangsters as bad as SF’s?

It was happening in the 90;'s in the SGV, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. Not sure about now though. I’m sure it was happening in LIttle Saigon too.

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