Chinatown, Los Angeles
Chinatown is one of those wonderful cultural districts that makes Los Angeles such a wonderful melting pot. We didn't get the chance to explore it since we were on a time schedule, but we are planning to explore it in the near future. Please remember it is just around the corner of Olvera Street. I had no idea it was that close, so if your planning a trip, keep that in mind.
From the Westside
Take the 10 Freeway east to the 110 north and exit at Hill Street.
Take the 110 Freeway south and exit at Hill Street.
From Hollywood or the San Fernando Valley
Take the 101 Freeway south.
Exit at Broadway and turn left.
Drive a few blocks north past Cesar Chavez to Chinatown.
From the Inland Empire
Take the 10 Freeway or 60 Freeway west to the 101 north and exit at Alameda or Grand.
Follow signs to Chinatown.
From Long Beach or Orange County
Take the 5 Freeway north or the 710 north, to the 101 north and exit at Alameda or Grand.
Follow signs to Chinatown.
On our visit to L.A., on Sunday evening we went to Chinatown. The girls bought whistling birds from a street vendor. (These are whistles in the shape of a bird on a stick which you swing through the air and they whistle). The two girls with my husband are in the center with their hair and dresses backlit
Old Chinatown is at 930 North Broadway just northeast of downtown Los Angeles and south of Dodger Stadium, bordered by North Broadway, Hill Street, College Street and Bernard Street. One easy access is by downtown Dash Minibus B from downtown LA. The other is the Pasadena Freeway with the Hill Street/Dodger Stadium turn off.
The Chinatown in Los Angeles is nowhere near as famous the ones in San Francisco, New York, or Vancouver. But I found it to be extremely interesting, with some of coolest architecture anywhere.
Definitely a neat place to check out and try a meal in. The Empress Pavilion offers excellent Dim Sum!
Take Broadway EAST and you will see the Dragons in an arch that is the entrance to China Town.
Lots of wonderful asian markets: incense,paper lanterns, jewelry and clothing.
The fresh fish markets are amazing and the restaurants serve authentic Chinese delicacies.
YANG CHOW:819 N. Broadway/ Cross Street: Between Alpine & W. College Sts.Phone: (213) 625-0811
The sweet shrimp is delicious.
The official LA "Chinatown" is a little community mostly populated by Chinese-Americans who grew up here. I'm not dis-recommending it, but a few miles northeast of downtown LA is Monterey Park, pop. some 200,000, which is mostly Chinese. Many of them are fairly recent immigrants (past 20 years or so since China opened up). In fact when I go to restaurants there I don't see a single Caucasian, not even tourists. It's not a pretty area, just an ordinary city with all the signs in Chinese, but it's where almost all the Chinese settle to start with when they come to LA these days. It's interesting if you've never been to a sizable Chinese community. The commercial center of gravity is about the intersection of Garfield and Garvey. The main reason I'm mentioning Monterey Park is that it has lots of inexpensive or moderately-priced little restaurants which serve real Chinese food of all sorts. ("Real" as opposed to Americanized which has lots of salt, sugar, soy sauce.) Outside of Monterey Park you'll find almost entirely Americanized or Hong King style Chinese food. In M.P. you can find authentic Sichuan, Yunan, and north China food along with various menu mixtures. Look especially a few blocks north and south of Garvey along Garfield. I'll try to add some specific restaurant suggestions later. If you'd find it exotic to visit a large, almost 100% Chinese community and want a food adventure it might be worth popping over to Monterey Park for a few hours. It can also be fun to wander through a large Chinese supermarket for a few minutes.