This is part 1 of the Los Angeles Eating Adventures Series. The other posts in this series include Peking Restaurant, Scoops Westside, and Sushi Zo.
I am absolutely stunned that it has taken me this long to tell you about this place.
Year after year, trip after trip, we always come here whenever we are back in LA. Whether it be with his parents or his high school friends, we never tire of visting this place for a tasty, satisfying lunch.
Simply called "Peking Restaurant" (Bryan and his friends all call it "Beijing"), this unassuming dive in a strip mall in Westminster has been the spot Bryan and his friends visit for authentic, cheap, and fantastic Northern Chinese food.. Bryan grew up eating here (it was really close to his church) and never fails to return every time he is in Los Angeles.
So what makes this place so special?
They make so many things really well. A must-get is the "Roast Beef with Green Onion Pancake" (niu ro juan bing), a scallion pancake wrapped around beef, chopped scallions, and a hoisin-like sweet sauce (see picture up top for cross sectional view). They do a fantastic job on this, and I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it anywhere else. The outer pancake is wonderfully crispy, and the beef inside is flavorful and delicious. It's by far one of their most popular items.
Another signature dish (which we also always get) is their potstickers. Often they will ask you right when you sit down whether you want the roast beef roll and/or the potstickers.
"Yes and yes, please!"
Their potstickers are juicy and flavorful, and the gorgeous crispy bottoms can't be beat. It's hard to find this particular style of potstickers in the US, so it's always a treat to get them here.
Their handmade dumplings are quite authentic and look just like the ones I had in the real Beijing. These are delicious as well, and a nice, lighter contrast to the crispy potstickers.
The spareribs are another favorite of the family, something they order often when we come together.
They make an admirable soup dumpling (xiao long bao). Although not as refined as the ones from Din Tai Fung, they are still quite tasty and perfectly enjoyable to eat.
One of the best things about this restaurant is that you can get handmade noodles in any noodle dish for only an extra dollar. This is definitely money well spent. The texture of the handmade noodles is fresh, chewy, and overall so much better than dried noodles.
Bryan's favorite soup is Da Lu Noodles, a thick, eggy soup filled with seafood and vegetables. It's served with the chewy homemade noodles that we all love. It's warm, comforting, and delicious.
If you're not in the mood for soup noodles, you can opt for stir fried homemade noodles instead. Here, we've ordered a combination dish full of all sorts of goodies like beef, pork, shrimp, broccoli, cabbage, and carrots. Though it's perfectly tasty, this dish doesn't stand out the way some of their other dishes do (aside from the homemade noodles, which are already a huge treat!).
The decor in this family-owned restaurant is simple, but the food that comes out of the kitchen is really special.
On top of all that, the prices are really reasonable! Most of the appetizer-like dishes (like the roast beef scallion pancake and the dumplings) hover around $6-$8 for an order. The main dishes are closer to $10-$12. A family of four can easily get out of there for well under $50 and be really, really satisfied. Please note, they will only accept credit cards for orders over $30. Otherwise, it's cash only.
This place is definitely worth visiting if you are like Bryan, a HUGE fan of homemade noodles and dumplings!
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