Want to get away to another part of the world without a long flight? Or have the best ethnic food in North America? Go to LA. There’s a food for everyone–– Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican––if you can name it, you can find it there.
If you don’t want ethnic, you can get old-fashioned traditional food too, like Philippe’s the Original, where sandwiches have been served the same for more than 100 years, maybe by some of the same dippers.
A recent quick trip to LA gave us a day to spend with family and a chance to eat ethnic.
You have to put up with traffic, but you can feel like you’re in a different country without the jet-lag.
We stayed in San Gabriel, one of several Chinese enclaves in the area.
You know you aren’t in Kansas, when the stack of free papers on the hotel reception desk is not USA Today,
and store names don’t even have subtitles.
We have a few places like that in the San Francisco Bay Area too––we have a Farmer’s Market a few miles from our home, where the signs are mostly Chinese. But I am quite sure that the Chinese food down south is the best. Competition among the multitude of restaurants make it super cheap too. Our dinner for 15 adult big eaters was about $180, including tax and tip. And there were leftovers!
A couple of things I especially liked:
And we had our greens too:
I’ll confess––I stole these photos off Yelp. I was too busy eating to take pictures of our table. But we did gobble up these dishes and much, much more. I loved the fish in black bean sauce and a noodle dish that I didn’t catch the name of, too. Of course, family members who live there knew what to order, which made it the best Chinese food I’ve ever eaten.
The restaurant? Mama Lu’s, 501 W. Garfield, Monterey Park Super crowded, so go early. You will still have to wait. There are a couple of locations––the one at 501 W. Garfield can handle slightly bigger groups.
Don’t ask me why the restaurant name is Mama Lu’s but signs say Mama’s Lu. Who knows?
Go and enjoy!
Date of travel: March, 2018