by Charlie Amter - 53 Reviews - 9 List
We know this weeklong holiday is more of an eat-at-home affair in Los Angeles. That said, many do choose to celebrate the New Year by dining out. We say what better excuse to visit Chinatown if you haven't been for a while than the Year of the Tiger's imminent arrival? Sure, you can drive out to the SGV, but fun celebrations (and succulent duck, seafood and turkey) can be found just minutes from Downtown L.A. After you've eaten, hit a few bars or scope out your spot for the annual parade. Here is our guide to what's good in Chinatown.
Updated: February 03, 2010
This standby is offering traditional roasted turkey ($38), which includes garlic rice cooked in clay pot. Other specials include their "Dinner & Late Night Special" which gets you a full meal for just $7. All beers are buy one, get one free after 9pm and the restaurant is even offering a $3.99 lobster special this month (call to check on this).
Golden City is also offering up turkey this New Year, with a 14-pound BBQ roasted young turkey special for $45 that should be enough for the whole family (or just friends). This includes pan-fried sticky rice and gravy. Other deals include a baked baby lobster with yee mein for $8.99.
Currently only accepting reservations for groups of ten or more on New Year's Eve, Empress is the choice for upscale semi-formal dining in Chinatown for many, including the current Mayor of Los Angeles and the former Mayor of New York. Mandarin and Szechuan specialties are both represented here, and a new 2010 menu is now up on their website with seasonal specials listed.
Perhaps best known for being featured in a scene from "Rush Hour," Foo Chow might not win any design awards, but if you're looking for a tasty meal that won't break the bank, one could do worse than Foo Chow. Try the hot and sour soup or the shrimp chow mein. Again, no awards will be won here but for under $10 you'll leave happy and full.
Known for its dim sum and, of course, seafood selection,this restaurant remains a solid choice for large group dining. New Year's menus are forthcoming, but even without a new menu you can count on solid appetizers and entrees at this classic spot (although it's easy to drop $100 or more here, so watch what you order).
For the classic Chinatown dive, it doesn't get any better than Hop Louie with its $3 beers, mixed crowd and great jukebox. What more could one possibly ask for? Watch out for the $20 minimum credit card charge here, but otherwise, expect nothing but good clean fun New Year's weekend or any other weekend evening all year around.
Long running and well-known DJ-centric party "Firecracker" is now at Grand Star, where 20-somethings flirt and dance the night away. The club itself is not exactly upscale, but that's all part of the appeal (think beer in a can or plastic cup drinks). Still, an urbane crowd from USC and other colleges find their fun here on weekends.
This bi-level 6,000-square-foot bar awash in red hues caters to a hip-hop loving crowd of upscale 20-somethings. Parties such as the Overcast Collective's weekly hip-hop bash pull in a mixed crowd hellbent on dancing (and drinking). A nice upscale alternative to Hop Louie. Check their website for upcoming/special New Year's parties/events.
One of the best of Chinatown's burgeoning gallery scene. The gallery's current show, 'It's a Big, Pretty World" (Kyung Jeon), ends February 13th, so look out for a possible closing party or maybe an opening event the 14th for the new show set to take its place.
The site of the start of Chinatown's celebration at midnight before February 14th. This Saturday night gathering will see thousands welcome in good health, prosperity, and harmony for the ?Year of the Tiger.? Expect a festive vibe on the streets in and around the temple as kids set off firecrackers to awaken the spirits, and burn incense to usher in good fortune for the new year. Participants include lion dancers, monks and many others from the Southern California Chinese community.