Cuisine Scene: Chinese
Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year, takes place January 22 (Happy Year of the Rabbit!) and there are all kinds of ways you can celebrate. You can head to Fourth Friday on Fourth Street, aka Retro Row, on Jan. 27 for its Lunar New Year-themed event. Or you can dine at one of the many great Chinese and Chinese-inspired restaurants around Long Beach. Fortunately, you can do this anytime and in so many places. Here’s a handful of local spots that bring their own unique take to one of the world’s foundational cuisines.
This place is a bit of a throwback; a sitdown restaurant with requisite comfortable lighting and traditional Chinese decor. Because of this, as well as its contemporary interpretation of classic dishes and an insistence on high quality, fresh ingredients, Chen’s (2131 E. Broadway) has long been a destination for those looking to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or other big events with large parties. Popular dishes include Honey Glazed Walnut Shrimp as well as Chicken, Mongolian Beef and BBQ Pork Ribs.
KIM SUN KITCHEN
This unassuming and somewhat diminutive spot–there are about 10 tables in the restaurant – Kim Sun Kitchen (5449 Cherry Ave.) also has takeout – offers a coming together of Chinese and Cambodian cuisines. What is produced is unique, progressive and often subtle in the flavors produced, making this a destination eatery for many. Regulars will recommend the Wonton Egg Noodle Soup as well as a Spicy Chicken Rice Porridge and Crispy Fried Tilapia. If you can’t wait to try it, no worries. Kim Sun opens up for business at 7 a.m.!
One of the newest, most distinctive additions to Long Beach’s Chinese cuisine scene, Morning Nights is located in The Hangar (4150 McGovern St.) – located at the Long Beach Exchange– and features a contemporary, curated menu of vegan dim sum such as Salt & Pepper Oyster Mushrooms, plant-based Walnut Shrimp, Scallion Pancake Rolls, Sticky Rice Lotus Leaf Wrap (with OmniPork strips), and Taro Egg Rolls. They also offer a fun, wide-ranging cocktail menu that includes the 5 Spice Whiskey Sour, Passionfruit Hennessy Margarita and Garden of Zen with Butterfly Pea Infused Gin and Elderflower Liqueur.
This gem near the Long Beach-Lakewood border, has been serving authentic Chinese fare for more than 25 years. As the name suggests, LV Seafood (4139 Norse Way) serves a wide variety of fresh fish dishes as well as shellfish entrees, using live fish, crab and lobster from its own tanks. Still, LV also serves a variety of non-seafood dishes, including such popular standards as Chow Fun, Lo Mein as well as Orange Chicken and the like. Though a traditional restaurant, LV modifies recipes to fit patrons dietary and health needs. Fresh picked produce is delivered daily.
YANG CHOW 2.0
The original Yang Chow opened in Chinatown nearly 50 years ago. Long Beach’s Yang Chow 2.0 (2930 Clark Ave.) has a slightly smaller menu, but of course serves the restaurant’s signature Slippery Shrimp dish. The dish, which features shrimp fried briefly then tossed in a variably spicy, garlic sweet and sour sauce, basically put Yang Chow on the map. Yang Chow 2.0 also has other “Slippery” dishes, including chicken and tofu, as well as such beloved items as Kung Pao Chicken, Schezuan Beef, and Sweet and Sour Pork.