Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Palace (new Chinese restaurant in Los Feliz)

The Palace
Neighborhood: Los Feliz
2112 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 667-1595

The Palace is a new Chinese restaurant located in the old Chi Dynasty location on Hillhurst in Los Feliz.

U. and I stumbled onto it after the wait at Little Dom's (up the street) was too long.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated in reds and blacks. The wait staff are dressed in tuxes and formal attire. You can see in the photo above that they have a traditional Chinese dress framed on the wall. It feels like a sophisticated, upscale restaurant, but children are welcome. (And unlike the kid friendly Chinese restaurant in Atwater Village - this place is CLEAN and has much better service!)

If you do bring your kid(s), make sure you get the coveted table next to the large fish tank. My kid loved it. It even has a number of Nemo aka Clown fish in it.

The Palace bills themselves as "Authentic Chinese Cuisine," meaning not a Panda Express wannabe. The food takes awhile (U. commented in surprise that they really must be cooking it back there - rather than cheap Chinese food that sits in warm pots ready to serve right away) but the dishes were nicely prepared and yummy so it was worth the wait. Get the soup as an appetizer so you're not twiddling your thumbs waiting for your entree. And for dessert get the plum or green tea ice cream, which is served with candied walnuts and a cherry on top. Yum!

Dishes I've tried
Wonton soup - thumbs up
Velvet shrimp - very tasty and this is the healthy version that's not deep fried
Mooshu Vegetable - the 1st time I ordered this dish it was delicious and even U. who is not a big Chinese food fan, loved it; but when I ordered it on my 2nd visit it tasted like all the veggies had been burnt. They give you a finger bowl filled with warm water and lemon to rinse your fingers after eating this entree.
BBQ sliced pork - tasty but too much sweet sauce for my taste - got this for the baby.
Dumplings - they take about 15-20 minutes and are served with ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil. They have 2 versions: veggie only and pork. The veggie ones I had were bland so next time I'll try the pork instead.

Note: They are still waiting for their liquor license. So enjoy your hot jasmine tea for now.

It's a great option for dinner being conveniently located in Los Feliz. I love the decor and ambiance of this local place, and give them props for the effort they put in to be "upscale". When U. is away on business it's always nice to have an option for dinner with my daughter where we both enjoy the food and kids are welcome so we both feel comfortable as well. (They created a "kid safe" cup for my daughter out of a plastic food container, filling it with water and cutting a hole in the top to put the straw through - without me even asking.) The first time I was there the food was excellent, but when I went back a second time the food was just so-so. I'm hoping they were just having an off night, because I'd like to return.

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