DTLA: Chinese Lunch at Chu’s Kitchen

seafood combo

seafood combo

I’ve been visiting Chu’s Kitchen lately since I decided to find a new Chinese lunch spot. I have grown bored with Uncle John’s and service has gotten a bit slow. I had seen Chu’s many times while going to Woodspoon next door. It’s apparently been around “forever” and over 40 years is definitely a long time.

There’s a steam table if you want one of those quickie lunches but if you sit down, they’ll make your food from scratch. Literally a mom and pop, Mrs. Chu will take your order and Mr. Chu will cook the food.

I had not read any reviews so I just picked an item willy-nilly from the laminated menu. I ended up getting the seafood combo over rice. You can order any of the meals as entrees if you’re there with a bigger group.

The dish featured frozen peas and carrots. I wasn’t surprised by the imitation crab though. I actually don’t mind it and find it amusing. It is after all, just fish. However, I do prefer real crab and dislike carrots. It was filling for the moment and I immediately considered what I would get next time.

mabo tofu

mabo tofu

That ended up being the mabo tofu. I know this is a Cantonese place but I still expected it to be spicy. Despite the absurd amount of dried chiles, there wasn’t much heat to this dish. I used some apparently homemade chili oil the table to give it a kick. I wanted just a bit more gravy and was puzzled by the frozen peas and carrots. But the ground meat and tofu over rice was pretty good. I just wouldn’t call this mabo tofu.

pork noodles soup

pork noodles soup

Recently, I went back for noodles. The weather is still very warm but I can eat a hot bowl of noodles any time. I got the “pork with noodles soup.” It turned out to be Chinese BBQ pork with obviously dried noodles. I had hoped for fresh. I was pretty excited by the fresh snow peas and napa cabbage in the bowl until I spotted the frozen peas and carrots. I guess they’re just sort of ubiquitous and adorable now. I’m pretty sure any dish I pick will have ’em.

I really like the obvious friendliness of Chu’s Kitchen but I found the portions to just a bit smaller than Uncle John’s. I still have to try their dry noodles. Perhaps chow fun or Singapore rice noodles next!

Chu’s Kitchen

111 W 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015  —  (213) 624-8928

© The Minty  2013

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