paul's kitchen

Paul's Kitchen
1012 San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA, USA

There are plenty of old places in Los Angeles, plenty of classic places, plenty of magical places, plenty of authentic places … no shortage of singular food and atmosphere, to be sure. But even in a land so rich with midcentury time capsules, there are still unicorns to be discovered, ones somehow untouched in spite of being well-known, like perfectly-preserved Cadillacs in Cuba, or those tribes who've never seen other humans before, then contract syphillis from missionaries. 🤷

It's like with casting calls out here. You see an endless stream of the same blonde bimbo over and over, and then suddenly in walks Margot Robbie. The clouds part, she's in slow motion, and trumpets sound as you realize you have found the only person who could possibly play Jared Fogle in this biopic.

paul's kitchen

Um, I've just been told that I was reviewing Paul's Kitchen. Man, did I fall in love with this place the moment I saw it. It's almost like finding the Mayflower of American Chinese restaurants, still seemingly exactly as it was when it opened in 1946, just with fewer fast-talkin' reporters walkin' around in fedoras. It fully embodies a true je ne sais quoi that you only find in real rare birds of the Southland. In this way it reminds me, strangely, of Inn Of The Seventh Ray in Topanga, which is a completely different type of thing but similarly "Whoa, is this place even real?!"

the tommy lasorda special

If I lived nearby, I would certainly try the whole menu. As I was only here the one time, I decided to try the whole menu at once. The Tommy Lasorda special—wonton soup, egg rolls, charsu, spareribs, asparagus with beef, kung pao chicken, and the House Special fried rice. You need a minimum of two people at about $13 per person, and it is fuckin' glorious. Supposedly the former Dodgers manager eats it every day, or every week, or something, and he's like 12,000 years old. Of course, his bowels are probably something like this:

It's a lot of food, and not all of it is necessarily better than your go-to Chinee place, assuming you frequent a proper one. But Paul's Kitchen is about so much more than the food; the food is good, but the essence is spectacular.

shiny dr. teeth tooth

Loud Bassoon rating scale

Review by Pumboo Dongo-Dohnoh, October 2016