Restaurant: Meizhou Dongpo
Location: Century City Mall Dining Deck. (310) 788-0120
Date: September 9 & 18, 2014 and October 27, 2017
Cuisine: Beijing/Szechuan Chinese
Rating: Good to have it on the westside, but not nearly as good as the SGV
My faithful readers know I frequently venture out to the SGV for great Chinese, but I’m always looking for a fix closer to him. So when I heard there was an actual Schezuan place in the Century City mall I went right on over.
Meizhou Donpo (sure doesn’t roll off the Western tongue). I’ve been told this is a high end (like Houstons) chain in China that has opened a branch here. This must reflect the influx of Chinese tourists into LA. All good in my view.
Then I had to try all the Schezuan classics: Dan dan noodles. Not your totally typical take on it, as it’s fairly wet. Most authentic ones I’ve had you mix up and are a tad drier. Still, this had a nice chili + schezuan peppercorn taste. It was hot, but not really hot. Just a mild burn. Not so much of the nutty flavor.
Cold Szechuan Noodles. These are closer to what I usually think of for Dan Dan noodles. They had a nice chili oil spice, but maybe no meat.
Sweet potato glass noodles in hot and sour sauce. 10/27/17. In general, I love this dish because of its spicy/tangy balance. For example at Beijing Tasty. This version, unfortunately, looks ok, but has no balance. It wasn’t that hot. Wasn’t that tangy. Mostly it was just salty. This seems to be a problem at MZDP.
Numb taste wontons (2014 and 10/27/17). They just called these Schezuan Wontons, but they’re supposed to be numb taste. Great flavor. Sauce was a little sweet but boy was it tasty.
Ma Po Tofu (lunch special). Also on the plate: rice, string beans, squash, spring roll. The beans were great, but the tofu was a bit salty (MSG I think) and not too hot or numbing. Okay flavor, but the most disappointing of the dishes, particularly given how when done right this is one of my favorite dishes ever.
Duck soup. Comes with the duck. Very straight up.
Aromatic fried chicken with chilies (10/27/17). Another typical Szechuan dish. This version wasn’t that spicy (despite all the peppers) and was notably sweet. It was still pretty good though, but the balance was off.
Szechuan green beans. Tasty rendition of this dish.
Garlic Eggplant (10/27/17). A 7/10 version of the dish. Not as much super garlicky flavor as there should be, but good nonetheless.
Kung Pao Shrimp. Very nice. A bit of heat and lots of peanuts.
Overall, I’m psyched to have Meizhou Dongpo, despite it being a bit blander, saltier, (and more expensive) than the SGV Szechuan places. It’s tasty enough and close. Too bad it’s inside the mall, because parking and getting into that beast is a nightmare. I hate that parking lot. It’s the biggest most confusing mall parking I’ve ever been too. Every direction looks the same. Ditto with the mall. I’m always getting turned around in there. Too bad the balance is off on the dishes. Service was a little slow/sloppy too on 10/27/17. The very first time I was here it was very nice, so maybe it’s just hit or miss.
The mall is also home to a mini Grom, which is a solid chain gelato place. I reviewed one in New York here.
Hazelnut on the left, cafe expresso on the right. Texture was perfect. Flavors were about 8/10. Very good gelato for America. I wish they had more flavor variety in the store though.