Restaurant: Mr Chow
Location: 344 N Camden Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. (310) 278-9911
Date: May 19, 2018
Cuisine: American High End Chinese
Rating: Tasty, but bland and pricey
Mr Chow is an interesting place — and particularly for me, given my proclivities. It’s been open here in Beverly since 1978 (London in 1968!) and represents a mid-late 20th century attempt to bring international Chinese food to rich Westerners in an upscale format. I haven’t been in years, maybe 10+ years, and it will be interesting to see how it is after becoming much more knowledgeable about more authentic Chinese food.
The lettuce. These are all about the hoisin. Not sure they are particularly Chinese in any way (they seem far more Vietnamese), but they are associated with Asian restaurants. They may represent a staple of Mandarin places in Vietnam (with it’s heavy Southern Chinese influences).
The place was fairly packed, with the private room swinging with a very pretty, very blond Beverly Hills 16 year old celebrating her sweet 16. I don’t really get it, as it’s well over $100 a person and where “pretty good” about at the level of a very good Chinese American joint. The atmosphere is old school and interesting. Food doesn’t have the balance or zing of good real Chinese food. It’s extremely mild across the board. I don’t just mean in terms of spiciness, but flavors are soft and veering toward sweet. Some dishes are excellent in terms of taste, like the drunken fish, green shrimp, and duck — but all in the same soft modality.
Service was pretty good. It was LOUD though, like a more modern restaurant. Not really for me.