Of course rameniac issued the first-to-visit entry on this joint: http://www.rameniac.com/resource/comments/chinmaya_littletokyo.
While we all love his blog [I even kept a copy of his LA Times write-up, NATCH], the following was written on the comment sheet after our dinner?
“Beyond salty dan dan mien broth (blognote: yah, that’s right, I write MIEN, not “MEN”, cuz you know, it IS a “Chinese resto). Not spicy enough even with original flavor (the spiciest of all). Mapo Tofu Don (blognote: have no idea wtf it’s actually called, but whatevs, check the menu pix down below) didn’t have enough SZ peppercorn, there was a weird taste of garlic(?) powder, and not enough fermented soy bean flavor.”
Epic failure as Chinese-Japanese cuisine. The dan dan mien had bits of ground pork, a few chopped blocks of Chinese broccoli (I’m nearly certain it’s not spinach) and few lingering strands of scallions. That’s it. The chicken karaage had excellent texture and flavor, tho the provided neon orange dipping mayo was offensive to every sense. Any crunchier and it would’ve been NEARLY as good as mochiko chicken found in Hawaii. I love mochiko chicken.
Total damage: $20 for a bowl of dan dan mien, half a plate of mapo tofu with rice, a bowl of completely tasteless stewed ground pork over rice (niku soboro gohan, in Traditional Mandarin: 肉燥飯 , best served version: Old County Cafe in Alhambra), 5 pieces of karrage.
Verdict: want mapo tofu, get to any Szechuan / Hunan resto on Valley. Want Dan Dan Mien, go to any Taiwanese noodle house on Las Tunas.
The fact Chin Ma Ya carries my family name is a total disgrace. Better dan dan mien can be made by a 10 year old Szechuanese kid.
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