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Food & Drink

Best Old-School Chinese Diner Los Angeles 2013 

Paul's Kitchen

"This is a chop suey restaurant," says the server at Paul's Kitchen, handing over a dish of fried wonton strips. "Very traditional." In the tradition of Americanized Cantonese food, that is. Since at least 1946, Paul's Kitchen in downtown's Garment District has served chow mein, almond chicken and egg rolls. It counts Tommy Lasorda among its fans (proof: the seven-item "Tommy Lasorda Special"), many of whom have frequented the spot for 30 or 40 years. Not much has changed over the decades. Behind the lunch counter, kitschy memorabilia packs the shelves, and framed Dodger headshots from 20 years ago line the wall. Families sit at booths alongside a lattice painted Barbie-pink, eating shrimp in lobster sauce off plates decorated in an Oriental floral pattern. Paul's antique cash register is for cash alone — and you probably won't be the first diner here to make a meal off spare change. 1012 S. San Pedro St., dwntwn. (213) 749-5004. —Daina Beth Solomon

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