Dear Mr. Gold:
Where can you get really good Chinese barbecued spareribs? I'm in Silver Lake, but I'm willing to travel.
–Susanna, Silver Lake
There are a few schools of Chinese spareribs, most of them good. I'm especially partial to the Hangzhou-style spareribs steamed in lotus leaves at Chang's Garden in Arcadia; the sweet, crunchy ribs at Green Village in Rowland Heights; and the fried ribs vibrating with Sichuan peppercorn you can sometimes coax the chef into making at Chung King in San Gabriel. (When you can't get the ribs at Chung King, go for the Sichuan pork chops.)
If you're referring to the sticky, old-fashioned ribs we all grew up eating, there's a pretty good version at Lucky Deli on Broadway in Chinatown, which will win no awards for décor but is the best of the surviving old-line places. If you want to branch out a bit more, you might try Mei Long Village in San Gabriel. There are a few different kinds of spareribs on the menu, all of them wonderful. The sticky, glorious Shanghai-style ribs dusted with sesame seeds may not remind you of the bright-red Cantonese ribs you're looking for, but they sing in the same key.
Mei Long Village: 301 W. Valley Blvd., No. 112, San Gabriei, (626) 284-4769.