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 usually coax the chef into making at Chung King in San Gabriel. If you’re referring to the sticky, old-fashioned kind 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.