Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
52: House Wonton Soup atChina Café.
In a city so stocked with brilliant Chinese food, it might to seem a bit strange to point out a '20s-era lunch counter hidden in downtown's Grand Central Market -- it's by no means the most authentic place you'll find -- but for many Angelenos, ourselves included, China Café holds a special significance.
As much as we loved the pupusas at Sarita's or the carnitas tacos at Tumbras A Tomas, China Café always composed the most memorable lunches at Grand Central Market, possibly because we liked to pretend it was the noir-ish noodle shop where Harrison Ford lingers over a bowl in Blade Runner's futuristic Los Angeles.
Aside from the deliciously sloppy egg fo young, the most popular item here is probably the house wonton soup, a clean and light broth stocked with a hefty amount of plump wontons, chinese BBQ pork, a few shrimp, boiled chicken and a half-cooked egg. It's about as filling and satisfying as any lunch that costs $5.50 could ever be, which is why it's one of the most popular meals for downtown's workforce.
The icing, though, is in the containers of pitch-black homemade chili oil on the side. You can also fortify your soup with limes, avocado, or El Yucateco hot sauce -- a nod to the growing Latino clientele here.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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