Dear Mr. Gold,
I am a transplant from both the Midwest and the East Coast, and in those regions, egg foo yung was basically an egg omelet fried with lacy, crispy, delicate edges, filled with onions and veggies in the actual egg, with gravy on top.
Upon moving to L.A. a couple of years ago, I tried no less than four different places, and the egg foo yung was a hush-puppy-esque mash of some meal or bread that perhaps had egg buried someplace in it. It basically tasted like a fried cornmeal fritter, and I haven’t yet seen anything like my old, probably bastardized, but yummy egg foo yung from back East.
Please forgive my preference for the most likely less-authentic version, but is there any place in L.A. that has the type of egg foo yung I’m describing? Perhaps even a version of the famous St. Paul sandwich of St. Louis? — an egg foo yung patty between slices of bread?
—Miss St. Paul Sandwich
Dear Miss St. Paul Sandwich,
I’ve never seen a St. Paul sandwich here, although I’ve had them in St. Louis itself, and I’m not sure it’s much of a specialty. You can find egg foo yung all over Los Angeles — the various Hop Li’s have it, among other places — although I have to admit that I have generally been reluctant to visit places like Super Panda China Buffet, which tend to feature it on their menus. Paul’s Kitchen, an old-line Chinese-American restaurant on San Pedro that is pretty much all that’s left of L.A.’s original Chinatown, probably has the most accomplished version — drowned in brown gravy, sure, but crisp and onion-y. But the egg foo yungiest of the local egg foo yungs is probably the one served at China Café, the Chinese lunch counter in the Grand Central Market downtown, which is perhaps thin enough and intact enough to slip between slices of white. Conveniently enough, in the Grand Central Market, you are never far from a loaf of bread. 317 S. Broadway, downtown.
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