Archive for the 'Chinois – Venice' Category

Chinois – Venice

It is hard to believe that Chinois just celebrated their 30th year anniversary. We were pleased to be able to go. The food and service is always A+.

Chin room 1

The room was decorated to the hilt.

Chin - room

But for us it was the wall of old photos on the right of the photo above. We have been going to Chinois almost since the beginning and the staff has remained stable over the years and have become “old friends.” We have all grown older together! It was fun to see the staff in their younger years.

Chin - champagne

BYO Champagne to start

Chin - oyster

Complimentary appetizer of their warm sweet curried oyster with cucumber sauce and salmon pearls and vegetable spring rolls with sweet and sour sauce

Chin - yellow tail

Yellowtail with yuzu lemon, brown sesame seeds soy vinaigrette

Chin - white wine

BYO White Wine

Chin - soft  shells

Soft Shell Crabs, Cilantro, Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Chin - red wine

BYO Red Wine

Chin quail

Crispy Glazed Quail with Grilled Pineapple – lousy photo – photographer too busy just eating and enjoying

Chin fried rice

Duck Fried Rice

Chin - dessert

Complimentary dessert – Macadamia Nut Tart, Vanilla Ice Cream with Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries and a Chocolate “Foam”

Chinois will always be one of our favorite restaurants and I wish them another 30 years of success!

Chinois

We have been going to Chinois for years. What is amazing about Chinois is its consistency – the staff has been there for years and with Chef Rene Mata at the helm the food is consistently excellent. The wait staff has also been there for years and service is always A+.

Chinois - Tom and Huell

Tom and Hoel – absolutely terrific.

I have said this before but it needs repeating. We don’t treat this as a regular Chinese restaurant and order a whole bunch of dishes at one time. We order one dish at a time and split each order. We also bring our own wine and gladly share with the staff.

Chinois - champagne

Champagne to start

Chinois - tuna

A gift from Chef Mata – Tuna Tataki –  The tuna, served rare, was briefly seared in a hot dry wok with garlic and ginger and sat on a sauce of ponzu. On the side was a mixed green salad with plum dressing and topped with crispy onions. Delicious.

Chinois - oysters

Warm sweet curried oysters with cucumber sauce and salmon pearls – a Chinois signature dish and one of our favorites

Chinois - white wine

White Wine

Chinois - pork belly wrap

Moo Shu Shell with pork belly and julienne vegetables in a hoisin oolong tea sauce

Chinois - red wine

Red Wine

Chnois - quail

Crispy Glazed Quail with grilled pineapple – absolutely superb.

Chinois duck

Roasted Cantonese Duck with fresh plum sauce served with

Chinois - bao

A Steamed Bao filled with Stir Fried Vegetables  – the duck was roasted to perfection and the bao a nice addition

A wonderful meal at one of our all-time favorite places. Food to go is equally delicious. We ordered barbecued baby pork ribs with soy honey sauce, Chinois chicken salad, Duck Fried Rice and another order of Crispy Quail for next day’s football game fare. What a treat!

Chinois

One of the things that distinguishes Chinois is its consistency, stability and reliability. Chinois has been in operation for 28 years (a small miracle in Los Angeles) and you can always count on quality food with gracious service. One thing we have learned is that we order one dish at a time and our waiters are kind enough to divide the main dish and serve us individual portions.

BYO Champagne

Japanese Yellowtail Sashimi with Yuzu Sesame Vinaigrette – sushi grade quality fish

BYO White Wine

Tuna seared in a hot dry wok with garlic and ginger, reduced soy based sauce, mixed green salad with seaweed topped with crispy onions – the tuna was top-notch quality and seared perfectly while still rare.

Moo Shu Shell with Pork Belly and Julienne Vegetables in a Hoisin Oolong Tea Sauce – this is a must order – delicious

BYO Red Wine

Crispy Glazed Quail with Grilled Pineapple – another favorite

Grilled Lamb Chops with Cilantro Vinaigrette, Warm Potato Salad – this is a classic Chinois dish and it deserves to be.

Chinois deserves to be in business another 28 years.

Chinois

We have been going to Chinois for years. What is amazing about Chinois is its consistency – not only the food, but also the staff – many of them have been there for years.

BYO Champagne

Warm sweet curried oysters with cucumber sauce and salmon pearls – at first we were told this was off the menu and I was extremely disappointed as this is a classic Chinois dish. Chef Mata briefly took them off the menu as he wasn’t happy with the quality of the oysters he was getting. However, a new shipment of Canadian oysters had just arrived so voila back on the menu! Perfect as always.

Ahi tuna potstickers, first steamed than sauteed crispy, spinach, ponzu sauce – this is a new appetizer just added by Chef Mata. This was good, but I prefer their other  tuna dishes more – tuna tataki and ahi tuna sashimi with uni sauce. In those dishes the tuna is the highlight  while in the potsticker dish the tuna got lost.

Sauteed Santa Barbara Shrimp, Lobster, Calamari, Octopus, Black Rice Risotto, Lemon Grass Soy Bean Sauce – another new appetizer from Chef Mata. This was an absolute winner – delicious and just look at the amount of shrimp roe.

BYO Red Wine

Crispy glazed quail with grilled pineapple – another all time favorite.

Duck Fried Rice

We then ordered Roasted Cantonese Duck with fresh plum sauce and steamed bao “to go” – our dinner for the next night.

Roasted Duck

Bao

Photos are from another time we did the same thing – creatures of habit!

Chinois is such a pleasurable experience – excellent food plus great service.

Chinois

A last minute decision to have a post birthday lunch at Chinois was an unexpected pleasure. For those looking for a quiet and unhurried lunch spot in Venice, I highly recommend Chinois. They are open for lunch Wed through Friday. The menu is a smaller version of the dinner menu, but many of the Chinois classics are on the lunch menu — Sweet Curried Oysters, Chicken Spring Rolls, Chinois Chicken Salad, Shanghai Lobster, Whole Sizzling Catfish and Cantonese Duck.

BYO Champagne

Spicy shiso tuna topped with wasabi caviar served on crispy lotus chips with Maui onion endive salad. This was a layered presentation with one lotus chip on the bottom, then some finely chopped “Asian seasoned” tuna, another lotus chip, more tuna and topped with the caviar wasabi. I couldn’t identify all the ingredients of the sauce but it was just spicy enough without overwhelming the dish and in a word terrific.

Garlic chicken spring rolls with Chinese coleslaw in a spicy plum sauce. This was served with a chili based aioli dipping sauce. I use the term aioli as it was similar to a mayonnaise but with Chinese chili as the primary spicing.

The Chinese coleslaw on the right is actually a misnomer – do not think coleslaw. This was a melange of enoki and shitake mushrooms, sliced carrots, scallions and peapods served hot – delicious.

BYO Red Wine

Stir-fried Mongolian beef, Chinese broccoli, scallions, mushrooms (at least 4 different varieties), sliced red pepper in a black bean sauce – another winner

Duck-fried rice

Cantonese duck with fresh plum sauce – always a favorite

Bao filled with stir-fried vegetables for the duck

A surprise and gift from the kitchen – chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet

The wonderful chef – Rene Mata

A lovely lunch.

Chinois

Chinois is our stand-by, go-to restaurant – close to home, great service and good food. Rene Malta, chef de cuisine, has added new dishes as well as executing Chinois classic dishes perfectly. Anita and Hoel are a terrific service team. To repeat what I have said continually about Chinois, it is crucial that you don’t treat this as a Chinese restaurant and order a number of dishes at one time. We  order one dish at a time and don’t treat this as family style dining.

BYO Champagne

One of our most favorite servers – Anita

Anita and Hoel. Hoel is amazing – although each dish is served family style, he serves each of us a single portion

Moo Shu Shell with Pork Belly and Julienne Vegetables in a Hoisin Oolong Tea sauce – the flavors of this dish were exceptional with the hoisin oolong tea sauce adding a vibrant flavor profile.

Warm Sweet Curried Oysters with Cucumber Sauce and Salmon Pearls – an old favorite executed perfectly

BYO Red Wine

Stir-fried Sonoma Lamb with Crispy Garlic and Mint topped with a Fried Onion Ring – this was to be eaten like a taco using the butter lettuce as the outer wrap and the radicchio as the inner wrap – this was a half portion – more than generous for two people. The lamb was quite spicy, but not unbearably “hot.” This was an excellent addition to our favorite dishes.

Close-up of the lamb

Crispy Glazed Quail with Grilled Pineapple – another favorite

Raspberry Sorbet and Chocolate Souffle

Thinking ahead we decided to order Cantonese Duck and Bao for an at home “take-out” Sunday dinner

Chinois – Venice

Chinois is one of our favorite restaurants. Since they opened, there has been almost no turnover in the staff and as they know us well, the service is extraordinary. As I stated before, we tend to order our favorite dishes. Rene Malta, chef de cuisine, has nailed the Chinois signature dishes and consistency  from one time to the next is his hallmark. It is crucial that you don’t treat this as a Chinese restaurant and order a number of dishes at one time. We  order one dish at a time and Hoel serves each of us a single portion – we don’t treat this as family style dining.

The wonderful Hoel

BYO Champagne

Lobster Spring Rolls with plum aioli and a heirloom tomato and cucumber “salad” – delicious with just enough heat from the aioli and tender chunks of lobster in a crispy wonton wrapper

BYO White Wine

Warm sweet curried oysters with cucumber sauce and salmon pearls – this is a favorite dish of ours with perfectly fried oysters bathed in a cucumber sauce and topped with salmon eggs

Chinois was packed – this was 45 minutes after they opened – every restaurant would be thrilled to be packed at 6:45.

Tempura ahi tuna sashimi with fresh uni sauce – another favorite – the wrapping on the tuna was perfectly crisp, the tuna as fresh as any fine sushi bar and the uni sauce rich and unctuous.

BYO Red Wine

Crispy glazed quail with grilled pineapple – the quail was cooked to perfection and the grilled pineapple a perfect accompaniment

Roasted Cantonese duck with fresh plum sauce and steamed bao – we had just one bao filled with the duck so we can have leftovers tonight.

Steamed bao with stir-fried vegetables

Duck fried rice – again just a bite so we can have plenty of leftovers

What a perfect evening.


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