Long before there were Korean taco trucks, Japanese teppan-yaki joints, Mongolian BBQ, and Asian fusion on the Westside, there was something that people simply called “Chinese Food.” That’s what they’ve been serving at this tiny to-go only Venice Blvd. spot since 1966. Not the Americanized Panda Express variety nor the uppity post-modern fare of, say, P.F. Chang’s, but the rustic, old-fashioned stuff: fried rice, chow mein, and a variety of beef and pork dishes, all coated in a delicious layer of MSG.
I called ahead and ordered the Cha Shu Pork appetizer, Shrimp Fried Rice, Pork Chow Mein, and an order of Egg Rolls. I arrived twenty minutes later and everything was packed and ready to go. The first thing that struck me when I got home was how large the portions were. The egg rolls were fatter than a pair of Hot Pockets and they were more than generous with the chow mein and fried rice. The bbq pork appetizer was quite tasty and the rice was excellent, with a hearty amount of shrimp. The chow mein was the weakest item, but I forgot to ask for a side of crispy noodles (which kind of makes it for me.)
While the Chinese owned-and-operated restaurant probably gets more than its fair share of stray patients from the Rainforest 420 Collective two doors down, it’s worth a drive for any Westsider looking for quality Chinese. And come on, who doesn’t love those little white boxes?
Canton Kitchen, 12511 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista 90066. Open 11:30-9:00 daily. Closed Tuesdays. To-go only.