Merrill Shindler - Senior Zagat Editor

Merrill Shindler

L.A. Senior Zagat Editor

For Whom the Bell Chang’s

To survive in the highly competitive world of nationwide restaurants, you have to strike a careful balance between consistency -- and a willingness to change. A Big Mac is a Big Mac is a Big Mac. And yet, with regular irregularity, fans of Mickey D's show up for McRib sandwiches -- a break from routine, that makes everything taste that much fresher. In the case of PF Chang's, diners can always count on Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps, their Salt & Pepper Calamari, their Northern-Style Spareribs, their Crispy Honey Chicken. But these days, there's something more -- more for those who crave something more.

Gently, carefully, PF Chang's has begun to explore the very tasty world of the cooking of Southeast Asia with a handful of dishes from Thailand -- and an acknowledgement of the flavors of Vietnamese as well. These days, the menu includes such temptations Thai Basil Greens Salad, Vietnamese Crab Salad, Thai Chicken Noodle Salad and, for a limited time, Pad Thai Noodles (with chicken, shrimp, or both). Very tasty stuff -- and hopefully a harbinger of more to come. At the same time, there's also a Gluten-Free Menu, with 16 "GF" dishes -- including Crab Fried Rice, Chang's Spicy Chicken, and Singapore Street Noodles. Making what was already America's most popular family-friendly Chinese restaurant -- that much more family-friendly.

With dozens of branches from coast to coast, from Boston to Boca Raton and Bethesda to Bellevue (including several dozen in California), it's time to stop viewing the PF Chang's China Bistro chain as a clever novelty (born in the very non-Asian enclave of Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993) – a clever attempt at creating an authentic Chinese restaurant in a user-friendly setting that won't scare away those who find Monterey Park a little too real. In a very real sense, PF Chang's is how many American perceive Chinese food. It may not be as ubiquitous as the Panda Inn chain. But it also comes across as more serious in terms of its cuisine. Chang's is the bellwether for where we're going, en masse, in terms of the diverse cooking of China.

The menu is large at Chang's, even though it's something of a greatest hits list, offering about 130 dishes – minimalist in terms of local Chinese restaurants, but still plenty to choose from), with a Pan-China selection of dishes from Canton, Shanghai, Szechwan, Hunan and Mongolia. This is a Chinese restaurant for those who want cloth napkins, waiters who ask if they're enjoying their meal, a glass of something other than generic white wine poured from a gallon bottle.

At PF Chang's, the style is brisk, breezy, open, light and very, well, California. If anything, this is a child of Chinois on Main, with its seats at the kitchen counter, allowing diners to spend a pleasant evening watching the chefs do what they do.

In terms of food, PF Chang's walks a careful line between..

WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE IN LOS ANGELES

 
121 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 854-­6467 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Beverly Center on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
 
14010 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 788-­0202 See the location of Bamboo Cuisine on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Authentic, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
12910 Magnolia blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 763-­0083 See the location of Bamboo Village on a map Map
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Authentic, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery
9301 W.Pico blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 274-­5595 See the location of Chick n Chow  on a map Map
Cuisine: Kosher Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery
2709 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 392-­3037 See the location of Chinois on Main on a map Map
Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
988 N. Hill Street
Chinatown, CA 90012
(213) 617-­9898 See the location of Empress Pavilion on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese Dim Sum
Services: Affordable Dining, Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
1949 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 475-­0400 See the location of Feast From The East on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese Cuisine
Services: Affordable Dining, Brunch, Catering, Takeout, Delivery
740 N. Fairfax Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 653-­0640 See the location of Genghis Cohen on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese Cuisine
Services: Affordable Dining, Entertainment, Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
201 E. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 391-­1070 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Burbank on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
2041 Rosecrans Avenue
El Segundo, CA 90245
(310) 607-­9062 See the location of P.F. Chang's - El Segundo on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
260 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 201
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 356-­9760 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Pasadena on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Outdoor Seating, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Outdoor Seating, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
326 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-­1912 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Santa Monica on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
15301 Ventura Boulevard Ste. P-22
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
(818) 784-­1694 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Sherman Oaks on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
2250 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
(805) 277-­5915 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Thousand Oaks on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
3525 Carson Street
Torrance, CA 90503
(310) 793-­0590 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Torrance  on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
21821 Oxnard Street •Woodland Hills, CA
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
(818) 340-­0491 See the location of P.F. Chang's - Woodland Hills on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Affordable Dining, Family Style, Online Take Out , Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
6443 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Canoga Park, CA 91303
(818) 347-­2610 See the location of Yang Chow - Canoga Park on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Asian
Services: Authentic, Family Style, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
819 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 625-­0811 See the location of Yang Chow - Los Angeles on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations
8256 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(323) 655-­6556 See the location of Bao Dim Sum House on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Dim Sum
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Reservations
1411 Echo Park Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 928-­7495 See the location of Chinatown Express on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout
206 S. Garfield Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 280-­7430 See the location of Chung King Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Szechuan
Services: Affordable Dining, Authentic, Takeout
423 N. Atlantic Boulevard, No. 106
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 458-­8689 See the location of Dumpling Master on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Chinese Seafood
1735 Colorado Blvd.
Eagle Rock, CA 90041
(323) 255-­8889 See the location of Eaglerock Green Dragon on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
608 N. Atlantic Boulevard
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-­8986 See the location of Happy Family Restaurant 3 on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Chinese Vegetarian, Vegetarian
701 W. Garvey Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 570-­9795 See the location of Mandarin Noodle House  on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
102 W 9th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 624-­0186 See the location of New Moon Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Catering, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
750 North Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 687-­3088 See the location of Ocean Seafood on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Chinese Seafood, Dim Sum
Services: Authentic, Family Style, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Delivery, Reservations
145 N. Atlantic Boulevard
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 308-­2128 See the location of Ocean Star Restaurant on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese, Dim Sum
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Catering, Takeout
684 W. Garvey avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 289-­0088 See the location of Seafood Village on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
709 N Virgil Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90029
(323) 661-­0093 See the location of Wah's Golden Hen on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Lunch, Dinner, Takeout
3777 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena , CA 91107
 See the location of Yang Chow - Pasadena on a map Map
Cuisine: Chinese
Services: Authentic, Brunch, Private Dining, Catering, Takeout, Reservations