>> Pearl River Deli | Eat the World Los Angeles

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Pearl River Deli

CHINA ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
MACAU ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ด

[COVID-19 UPDATE: Two tables set up outside of the small space technically offer "outdoor" dining, but with all the hot chicken hubbub next door it might make more sense to grab and go or have your meals delivered, both of which are easy here.]
While 2020 has done its best to make all of our lives miserable, two side-by-side operations both known for very different chicken dishes in Chinatown's Far East Plaza have seemingly thrived. However if you come to Pearl River Deli these days searching for their Hainan chicken, the chef's special that Angelenos have been chasing after since his days at Westfield Santa Anita, you will be disappointed to note that it can only be pre-ordered through Tock.
But do not let this stop you from an impulsive visit, the menu is still full of items that can be ordered any day, plus there are weekend specials and seemingly new dishes each week. Chef Johnny Lee has family roots from Taishan, in Guangdong Province, a place that has had much recent culinary attention, but his offerings are looking forward while preserving what is behind.

In the chef's own words, Pearl River Deli looks to preserve, appreciate, and evolve Cantonese food, the classics of which span not only Guangdong but also Hong Kong and Macau. The latter is playfully executed with the Macau pork chop bun ($10, above). If you were to pick up this chu pa bao on the street in Macau, it would come with a piggy bun, but here the sandwich uses one of the chef's pineapple buns, a perfect marriage of sweet and savory.
You sometimes see the bone still in this pork chop, but on this day it was de-boned already, possibly less photogenic but much easier to eat. Regardless, this is a must order.

Amidst quite a few mouth-watering options, on this day a simple plate of char siu rice ($12, above) was ordered and thoroughly enjoyed. You can swap rice for noodles if you please, but either way the cuts are tender and fatty in a melt-in-your-mouth sort of way. A thin, sweet glaze is layered on the top and slightly charred.
The chef also does favorites like soy sauce chicken, chow fun made in three varieties to satisfy all, and the fridge is always fully stocked with various meal kits and sauces for those in need of recreating childhood tastes back at home.

Chinatown's Far East Plaza, home to Pearl River Deli.


  1. Your prices are crazy expensive. $12 for cha siu fan? Please...$16 for hainan ji fan? Insane....

    1. This is a website of recommendations, this is not my restaurant. Either way, I regret to inform you that it is not your place to decide the value of certain foods, and demanding certain dishes be "cheap" is more telling about you than anyone you are criticizing.