Jewish Journal

The Look: Shanghai Diamond Garden

by Louis Keene

August 3, 2012 | 5:32 am

Shanghai's Hunan Beef and Sliced Fish With Asparagus.

I hadn’t been to Shanghai Diamond Garden in years. That’s because I’ve never been a fan of Chinese food, but their orange chicken always brings me back. This time with family, however, I decided to try something different. The Hunan Beef was not nearly as spicy as advertised; in fact, it didn’t even taste like it was supposed to be spicy. The sliced fish with asparagus had a little more energy about it.

What puzzles me about Shanghai is that its patrons always seem underdressed. When I was in high school and walking there after night seder with a few buddies, it never occurred to me that our school uniforms didn’t suffice the same way they did next door at Nagila. That’s partly because I didn’t know any better, but also because the kids at the booth next to us were wearing t-shirts!

Not much has changed at Shanghai since its opened in the mid-2000s —same menu, same healthy amount of traffic on a Wednesday night, same kids wearing graphic tees and ripped jeans. It happens, I guess, but why does it happen at Shanghai? How does a restaurant change that culture without confronting a customer? Does Shanghai even want to?

Unrelated: file into the great ideas cabinet/incubator - Kosher Restaurant Week! (Why has no one thought of this?)

Shanghai Diamond Garden
    9401 West Pico Boulevard
        Los Angeles, CA 90035
        (310) 553-0998
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Louis Keene is a senior at Washington University in St. Louis where he is majoring in American Culture Studies. When he is not eating, sleeping, or writing, he’s even harder...

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