Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Ate a Duck and I Liked It at Phoenix Inn

Phoenix Inn
301 Ord St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 629-2812

Under duress, my friend and Chinese food expert Tony (Sinosoul) rec'd Phoenix Inn for some local Peking duck. His Peking duck preferences run much further east from my neighborhood, in the SGV. However, after downing a couple Friday night martinis we wanted to neither drive nor taxi far afield and so I pressed Tony for something closer.  Phoenix Inn is literally 1.5 miles from my front door.


Phoenix Inn is dry so we started with some hot black tea and perused the menu.  Not one to dick around about ordering, D was ready in about one minute flat. And by ready, I mean he pretended to be ready and when the server came to take our order D pointed at a bunch of pictures of a set menu for a family style dinner and gesticulated wildly.  He wasn't really ready, but he was hungry, ergo....


Honestly, I know nothing about Chinese food except that apparently I am under the misapprehension that I do not like Chinese food. Which means simply that I have only eaten the wrong Chinese food and therefore avoid it like the plague. If 2010 was the year of my ramen summer school, then 2011 will be the year I enroll in Chinese food 101a. This will make my New York Jew Chinese food loving husband very happy indeed. We started with the small bowl of some kind of noodle soup. It wasn't small, it was big, IMO.


Springy noodles, ever so slightly al dente, lots of bok choy (?) and slippery delicious dumplings with pork & shrimp in a slightly salty broth. What's not to like here? Good that chilly Friday night, even better later in the weekend after a cold set up camp en mi cabeza. Look, I am pretty sure that's bok choy in there. My step- mom used to cook with it a lot. However. Maybe it isn't, maybe it's some other Asian green in baby whole head form. There are seemingly hundreds of different Asian greens to play with. This one tasted good, bok choy-ish and the center stayed slightly crunchy.


What's the deal with a seaweed salad? What's its country of origin?  I recognize it and have loved its sesame/seaweed goodness from hundreds of Japanese food experiences high and low, near and far. I was really trying to order the orange marmalade kabocha squash, which shows just how big a communication gap can be between people who don't speak the same language. Our kind server underlined the kabocha squash dish with his finger and I nodded yes enthusiastically. But he was really running his finger over the seaweed salad listing, clearly indicating I wanted the dish he was running his finger over. Doesn't matter, I love this dish. It is a nice complement to almost anything, even though it always sticks in my teeth.


Fried rice arrived prior to my duck.  Who doesn't love fried rice? And this was a good one. Way lighter and less greasy than the Thai fried rices I eat on a somewhat regular basis from Rambutan or Chan Darae. Shrimp, good. Sweet little pork nuggets, good. Lots of green onion and egg, all lightly fried? Good.


Peking duck.  On two plates.  The first plate with steamed buns and crispy sweet duck skin.


Second plate with lots of duck meat accompanied by a hoisin sauce (I know what this is, Mom cooks with it) and a sweet and sour sauce thingy (?).  I was instructed in a non-verbal manner to put a small swoosh of hoisin sauce on the bun (not too much, too salty), then a piece of crispy skin, then add some duck meat (rid of bones) & scallions. Close and eat with your hands.

phoenix inn


This made my mouth so happy. Even the next day, eating crispy skin and duck meat from the styrofoam box (because again, the small size is huge) my mouth was singing with joy.  I penned the words to this song, sung to the tune of the infamous Katy Perry ballad

I ate a duck, and I liked it
The taste of its salty skin
I ate a duck, just to try it
I hope Donald Duck don't mind it
Satisfied my appetite
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
I ate a duck and
I liked it

Now, as soon as I am done with this infernal head cold I am ready for my next duck. Ready to travel further east to see what can top this yummy experience.

Phoenix Inn in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


Anonymous said...

Don't forget, Peking duck for next Thanksgiving. Spread the word, make it viral.

Obviously, that's nothing like what I had in Beijing, but sometimes, it just has to do.

Hope your head cold rids of itself ASAP!

Diana said...

Can I pretend I have a head cold so that I can eat duck and like it too???

Everything looks so good! I'm bookmarking this place in my mind for future cravings!

It's With A K said...

I love how you took liberty with Katy Perry's song. It might be stuck in my head all day now.

Let's add this place to the list of places we talk about going to when I'm visiting you in LA. My mouth is watering as I type. Does want.

Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves said...

Awww, my mom used to take us to Phoenix Inn ALL the time when we visited her each summer. The food is good but I recall the lighting is harsh so I thank you for making the food look as if you were in a fancy candle lit restaurant! That & I'm glad you liked the duck too!