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California Wok specializes in the Chinese food you remember your grandfather eating, especially if you happen to be of Semitic extraction -- Sino-Yiddish ties run deep. Worn vinyl booths flank a fluorescent-lit dining room decorated with a few token items of Asian kitsch. A roster of stock Americo-Cantonese dishes and lunch specials--with requisite rice, egg roll, soup and "Chinese salad"--are brought to your table by tuxedo-shirted waiters. You'll need to remind them to refresh your tea. This mini-chain positions itself as a healthy alternative to typical Chinese. The happy faces on the menu indicate dishes low in carbs or fat, and you'd be wise not to stray from Mr. Smiley. The low-cal items at the Bundy and Wilshire location--every one exceedingly mild and desperate for a shot of dark soy or chili oil--are light and freshly prepared. Recommended: garlic chicken, asparagus chicken and scallop with mushroom. The bean curd with spinach in brown gravy is especially vibrant, and steamed rice comes free with every a la carte order. Noodle and beef dishes disappoint. Avoid the sodden lo mein and the acrid crispy tangerine beef -- carbonized whole chili does not a "Szechuan sauce" make.
Although the majority of health department closures listed on the next page can be found in areas such as Gardena, San Gabriel Valley and Artesia, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Pub... More »
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