DINING: PHILIPPE CHOW

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PHILIPPE CHOW

I have a long history of just missing meals and parties at the various Philippe Chow restaurants; I missed them in the Hamptons, New York City, and even the former Melrose location here LA, where it had been for the past few years.

So, when I was recently invited by someone to the year-old Beverly Hills site, I jumped at the chance to finally be in the know. And it didn’t hurt that it’s now owned by fellow original Brooklynites! Yay!

The Lychee Blossoms martini, (after Alice drank most of it!,) in front of the row of main tables.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

The Lychee Blossoms martini, (after Alice drank most of it!,) in front of the row of main tables. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The new owner is Manny Halley, (whose brother Raymond gives the best hugs! I met him elsewhere, and now we’re totally bonded.) Manny is a music business manager, and among his artists is Keyshia Cole. So, you know this place is going to have some fun parties now! Fingers crossed that I’m included!

On our recent first-ever visit, my friend Alice and I were greeted by the amiable staff of hostess Ana, manager Yolanda, and adorable young server, Iyana. I predict that girl is going to be carded well into her sixties!!!

We were guests at a dinner, where someone else had already set the menu, so, me being the limited-foods-eater that I am, there are only a few menu items I can tell you about. But, together, they make a very satisfying meal that anyone should be happy with.

We began with cocktails, as it looked like everyone in the hip crowd at this eatery was also doing. (The bar scene was jumping! As were the private party rooms, but more on them in a sec.) Alice chose the Lychee Blossoms martini. She said it was “very delish,” with a “hint of cranberry.”

Vegetarian Flat Noodles.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

Vegetarian Flat Noodles. Photo by Karen Salkin.

But here’s a shocker—I drank a bit of something! You may know that I absolutely hate the taste of alcohol, but I was into relaxing that night, so, when fellow alcohol-flavor-eschewer Yolanda suggested their chocolate wine, served over a ton of ice, I definitely trusted her. It turned-out to be a nice refreshing little drink that I could actually take a few sips of, and I was happy to be imbibing a tiny bit, for one of the very few times in my life.

Then we moved onto the food. Both Alice and I had the same favorite of what we tried that night. Shockingly, (for me, who’s a major carnivore,) it was the Vegetarian Flat Noodles! Alice said they were “very good,” and “not greasy.” I could have made a whole meal out of just that one dish!!! They were that delicious!

Salt-and-Pepper Prawns.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

Salt-and-Pepper Prawns. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Alice, who’s an at-home chef herself, found their sauces very interesting. She loved the Philippe Chow signature cream sauce that came on the Beef Satay, commenting that it was “flavorful and hardy,” and noting the “hint of heat.” She was equally fond of the thick duck sauce that accompanied the minced Chicken Lettuce Wraps.

As a main dish, she enjoyed the “very tender and delicious” Drunken Sea Bass, that came with big wood ears mushrooms in Chinese rice wine sauce, while I went for the very flavorful Salt-and-Pepper Prawns, which we paired with the Pork Fried Rice. (Funny thing—wimp that I am, I thought the rice was very spicy, while Cuban Alice thought it was not! If you try it, please weigh-in; we have just got to know which one of us is correct!)

I was too full to try any Beijing Chicken with walnuts, but Alice took some home, and told me that it turned-out to be delish, even cold!

Desserts.  Photo by Karen Salkin.

Desserts. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover a Chinese restaurant that actually serves basic desserts, like cheesecake and red velvet cake. I was full by then, but I brought a slice of each home to Mr. X, and he said they were both really good! So, if you have room, and need a sweet treat at the end, you should go for it.

On our way out, Ana asked if we had gotten to see the back area, and since we had not, she gave us a tour of the private rooms, that are complete with curtains and big-screen TVs. It’s also a whole great setting for parties! It would be perfect if they throw one for their one-year anniversary in November. Either way, I wish them a very happy anniversary, and many more!

8620 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills 310-289-3500 www.philippechowbh.com

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