Although LA has a pretty cool Chinatown, it’s not really the center of Chinese culture in the area. To got the real experience, you have to take a long ride northeast of the city to the San Gabriel Valley. For some reason, Chinese chose this land to create much more than just a little Chinatown. Driving into it, it almost feels like you teleported to China, as all the signs are written in Chinese and the people almost seem to have made no effort to learn English.
Since I had spent a year living in Shanghai and always missed real Chinese food, one night my friend’s family (they are Chinese) took me out to San Gabriel. We went to a Shanghainese restaurant called Wang Jia (yes, there is more than one kind of Chinese restaurant). The place was packed with Chinese people, which is always a good sign. If the waiter spoke any English, he made no note of it.