Since opening roughly a year ago inside the Westfield Century City, popular Chinese hotspot Meizhou Dongpo has earned quite a Westside following. The club-chic interior and surprisingly bold (for the neighborhood) Sichuan flavors have made the restaurant, which runs a number of eateries back in China, a hit with locals.
Still, it can be a challenge to marry tongue-numbing dan dan noodles with an upscale mall location and high-end aesthetic. Prices are necessarily high given the real estate, meaning guests often pay a significant mark-up on similar dishes that would be found in the SGV; that's what you get for wanting Chinese flavors west of downtown, apparently. More Good News/Bad News on Meizhou Dongpo below.
Actual Flavors: From the beginning, Meizhou has won over Westsiders with their Sichuan menu, imported nearly intact from China.
"I have a new respect for duck meat design, as the chef displayed such patience as he skillfully assorted each piece of meat and crispy skin." [LA Splash]
"The menu is extensive, but really I came here to try the duck. It was excellent." [Trip Advisor]
"Once again, this isn’t going to replace Chengdu Taste as your favorite spot for cumin lamb, but their version of Chongquing spicy chicken satisfies in that same salty spicy way." [Midtown Lunch]
"They’re even bringing in shifts of chefs every three months from their Chinese home base to keep it fresh and innovative." [Huffington Post]
"The times I've been by at least half the patrons were Chinese and I suspect they would not accept toned down food." [Chow]
The Argument for the Westside: Of course, most people are just happy that there’s a place doing this level of Chinese food west of La Cienega.
"Popping fiery Szechuan dumplings on a sun-drenched patio at Westfield Century City is a new kind of mind blowing." [LA Mag]
"This upscale, ultramodern Beijing-based Sichuan is adjacent to a cineplex and a food court filled with fast food options – an unusual location for a fine-dining destination." [Zagat]
Serious Service Expectations: Like any glitzy restaurant in a high-traffic area, service expectations are high — though they aren’t always met.
"The two week old waiter was training someone new, just like the blind leading the blind." [Trip Advisor]
"Service at Meizhou Dongpo is a problem though. The waiters (all hipsters when I was there) are nice, but the kitchen has a problem in cranking out the food." [Chow]
"The service has been inconsistent. Some servers are courteous and professional, while some you can tell are doing the bare minimum." [Yelp]
Decor and Design Moment: From day one, Meizhou has been winning diners with their decor, which is at once opulent, colorful and engaging.
"A sleek, chic Sichuan restaurant that in this location also features an outdoor patio and bar." [Gayot]
"Meizhou Dongpo offers a certain level of opulence to complement its glamorous nightclub-esque design." [Tasting Table]