Kowloon

As I mentioned a few pages back in writing about a Chinese restaurant called Wan-Q, my family had its favorite place to get chow mein and it wasn’t Kowloon.

Kowloon was at 6124 W. Pico Boulevard,  just east of La Cienega.  It was across the street from where the post office there now is located.  I remember it as a dark place with nice decor but they didn’t prepare the food the way Wan-Q did and so we didn’t like it and now that I think about it, I’m not sure why we even went there.  I think it was my Aunt Dot’s penchant for trying new things that caused us to forsake a Chinese restaurant we loved and which was closer to us for one that was a bit farther away and an unknown quantity.  To this day, if I find a place I like, I stick with it and don’t bypass it for something that, at best, might be just as good.  I think this all flows from the lesson I learned when we tried Kowloon.

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21 Responses to Kowloon

  • Bob Kaplan says:

    I went to Kowloon many times when I was younger and I worked across the street at Big Town Market for several years. Great memories.

  • Lola says:

    Kowloon had a dessert that I loved: pineapple chunks awash in a puddle of creme d’menthe. It is the only place I’ve ever been served that. The rest of their food was good, but not particularly memorable.

  • Shelly says:

    Went their as a child. Never have had better Chinese appetizer fried shrimp since.

  • Carolyn Kunin says:

    Oh, dear. I’m salivating. The tastes, the smells and the decor (behind the rows of booths on one side was a recreation of a miniature chinese garden). We went there on Friday nights and one time were met with an odd sign stating that the restaurant was closed to accomodate the wedding party of Margaret O’Brien.

    Oh – and the pressed duck – like everything else – was delectable. I have since learned to appreciate other styles of Chinese cooking, but Kowloon’s was best of all.

  • Bob Borgen says:

    I would love to find an old menu from there someday….I remember their biggest special was the “Foreign Correspondents Special” — featuring a lot of items — but for the whopping price of $7.50 per person in 1970.

  • Mike says:

    I grew up in Beverlywood, on Olin St, between Robertson & Canfield, but I went to Uni High, and then Santa Monica College, and I remember a lot of my classmates at Uni, and Santa Monica College knew this restaurant as a place that didn’t card people for alcohol, even when it was pretty obvious that they were underage. Of course, back then, in the mid to late 80′s, a lot of places weren’t as strict, and didn’t check ID’s like they do now. Never ate here though, but my family did eat at Wan Q’s on Pico a couple of times.

  • RJ says:

    By the time I went in the 1980s, I don’t think the main selling point was the food. But I do remember them serving a drink called The Scorpion that was served in a big punch bowl, which you sipped from straws. Talk about a potent potable…

  • John Hindsill says:

    This is not per se about Kowloon, although I did eat there a few times.

    This afternoon I was telling some friends about this wonderful website. They were really jazzed, asking if this or that store was mentioned here. Kowloon came up, and our friend mentioned that from 1961-1963 she & her coworkers from the Bank of America across the street often lunched there. I told her my cousin Esther worked in that branch for 30 odd years including that period. She remembered her, and was surprised, that Esther, now about 98 years old, is still alive.

    Also, I expect Old Restaurants may receive a new visitor soon.

  • Bonnie says:

    This was a favorite dinner place for my family in the sixties. My parents were from New York, and they said Kowloon’s was the closest match for New York Chinese food, which they felt was superior to LA’s at least in those days. They had wonderful soups, which you could get to go, if you brought in your own pot!

    I remember they got kind of seedy in later years and eventually closed down. A loss for the city of LA.

  • Bill James says:

    I remember going to Kowloon’s for special occassion celebrations as a kid. Great food. People use to have dinners flown back east for their enjoyment.

  • ArchiesBoy says:

    I’ll never forget their paper-wrapped chicken, and I was just a kid then, back in the 40s!

  • Karen says:

    We loved Kowloon when I was a kid in the 60s. I was enchanted with those booths along the wall next to that long pretty garden atrium. A magical place for a kid. Loved the food too.

  • Calendula says:

    And no place else served the pineapple chunks soaked in creme de menthe!

  • Ricky says:

    Yes , I also remember the big blue booths. I also remember the last time I went there with friends a large cockroach decided to join our party . There he was sitting on top of the big blue booth.

  • Vicki says:

    A treasured memory from my childhood, Kowloon was a special treat in the 60s. The decor was magical to a child, the food exotic.

  • Bob Koch says:

    We use to go there when I was a kid and I thought it was so cool because of the decor and the food.

  • Tim Wells says:

    Kowloon was my choice for Chinese for many years. Good food, great service, and the best “exotic” cocktails ever. I also loved the ambiance. It was like stepping back it time to when “going out” was something special. I, and many of my friends, lament it’s demise.

  • Helene says:

    We ate often as a family at Kowloon late 50′s till mid 60′s. I recall an area that was full of live fish, like the whole wall. The paper wrapped chicken before it came in foil. Mid 60′s I would get takeout with my boyfriend and we would eat at the Drive In….good times. Oh and the almond cookie!

  • Mary Anne says:

    In the 1960′s, the Kowloon was our “go to” place for special occasions. I celebrated my 15th birthday there. We would always order the “Foreign Correspondent’s Special”. I believe it came with Lobster Cantonese that my dad loved. The pineapple chunks on a bed of shaved ice, drenched in crème de menthe was delicious. My much younger sister, after being taken to Kowloon for the first time, insisted that all of her food be served in bite sized pieces with toothpicks like the pineapple at Kowloon. I still remember the delicious food there, even 50 years and many miles away later.

  • Karen SDRT says:

    My folks were transplanted New Yorkers also and loved Kowloon’s food (although for some reason my mom pronounced the name “coo-lon”). Going there from our home near LAX was a family special occasion in the early to mid-1960′s. I don’t remember too much about the food, but do remember the dark lighting, big booths along the exotic aquarium and the pineapple soaked in creme de menthe which we then duplicated at home as a special dessert (we kids were allowed only one small bite)!

  • Debbie says:

    Drove down Pico recently, and it hit me, that’s where Kowloon’s was located. My grandparents lived near there and that’s where we always had big family gatherings. Someone previously mentioned the pineapple chunks in the creme de menthe cream. I can still taste it. I can still hear the little fountain/little waterfall? in one of the rooms. I miss those good times.

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