FEATURES | MUSIC | BOOKS | DRINKS | FORUMS | GAMES | LINKS | ABOUT


advertise on Tiki Central

Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop
  [Edit Profile]  [Edit Preferences]  [Search] [Sign Up]
[Personal Messages]  [Member List]  [Help/FAQ]  [Rules]  [Login]
Tiki Central Forums Locating Tiki Wan Q, Los Angeles, CA (restaurant)
Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
Wan Q, Los Angeles, CA (restaurant)
pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2007-07-19 07:24 am   Permalink

Name:Wan Q
Type:restaurant
Street:8751 West Pico Blvd
City:Los Angeles
State:CA
Zip:
country:USA
Phone:CRestview 50734
Status:defunct

Description:
As far as a few minutes of Internet research can tell me, this location is now a regular Chinese Restaurant called Fu's Palace. All I know about is is in the following article I dug up.



 
View Profile of pappythesailor Send a personal message to pappythesailor  Goto the website of pappythesailor     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2007-07-19 07:25 am   Permalink



_________________
"I can't die until the government finds a safe place to bury my liver."
Phil Harris




DANG! It WAS a readable size. Hanford, help me!

[ This Message was edited by: pappythesailor 2007-07-19 07:27 ]


 
View Profile of pappythesailor Send a personal message to pappythesailor  Goto the website of pappythesailor     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-07-19 07:28 am   Permalink

I belive there is a brief reference to it in the BOT.

 
View Profile of christiki295 Send a personal message to christiki295  Email christiki295     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
pappythesailor
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 07, 2005
Posts: 1564
From: Mass.
Posted: 2007-07-19 08:28 am   Permalink

Cafe Ramblings by Larry Lipson 7 Sep. 1973 Van Nuys, Calif.

Eng Land is Cantonese

Some 25 Years ago, Benny Eng opened a Chinese Restaurant on Pico Blvd. near Robertson on the west side of Los Angeles called Wan Q.
A quarter of a century back meant a Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles was simply that--a Chinese restaurant! No frills, just good Cantonese Food purveyed in establishments offering various degrees of oriental trappings.
But somewhere along the way came the Polynesian explosion. Donn Beach probably began the whole thing with his Don the Beachcomber way back in the early thirties. Vic Bergeron picked up on the idea later when he changed the name of Hinky Dink's in Oakland to the now familiar name of Trader Vic's.
Benny Eng, caught in the Polynesian net, redid his place prettily with rattan, bamboo, tikis and waterfalls where today it stands as one of the few remaining that is as worthy a restaurant for its food as for its adventurous decor.
Like most Polynesian restaurants, Wan Q carries rumaki (a Don the Beachcomber invention) and the mai tai cocktail (one of Trader Vic's creations). However Wan Q, like the beer commercial says, is a lot more.
After or during a round or two from the extensive list of "tropi-cocktails", from whence you can easily become pie-eyed from a pi-yi, swizzled from a rum swizzle or catatonic from a zombie, there is a wonderful dipping-and-eating-of-appetizers ceremony. Besides the usual ketchup and mustard dipping sauce, Wan Q puts a marvelously piquant sweet and sour plum sauce on every table.
On Monday night, the fact that it was Labor Day didn't seem to affect the usual goings-on. The place was busy although not busting at the seams. Jimmy Gee, waiter extraordinary, and a 15-year employe (sic) at the restaurant, described every dish he brought with tremendous verve, his jollity catching on with us and making the whole experience extremely enjoyable. He delivered you gau (minced chicken, shrimp, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, wrapped in a half moon shape and deep fried in egg batter, $1.20) and called it Chinese ravioli--which I've also heard applied to Won Ton--and sui mui (chopped meat, chicken, shrimp, vegetables, spices, wrapped in noodle dough, topped in sesame seeds, steamed, served with brown sauce, $1.20) and called in Chinese Kreplach.
The witty, informative, knowledgeable and on-the-spot waiter served us barbecued spareribs ($2.20) of good flavor despite an apparent fattiness and chewiness and also bula maka ($1.95), as tender as the ribs weren't. The latter translates into thin strips of juicy beef tenderloin swimming in a tangy ginger sauce, sometimes served in kabob fashion on a bamboo spear.
Although we were Eng-ulfed (sic-pun!) in food, we opted for the jar du gai salad ($2.85) over wor wonton soup and our mmms and aahs could be heard throughout the dining room. Resembling an uncrispy version of of the crispy chicken salad of northern China, the jar du gai was beautifully light and palate-cleansing as a salad should be; a delicate harmony of shredded chicken, almond nuts, spices, chopped lettuce, long rice, chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
The effervescent, skillful, little Jimmy quickly bustled in with the first entree dish, scallops kow ($2.95); the delightfully soft crustaceans (ahem!) amid two different mushroom types, pea pods, and bamboo shoots in a creamy garlic sauce.
Incidentally, one more point in the smiling waiter's favor was his careful toweling of each clean plate before it was placed before us, a small but important chore rarely undertaken by either waiters, waitresses or busboys today.
Host Eng, who seemed slightly surprised that we requested chopsticks, figures about 35 per cent of his Wan Q clientele asks for them these days. (How surprised can you be when something happens better than one out of three times??--Pappy) They are not included in the place settings. He said 25 years ago, very few of his occidental patrons (Hey, we prefer the term European Americans!--pappy) would even dare to give chopsticks a try.
Eng took me on a quick tour of the kitchen, ("Hey, Jimmy! Move cats to freezer for five minutes.") a much larger facility than expected. He admitted to five enlargements of dining rooms and-or kitchen during his two and a half decades as Wan Q proprietor and said he currently has plans afoot for some interior decor (NOOOooo!) and structural changes.
'It looks like you have a lot of woks here," (Oh, brother.) I said as we traversed the spacious cooking area and a noticed a long row of the huge cooking pans so necessary in the preparation of Chinese food. "We have 11 of them," he smiled proudly, and when asked if that was a lot (Didn't we just establish this?), he said that the only Chinese restaurant he was aware of with more was the Golden Dragon in New Chinatown. ("That's it, we're outta here!")
Going whole hog (between $6 and $10 per person excluding drinks) like we did and ordering a la carte may be the best but not the most economical way to dine here. Complete dinners for two or more range from $3.50 to $6.95 per person and I was astonished to find on the back page of the menu and almost hidden chicken chow mein and prix fixe, (He got me; I had to look this up. It means "A complete meal of several courses, sometimes with choices permitted, offered by a restaurant at a fixed price.") full course Cantonese meal for two at $2.75 a head.
If the word gets around about this there should soon be one heckuva queue at Wan Q.

(I haven't typed that much since college!)


 
View Profile of pappythesailor Send a personal message to pappythesailor  Goto the website of pappythesailor     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2569
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2007-08-18 6:18 pm   Permalink

Wan Q is in BOT on pg. 62 it shows their matchbook progression as they change from a box shaped Chinese Restaurant to an A-frame entrance Chinese Restaurant.


Heres Fus Palace from the same angle as the matchbooks.


The only evidence on the inside of its Poly Pop past is this waterfall.

The bar is big but its just a bar. I had a Zombie there once.


 
View Profile of Bora Boris Send a personal message to Bora Boris      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
TabooDan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 18, 2004
Posts: 641
From: BC, Canada
Posted: 2007-08-19 09:23 am   Permalink

Great post Pappythesailor! I love reading about these places!! Something in the history and nostalgia of it all. It's also because these places just aren't around here anymore!

It was a different time when people/servers liked what they were doing and cared about the way and how they did it. The restaurants details and decor was to help achieve the goal that it's time to relax, eat, drink and have some fun!!
Dining out should be an experience and that's what these types of places achieved!

Bora Boris - Thanks for adding the photos! Always better to see pictures to go along with it all. Before and after photos are great way to show how they years have changed these establishments.

I have seen a couple different mugs out there with Wan-Q on them I believe. In mind straight away is the OMC Mug that is in the dark beige color with the dark brown dragon wrapped around it.

Does anyone know if there were mugs available there? Later, TabooDan


 
View Profile of TabooDan Send a personal message to TabooDan  Goto the website of TabooDan     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
christiki295
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3811
From: LA-2547 mls east Hawaii &5500 Easter Is
Posted: 2007-09-08 11:59 pm   Permalink

Wan Q was one of the most over-the-top Polynesian experiences possible.
It was amazing!


 
View Profile of christiki295 Send a personal message to christiki295  Email christiki295     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Mo-Eye
Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 625
From: Costa Mesa, CA
Posted: 2008-05-11 2:56 pm   Permalink

Here is a scan of one of their matchbooks. Has a nice image of their tiki sign on the front, but the image of the building has horrible printing.





I also found this interesting article about the restaurant on povonline.com:

"Wan-Q was a terrific Chinese restaurant located on Pico Boulevard, just east of Robertson, in the building that now houses another terrific Chinese restaurant called Fu's Palace. Unlike Wan-Q, Fu's Palace is not a dark place full of tropical decor and little streams and waterfalls that run through the room. I took some of my first dates to Wan-Q because it seemed to be that kind of place, but its main clientele was local Jewish families.

If you were Jewish in the sixties in Los Angeles, it seemed almost mandatory that your family have a favorite Chinese restaurant. In that area, loyalties were divided between Wan-Q and a place a few blocks east on Pico named Kowloon, which is also now long gone. There were other Chinese eateries along that stretch of Pico but somehow, even local newspaper reporters sensed the great Wan-Q/Kowloon rivalry and wrote of it. We were Wan-Q people but once, just to be fair-minded, we dined at Kowloon and confirmed our hunch that it was inferior.

The waiters at Wan-Q were great and they really did fit the Great Chinese Waiter Stereotype of all looking alike...but you could tell them apart by the loud Hawaiian-style shirts they wore. There was one who thought the funniest thing in the world was to ask, when a family ordered something with pork in it, "Are you Joosh?" That was how he pronounced "Jewish."

Wan-Q was the first place I ever had Chinese Food and to this day, my concept of the right way to prepare certain dishes is rooted in how they were prepared there. It was a sad day when they went out of business, not only for my family and for the proprietors of Wan-Q but also for whoever owned that building. It proceeded to house a veritable United Nations of different failed restaurants (Mexican, Polynesian, Jamaican, etc.) before finally, after a decade or so, reverting to its birthright as a Chinese eatery. I used to drive by and marvel at how each new tenant adapted some of the exterior decor of the previous resident. The odd roof that's there now and the split telephone poles nailed to the sides of the building are, I believe, leftovers from the Polynesian period. They didn't make a lot of sense then, either."

You can also get a good view of the current building on Google Maps Street View.
_________________
http://www.tabooisland.com
http://stores.ebay.com/Taboo-Island
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tabooisland


 View Profile of Mo-Eye Send a personal message to Mo-Eye  Goto the website of Mo-Eye     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-05-11 8:06 pm   Permalink

Easily one of my most favorite old Tiki restaurant menu covers....


(photo courtesy Arkiva Tropica)

Serisously, does it get more, mysterious and exotic looking than this ?

I bet the sweet and sour sauce was as red as the cover as this menu.

Anyone with interior photos of Wan-Q, please anti-up !

Now, I need to go eat at the place that's there now and see how the food is....LA Chinese food is so disappointing, but I have to try it.


 
View Profile of tikiyaki Send a personal message to tikiyaki  Email tikiyaki Goto the website of tikiyaki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
tikiyaki
Grand Member (7 years)  

Joined: May 18, 2004
Posts: 2706
From: The Exotic Port of REDONDO BEACH, CA
Posted: 2008-05-14 2:45 pm   Permalink

OK...Stopped by and had lunch at Fu's Palace / Wan Q.

All my wishes on the food came true.

I sat down, 20 seconds later the waiter brought over a bowl of crunchy rice noodles and tangy duck sauce.

The tea : Black, none of that foo foo Jasmine crap all the new places serve.

The have the REAL egg rolls, with pork and shrimp, as well as the now-standard-issue "spring rolls"

I ordered some egg rolls and Sweet and Sour Chicken. The egg rolls were great...totally old school, they came with sweet and sour and hot mustard on the side.

The Sweet and Sour Chicken as decent...white meat, not quite saucy enough for my taste, but still damn good.

I also noticed later on the menu that they have "NY Style Chow Mein" (stated that way on the menu....Awesome) ! Very hard to find that in LA.

So....2 Thumbs up on the food.

The big waterfall is there, and still works.You could see the grandeur of the old place...it's pretty big inside, and you could tell, that a few weeks in the hands of Bamboo Ben, Tiki Diablo, Bosko and Crazy Al, and this place would be Amazing .

I inquired to the manager about anything Tiki leftover, but the last place before it took it all when they moved....It was "The Sugar Shack" , which I'd heard about before I moved to LA...it was a rock club...lots of punk and powerpop bands played there. It was their second location "Jacks Sugar Shack" that was home to my old band's first show.

Anyway, it's no longer Tiki, but it's still a great. old school Chinese joint.


Long Live Wan-Q !

Look for a Possible Tikiyaki Orchestra function at this place in the future.

[ This Message was edited by: tikiyaki 2008-05-14 14:51 ]


 
View Profile of tikiyaki Send a personal message to tikiyaki  Email tikiyaki Goto the website of tikiyaki     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Bora Boris
Mr. Unreasonable

Joined: Mar 25, 2005
Posts: 2569
From: Boogie Wonderland
Posted: 2008-05-19 9:16 pm   Permalink

Here is the transition of the Wan-Q from Chinese Restaurant to Polynesian Restaurant like the Book of Tiki did with matchbooks but I'm using the L.A. Yellow Pages

1959 I didn't know that Take Out Food was once known as Chicago Style.



1964 The Q Room Cocktail Lounge makes way for the Mauna Loa Tropical Room and the Exotic Macao Bar.



1970 You want Tiki? We got Tiki.



Here's the ad from 1964 as it appears in the phone book with some of the other restaurants around it.



I like the way KAWAFUKU reads down the side and who wouldn't waste a wish by having a Genie cook you a shish kabob?

_________________


[ This Message was edited by: bora Boris 2008-05-20 10:19 ]


 View Profile of Bora Boris Send a personal message to Bora Boris      Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8849
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-05-20 10:58 am   Permalink

I'm not a huge fan of Asian food, but I would go and find somethin to eat if Tikiyaki played there.

Jeff(bigtikidude)


[ This Message was edited by: bigtikidude 2008-05-20 10:59 ]


 
View Profile of bigtikidude Send a personal message to bigtikidude  Email bigtikidude     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Bay Park Buzzy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 07, 2006
Posts: 2829
From: West Bay Park, San Diego, CA
Posted: 2008-08-31 6:29 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2008-05-11 14:56, Mo-Eye wrote:
Here is a scan of one of their matchbooks. Has a nice image of their tiki sign on the front, but the image of the building has horrible printing.



Picked a few of these today with a clearer printing of the building:



Buzzy Out!
_________________


 View Profile of Bay Park Buzzy Send a personal message to Bay Park Buzzy  Email Bay Park Buzzy Goto the website of Bay Park Buzzy     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
bigtikidude
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 10, 2004
Posts: 8849
From: Anaheim,Ca.
Posted: 2008-09-01 1:37 pm   Permalink

Wasn't there talk of Tikiyaki playing there?
even if it was just the Tikiyaki lite 4 or 5 piece.
I'd go.

Jeff(bigtikidude)


 
View Profile of bigtikidude Send a personal message to bigtikidude  Email bigtikidude     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Tiki-Kate
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 21, 2003
Posts: 1700
From: Yucaipa, CA
Posted: 2009-06-04 11:15 am   Permalink

My Wan Q menu is more like the matchbook.



_________________


 View Profile of Tiki-Kate Send a personal message to Tiki-Kate  Goto the website of Tiki-Kate     Edit/Delete This Post Reply with quote
Goto page ( 1 | 2 | 3 Next Page )
U-Moderate:
  
v1.5

[ About Tiki Central | Contact Tiki Central | Advertise on Tiki Central ]
(c) 2000-2014 Tikiroom.com (tm), Tiki Central (tm)

Credits & copyright infomation