6 Great Spots For Peking Duck In LA
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Peking duck is one of China’s most recognizable dishes, with a centuries-old history that dates back to when it was served in the Beijing Imperial Court. These days, we’re happy to report you no longer have to live within a royal palace to enjoy this epic spread. All you need is a few friends or family members and about an hour of advance notice given to the restaurant. Then the parade of tender duck, and crispy skin, will be yours. In LA, here are the best spots to get it.
When ordering peking duck at Duck House, the menu is broken into three tiers: For $79, you get a whole roasted duck with a traditional spread. For $91, you get the duck “two ways”: the traditional spread and one other duck dish of your choice (bean sprouts, soup, or a deep-fried duck bone.) The third tier, at $103, comes with the traditional spread and two duck dishes. There’s a lot to parse, so we’ll keep it simple. Get the second tier and order the bean sprouts as your extra dish. They’re warm, savory, and the perfect complement to the rich duck.
Capital Seafood is a classic SGV dim sum chain with a massive location in Beverly Hills. If you only order one thing here, make sure it’s the Peking duck. This juicy platter of poultry gets rubbed with five-spice, which brings out the meat’s rich, fatty flavor. Its slow-roasted skin is so crispy and golden-brown, you’d think it spent an afternoon in a lifeguard chair. And each precisely carved slice shatters into pleasantly crispy pieces with every bite. You’ll also get a classic platter of pillowy bao buns, scallion matchsticks, and hoisin sauce to go along with it.
If you want traditional peking duck in the SGV, it doesn’t get more classic than Ji Rong. The $85 spread at this casual sit-down spot in Rosemead includes sides of shredded cucumber and green onions, sweet bean sauce, and a basket of flaky pancakes. There’s also a separate plate with the duck’s crispy legs, too. The main event is a show-stopping mini-mountain of meat surrounded by glistening strips of crisp skin. Duck is a testy dish, but the one here is a model of consistency. Just be sure you call 75 minutes ahead of time to get one.
Eating an entire peking duck at the mall sounds equal parts outrageous and incredible (because it is). Meizhou Dongpo is a place to partake in such luxuries. Located inside the Westfield Century Mall, this Beijing-based restaurant serves a whole duck for $89, which comes neatly sliced on a cute duck-shaped platter. The meat is plump, and the glossy, deeply browned skin crackles in your mouth. It’s an indulgent meal that easily beats any food court option, so consider splurging on a whole duck before a night at AMC.
You'll need to order Bistro Na’s peking duck two days in advance, but trust us, it's worth the hassle. This restaurant in Temple City specializes in upscale Chinese Imperial cuisine, which is to say, you won't find your typical duck experience. This $98 Peking duck is moist with skin that’s shiny like caramels at See’s Candies. The chef brings your bird to the table (so you can send a picture to your mom) then it disappears and returns carved, with thin handmade pancakes, green onion, and sweet bean sauce. Choose between having the leftover bits made into soup or, for an additional $30, a salt and pepper stir-fry with sichuan peppercorns and fresh chilis.
Fortune House in Beverly Grove serves some of our favorite Chinese-American food in the area, like soy-sauce-tinged chow mein, orange peel chicken, and siu mai the size of tangerines. But the best excuse for a sit-down meal here is the reasonably priced peking duck. A whole one costs $57 and is carved tableside. The skin is so crispy it shatters like candy, the breast meat is juicy, and it comes with a tin of steamed bao buns, plus the usual accompaniments like green onion and sweet bean sauce. And then there’s the bonus meal, which consists of the bird’s legs and back meat in their salty drippings that you snack on like ribs.