Go Go Cafe: Translating Tianjin Culinary Heritage to Arcadia [CLOSED]

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Restaurant Sign Los Angeles

Go Go Cafe is hidden in plain sight and serves destination dumplings.

Despite the name, Go Go Cafe has no servers strutting across the dining room floor in knee-high boots and miniskirts. There also isn’t anybody in sight that moves very quickly. That said, the tiny Arcadia restaurant, which we learned about from Dylan Ho’s dineLA dumpling article, opened eight months ago near Santa Anita Park and is still worth seeking for Chinese comfort food.

There’s no English sign in front of Go Go Cafe, but persist and find five tables, plentiful photos of Go Go dishes on the walls, and a promise of “less oil, less salt, no MSG.” Eva Jheng is the chef, and she hails from Tianjin City, not far from Beijing. A man, who may be her business partner (or life partner, we’re not sure) runs the dining room.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Fish Steamed Dumpling ($7.49) was satisfyingly restrained, with thin skins and scallion flecking. These mild dumplings benefit from savory dips in blended soy sauce and vinegar.

Dumplings Los Angeles

Pork and Yolk Fried Dumpling ($6.99) were crispy, with juicy cores and a nice savory hit from salted egg yolk. These dumplings even arrive on decorative doilies, if that’s your thing.

Chinese Food Los Angeles

Special Sautéed Vegetables ($6.49) consisted of fibrous bamboo shoots, puffy bean curd sacks, squishy tofu sponges, peanuts, earthy chestnuts, and crisp water chestnuts. Somehow, the ingredients all meshed.

Chinese Food Los Angeles

My return trip started with Leek Leaf Cakes (3 for $5.99), pancakes with crispy crusts and juicy fillings of glass noodles, scallions, scrambled egg and tiny dried shrimp.

Chinese Food Los Angeles

Wonton in Red Hot Oil ($4.99) featured pork wontons with floppy wrappers submerged in a red pool of oil that was a stain waiting to happen, but wasn’t as spicy as it looked.

Chinese Food Los Angeles

Tan-Tan Noodles ($4.99) touted chile flakes, sesame sauce with garlic and crushed peanut, and shaved cucumbers. Noodles were on the soft side of QQ, so the bowl wasn’t as satisfying as it could have been.

Go Go Cafe was a mystery to me before Dylan Ho peeled back the curtain on the unassuming storefront. The food has already warranted two visits to Arcadia, even from the Westside, and Eva Jheng’s menu runs deeper, so we’re far from finished with Go Go.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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