How L.A.’s Asian-American Businesses Are Faring Amid Hate Crime Surge

Restaurants and neighborhoods like Little Tokyo contend with a rise of racist incidents as celebrities come together to raise funds for struggling eateries.

Shirley Chung, a Top Chef finalist and owner of Culver City’s Ms. Chi Cafe, recalls an incident last year in which a group of diners made her staff sanitize their outdoor table — twice. “It was very passive-aggressive racism against us,” says Chung, a Chinese American who says she now goes far above health requirements to overcome the racist connections some people make between COVID-19 and Asian people. “I stepped up service to protect ourselves.”

In the past year, Asian-owned businesses throughout L.A. have been doubly hit — by the pandemic shutdowns and by a rise in racist hate crimes. On March 2, the LAPD announced 15 anti-Asian hate crimes reported in the city in 2020, compared with seven in

Read More

From China’s Far North, a Paradoxical Noodle Lands in Queens

The first thing you notice about roasted cold noodles, a favorite street food in the far northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang, is that they are not cold.

We are not dealing here with a dish that will give you relief from swampy August days, like cold sesame noodles; or like Korean mul naengmyeon, a bowl of beef broth in which spaghetti-like strands of vegetable starch lie below shards of floating ice; or like buckwheat soba coiled on a bamboo mat beside their chilled dipping sauce, tsuketsuyu. Roasted cold noodles are meant to be eaten hot, right off the griddle.

They don’t much resemble noodles, either. In form, they are more akin to a rolled, filled omelet, as you will see if you watch them being made through the front window of Followsoshi, a stall inside a Chinese micromall in downtown Flushing, Queens.

After you place your order at the

Read More