JEWELS FROM THE ROVING STOVE

From VIP entrances in Versace to service entrances in my apron

Mr. Chow

March 12, 2014

People are always asking me “what’s the best restaurant in LA at the moment,” and there are excellent places opening (and closing) every year. However, when it comes to celebrating, it doesn’t matter if I’m in London, New York, or  Beverly Hills, Mr. Chow’s is every bit as much part of a tradition as the Waldorf Red Velvet Cake became to my birthday many decades ago. There’s a reason this institution has thrived while so many others disappear – they never fail to delight all of your senses!

 

Andy Warhol. Jerry Hall, Nick and Julie Anne Rhodes at Mr. Chow’s New York

 

My parents first brought me to Mr. Chow’s on a trip to London when I was 15, making it the perfect choice to celebrate my birthday with them four decades later. My usual favorites are all depicted in the photos below, so I could share the evening with you too…

 

Seaweed

 

There was something so decadent about eating in a restaurant that felt more like a modern art museum with it’s Richard Long artwork and sleek modern decor that appealed to my rebellious, youthful nature back then.

 

Chicken Satay

 

Of course it’s the food – exploding with flavor and unadulterated delight in every bite – that’s kept me coming through the years.

 

 Squab with Lettuce

 

If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food you might want to go elsewhere – expect more of an elegant fine dining interpretation of the classics – edible works of art on each plate that taste even better than they look!

 

Fried Dumplings

 

A few years later, Michael Chow and his beautiful first wife Tina became great friends. My ex and I considered the restaurants our dining room away from home where our entire New York posse would dine regularly. Some of the most memorable evenings of my life have taken place at Mr Chow.

 

Andy Warhol’s birthday at Mr. Chow’s New York

 

There were a number of years after the successive deaths of Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Tina Chow that it made me too sad to go back.

 

Prawns

 

To this day, I still like to have a quiet moment to myself to remember them and all the happy times we spent together, when I do go.

 

 Julie Anne Rhodes and China Chow

 

I haven’t seen Michael and his glamorous second wife Ava for many years, but I do bump into daughter China Chow from time to time (the photo above was backstage at a recent Duran Duran gig).

 

Filet Mignon

 

Paparazzi seem to be permanently planted outside while the bustling restaurant is still packed to the gills with hip patrons creating a noisy, yet uplifting environment.

 

Peking Duck

 

I may have taken the service for granted as a kid, but it is still the most impeccable you will find this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Peking duck preparations

 

The smiles on our faces say it all – the food is every bit as good as that first visit to the restaurant in London all those years ago,

 

Happy birthday girl and her parents

 

Thank you for another divine birthday dinner Mr. Chow (and mom and dad for the treat).

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