Many of you have read my articles discussing how the massive number of Mainland Chinese students coming to study at US colleges in the past decade has changed the face of Chinese dining in the United States. Cities big and small proximate to colleges and universities with a sufficient Chinese student enrollment have been introduced to authentic Chinese food, as restaurants have popped up to meet this demand for Chinese food.
Interestingly, Chinese restaurants serving these Mainland Chinese students in smaller US towns such as Harrisonburg, VA, Storrs, CT and Iowa City, IA have developed their own style which you typically do not see in non-campus town Chinese restaurants. There are two separate distinguishing characteristics that mark these restaurants. Because the Mainland students come from different areas of China, these restaurants often serve multi-regional Chinese food, as opposed to focusing on, say, Sichuan or Shaanxi style food. Secondly, none of these restaurants can (or wants to) survive on Mainland student business alone, so they also have classic Americanized Chinese dishes on their menu for the locals and non-Chinese students. As I previously wrote, this can lead to a menu which gives a panoramic view of the entirety of the history of Chinese American dining.
While not as pronounced as some of the examples in eastern college towns, the newly opened iFood Chinese in the shopping center on the southeast corner of National Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. in West Los Angeles is the best example I've seen locally. For fans of classic Chinese American favorites, there is orange chicken, wor wonton soup, broccoli beef and honey walnut shrimp. For the health minded Westside locals watching their cholesterol count, there are chicken potstickers and chicken xioalongbao (try to find either of those in the San Gabriel Valley). For Sichuanese natives there are nine varieties of dry pots. Taiwanese can revel in fried pork chops and Taiwanese style salt and pepper shrimp, and for the Shanghai crowd there's giant ground pork meatballs. And for us Cantonese there's West Lake Beef soup and cold chicken with green onion. What a lineup!
iFood Chinese is located at 3120 S. Sepulveda Blvd., right next to Von's.