Editor’s note: Restaurant critic Merrill Shindler believes there are many wonderful options for takeout food — cuisines that “travel well,” as he says. We asked him to highlight some of his favorites. … This one is Chinese food.
Canton Low, 439 Main Street, El Segundo (310)322- 3163, cantonlow.com
Even the name smacks of the old days of Chinese-American cooking. And well it should, since Canton Low has been around since 1975 — 45 years. There were barbecued spareribs then…and there are barbecued spareribs now. And they sure are good, if you don’t mind a certain ingrained chewiness.
There also are egg rolls, fried shrimp, “Canton ravioli,” paper-wrapped chicken, fried wontons, barbecued pork — the list goes on, culminating in a combo platter that could pretty well serve as dinner for two. But then, that would keep you from hitting the good hot & sour soup, and the classic wor wonton.
You can choose between lemon chicken and orange peel chicken, along with a dozen other chicken dishes.
Under Chef’s Specialties, you’ll find General Tao’s Chicken, which I know better as General Tso’s Chicken — one of the most definitive Chinese dishes of the past half century. (It’s claimed by numerous restaurants, each of which says they introduced it to America — and in the process, introduced Hunanese cuisine. Except there’s no evidence that the dish is Hunanese — or even exists in China. Fun!)
There are sections on the menu dedicated as well to chow mein, to lo mein, to egg foo young, and — bless ’em — to chop suey (shrimp, pork, chicken, beef and “house special”). Seeing chop suey on the menu was like coming home.