Is It Any Good?

The first modern Chinatown, owned and planned from the start by local Chinese-Americans.

If you’re not from L.A. or living in L.A., L.A.’s Chinatown is more associated with a Hollywood Classic than anything else:

Of course, the movie’s plot only talks about Chinatown in the abstract.  They only actually visit it in the last scene of the movie (seen below).

But that’s Hollywood.  The real Chinatown?  The real Chinatown where Chinese Immigrants were restricted into living?  The Chinatown Central Plaza? (Still seen as the heart of Old Chinatown).  Well, that’s a tourist trap…and mostly populated by Southeast Asians (lovely people, different culture).

Things started to change with the Magnuson Act in 1943 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952.  These two acts started to roll back the restrictions on Asian immigration to this country.  Eventually Chinese Immigrants got out of Chinatown, and were able to find cheap land east along the 10 Freeway in a part of town known as Monterey Park. That’s where the good stuff is now.

The original old-school Chinatown is home to the Empress Pavilion, and is not far from Downtown L.A., Little TokyoPhilippe’s The Original and Olvera Street.

Map Directions: