Getaway to L.A.'s Chinatown
Explore the neighborhood's shops, galleries, restaurants, and more
Stop by the Chua Thien Hau Temple (pictured; 750 Yale St.) and leave an orange for the goddess Lin Meng. Or, for a history lesson, visit the Chinese American Museum ($3 donation suggested; 425 N. Los Angeles St.; camla.org) to check out photographs of early Chinatown and items that immigrants brought from abroad, like medicinal herbs, parasols, and silk.
At Realm (425 Gin Ling Way; realmhome. com), shop for delicate ceramic objets d'art and hand-painted bone-china tea sets. Watch jasmine pearls unfurl with free tea tastings, then shop for clothing, figurines, and herbal remedies at Wing Hop Fung (727 N. Broadway, Ste. 102; wing hopfung.com). Boost your luck for the new year with bamboo in every size and configuration from Tung Fong Co. (815 N. Broadway; 213/617-2630).
Join Chinatown neighbors in a free tai chi class on the Alpine Recreation Center lawn each morning from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. (you can drop in at any point). This graceful, slow-moving form of low-impact martial art is known for building strength and improving balance. 817 Yale St.; 213/485-5448.
Nibble a Chinese pastry on the patio of Wonder Bakery while you watch shoppers buzz through Old Chinatown. Try the egg tarts, almondwalnut cookies, or a Chinese-style curry beef pie. Take home a box of cream puffs and fortune cookies to share. 943 N. Broadway; 213/680-1111.
Take it home
Shop like a local at Super Home Mart, where you can wander long aisles of ceramic dishes in traditional Chinese blue-and-white and floral themes, colorful bowls, pots and pans, knives and cleavers, and utensils for every kind of cooking--at prices that hover around wholesale. 988 N. Hill St., Ste. 101; 213/628-8898.