Anecdotes & Analysis
Probably the busiest Chinese restaurant in the area. The stark exterior (just another space in the secondary strip mall) hides a restaurant designed in a sort of Fifties-era Polynesian style. The food here is not as adventuresome as it once was (what happened to the great lobster and soft-shell crab dishes they used to do so well?), but it still has an interesting style. The sauces tend more to the mild side--if you want something really spicy, be sure to tell them. But even the more polite sauces are well made, and the ingredients are of good quality.
Why It's Essential
First there was only Cantonese Chinese food in New Orleans, mild and loaded with gravy and vegetables. In the early 1970s, the spicy Chinese cuisines came to the fore, and by the end of the decade an entirely new style of Chinese restaurant was the talk of the town. The China Doll was one of the leaders of that generation, and became one of the most popular Chinese places in town, drawing even East Bankers to Harvey. It hasn't changed much in the three decades since then, but still has many regulars who eat the same dishes they have for all that time. Or stand in line to get take-out.
Agnes and Chef Ping Tsang opened the China Doll in 1985 and were almost immediately a major West Bank restaurant hit. It's still managed by the Tsang family.
The stark exterior (just another space in the secondary strip mall) hides a restaurant designed in a sort of Fifties-era Polynesian style. The whole place is in need of a renovation, if only to brighten things up to modern tastes.
For Best Results
As is true in all Chinese restaurants, the way to eat is to order three entrees for every four people, and pass the well-filled plates around.
China Doll830 Manhattan Blvd, Harvey, LA 70058, USA