Duck House

At places like Beijing’s Quanjude, Peking duck takes days to prepare. At others in Chinatown and around local malls, you get the feeling that a fryer has helped the process along before the bird spends too much time dangling in the store window. Duck House, a slope-roofed structure on Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park, understands that we can want storied tradition, but placing an order an hour ahead is about all the advance planning we’re capable of. The duck is brought out with its lacquered hide separated from the moist flesh (a bland soup is made with the carcass), which you wrap in a rice-flour pancake and bolster with green onion, cucumber, and a dab of plummy Peking sauce. You’ll be forgiven if your eyes roll back in your head.