sommelier_p Photograph courtesy

The chicken satay has the same martian-red glow as the leather bar stools at Philippe, the upscale pan-Asian chain that goes by the name Philippe Chow in other cities. (Our own Mr. Chow sued to ensure no one confused the two restaurants.) The color should be a warning: Something supernaturally delicious sits on these skewers. Enjoy them; the value for the price point ends there. Pork soup dumplings are delicate, savory pouches but can’t touch anything at Din Tai Fung, the San Gabriel Valley favorite. Entrées like the green prawns are on par with more budget-friendly dishes at Los Feliz’s Chi Dynasty. This place is about atmosphere, and the room—in strikingly modern black, white, and of course, red—is dramatic. So is having a whole Peking duck carved tableside. Peach schnapps or chocolate liqueur cocktails are enough for dessert, or try the fortune cookies, which have racy proverbs inside.
» 8284 Melrose Ave. (323-951-1100). L Mon.-Sat.; D nightly. Full bar. Pan-Asian   $$$$ 

Photograph courtesy