Enjoy this taste our new book, How To Find Old Los Angeles, written by Kim Cooper.
When the construction of Union Station took out L.A.’s historic Chinatown (and, not incidentally, the notorious red light district), the Chinese community was compensated with the development of a moderne, neon-drenched commercial center a few blocks northwest. The five-tiered Golden Pagoda (1941) that now houses the Hop Louie bar and restaurant stands sentry as New Chinatown’s tallest landmark. With the culinary explosion of the San Gabriel Valley, nobody goes to New Chinatown for Chinese food anymore, and that goes double for Hop Louie. Now, you will find a younger crowd at night that obviously know where to buy a fake id. But the dimly-lit ground floor dive bar is a gem, full of local characters slurping down the signature Scorpion Bowl cocktail, a rum, brandy, fruit juice and champagne concoction that you underestimate at your peril.