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No Frills, No Gimmicks, Just Great Chinese Food

Hassle-free meals at California Wok pack a large, unpretentious punch.

Southern California is teeming with Chinese restaurants. The trick is to find one that offers good-quality Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. The no-frills establishment does just that.

California Wok, an Encino fixture since 2001, has a plain interior but good food. Also popular as a takeout business, it has an extensive menu of reasonably priced dishes with sizable portions.

In addition, the counter-style eatery offers an assortment of health-conscious options: low-carb entrees such as fish filet with asparagus, California Wok Soup consisting of shrimp, chicken and assorted vegetables in a delicious broth, plus several vegetarian dishes.

All dishes are made with fresh ingredients. The restaurant uses no MSG and no trans fats, and has dietary guidelines listed on its large menu, also available online.  

The menu gives meat lovers their due, with favorites such as Mongolian beef or Hot Spicy Orange Beef, a crispy tender beef, stir-fried with water chestnuts in special orange sauce. The chef’s specials include such popular choices as Honey Jumbo Shrimp, served in a light batter with honey sauce on the side, and additional favorites such as Kung Pao San Yang, served with beef, chicken and shrimp with onions, water chestnuts and peanuts in a spicy kungpa or tangy lemon sauce.

An especially good value comes with the lunch menu, with prices as low as $5.15 per dish. Patrons will appreciate the generous portions of sauteed mixed vegetables, sweet and sour chicken, or the signature dish, Crispy Hot Spicy Orange Chicken, to name a few.

Patrons will find the eatery spacious with plenty of seating and decorated with simple Chinese motifs.

Customizing your order is no problem either. The eatery offers fast, easy takeout on your way home, or food delivered to your door.

California Wok is located at 16656 Ventura Blvd., Encino; 818-386-0561; Caliwok.com. Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

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