Fortune cookie says: Last column, bye-bye. Mandarin Deli, 727 N. Broadway. (213) 623-6054. Style: Inexpensive Chinese chain where dumplings are revered. Setting: Small, with exhibition window. Recommended: Pork-stuffed potstickers; steamed fish dumplings; pork chop soup. Cost per person: $5-$12.
May Flower Restaurant, 800 Yale St. (at Alpine). (213) 626-7113. The best meals to order at this Modest Cantonese lunch place are things you can slurp out of a bowl. Setting: Glass display case filled with roasted ducks and stacks of plastic foam cups, small shrines scattered about the room. Recommended: Won ton soup; jook, Cantonese rice porridge; barbecued pork soup. Cost per person: $3-$4.
Ocean Seafood Restaurant, 747 N. Broadway. (213) 687-3088. Style: The place to dine on dim sum. Setting: Vast elegance, replete with plants and Chinese tapestries. Recommended: Boiled geoduck; steamed chicken; pan-fried broccoli. Cost per person: $10-$40.
Pho 79, 727 N. Broadway, Suite 120. (213) 625-7026. Style: Vietnamese noodle shop serving beef soup for breakfast. Setting: Recommended: Freshly squeezed orange juice; dark roasted coffee; pho dac biet, slices of brisket, tendon, tripe and beef with rice noodles served in a bowl of beef broth. Cost per person: $3-$6.
VBC Seafood, 711 N. Broadway. (213) 680-0888. Style: Hong Kong-style Chinese specializing in sea creatures. Setting: Huge, noisy and decorated with dragons. Recommended: Boiled live shrimp; pepper-salt silver fish; black chicken soup. Cost per person: $10-$50.