Los Angeles' downtown Chinatown comprises a rather small area, but along this vibrant strip on Broadway you can still find exotic-yet-touristy shops selling everything from ginseng root and air-dried Chinese ducks to paper umbrellas and jade jewelry. It's a fun area to explore and boasts a handful of good restaurants, including Empress Pavilion and Foo Chow Restaurant.
Those in search of authentic dim sum or Chinese seafood should head to the San Gabriel Valley. In upscale Monterey Park for instance, you'll find giant Hong Kong-style restaurants, including NBC Seafood and Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant. Afterward, reward yourself with a cheap, hour-long foot massage at one of the many little facilities dotting the area. Or feast on dumplings in Arcadia, especially the wildly popular taro buns at Din Tai Fung. The wait is well worth it.