Food & Wine

Chef Chu's achieves national ranking in restaurant roundup

Town Crier File Photo
Lawrence Chu, longtime owner of the Los Altos landmark Chef Chu’s, prepares award-winning specialties in the kitchen.

Widely considered the best Chinese restaurant in Los Altos, Chef Chu’s recently received national recognition for its food.

Lawrence Chu’s restaurant appeared on CNN’s list of the 50 best Chinese restaurants in the U.S., released last month.

CNN selected the winners from among more than 41,000 Chinese restaurants, based on “interviews with chefs and Chinese restaurant associations, surveys of local food writers and polls, and our own experiences,” according to CNN.

It’s not the first award Chu and his restaurant, which opened on North San Antonio Road in 1970, have garnered. Chu received the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence in 2010 at the Awards Ceremony of the Chinese Restaurant News. His restaurant also made the Chinese Restaurant News’ Top 100 list when the awards were first introduced in 2004.

“Los Altos has been a great support,” Chu said. “I feel very fortunate.”

Chef Chu’s has attracted a host of famous guests over the years, including Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs, tennis star Serena Williams, former President Bill Clinton and singer Justin Bieber.

Before moving to the Bay Area, Chu lived in various regions of China. The dishes he creates for his restaurant reflect his roots, covering a variety of regions rather than specializing in one.

While Chu’s famous dishes – from Peking duck to Chinese chicken salad – have attracted local residents and visitors alike, his personality factors into the restaurant’s success. He is known for his friendliness and sense of humor.

“After 47 years, I am still here, I am still passionate,” he said. “I love to talk, I love to cook, I love to eat and I love to meet people.”

Chu and his family are active members of the Los Altos community, with five children all educated in Los Altos schools.

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