In the 1970's, Vietnam as well as Laos and Cambodia faced ongoing political and military turmoil long after the American backed war ended. Many Laotians, Vietnamese and Cambodians left the region and relocated to America, including some contingents of the Chinese Vietnamese people known as the Hoa (or Boat People), whose ancestors had migrated a century before to Southeast Asia from China's Pearl River Delta. In Chinatowns across the United States - but especially in Los Angeles and San Francisco - the Hoa and other descendants of China looped back to their original Cantonese roots after years of hybridization and cultural syncretism. Mapping these webs of geography, history, food, and economics (to name a few) against present day Chinatown gives us a clear picture of the effect this history of migration has had on both our Cantonese neighbors here in L.A. and on the families that stayed behind. We sat down with the Lim family, owners of the Kim Chuy Restaurant on Broadway Street, and talked about their escape from Cambodia, the art of the noodles and the Chiu Chow style.
The Boat People
"Traveling through Cambodia, carrying with them the recipes and knowledge of their hometown."
The Chiu Chow Style
"Rice noodles made into sheets from scratch took much preparation."