Hip Hot
 is a Sichuan Chinese restaurant specializing in fresh seafood with an emphasis on traditional spicy flavors. Hip Hot carries live seafood delivered from all over the country including sea urchin, King Crab, Geoduck, Razor Clams, Scallops, Ling Cod, Spot Prawns, Dungeness crab and more, all depending on the season. Chef / Owner Tiantian Qiu’s goal was to serve Chinese natives the food they ate at home as well as introduce a variety of local seafood to them that they cannot find in China. Hip Hot now offers more traditional Szechuan dishes as well as unique dishes that combines the best of eastern and western philosophies. Tiantian moved to Los Angeles in 2009 from Sichuan, China to study at USC as an international student. In 2014 she returned to China for a gap year and trained at local restaurants in Chengdu where she learned her culinary skills. Later that year she returned to USC where she completed her bachelors in Business Administration. In that same year Tiantian started her venture as a restaurateur and opened her first restaurant in February of 2015, Hip Hot in Monterey Park.  

Please share an off-menu family recipe (or description) or a personal intergenerational food story

Summer Noodles with Seared Chicken Breast. This chicken and noodle dish is served in Chef’s Summer sauce sauce which is a balance of sweet and sour, with the Szechuan Style Chili oil, and a dramatic garlic flavor. It’s a simple recipe with very high acceptance in our culture.

What do you think of the Asian food moment right now?

Asian food is very popular at the moment, and a lot people are talking about noodles as much as they do on pizza. It’s a trend. Chefs I know from Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore are contributing and integrating their own authentic recipes to the Los Angeles culinary scenes. In current Chinese food culture, I think Sezchuan is a hot topic. Food enthusiasts are starting to learn on basic Szechuan ingredients such as Chinese Peppercorn. Through his reviews, Jonathan Gold has became the “matchmaker” and does a great job in articulating Szechuan food and its cultural story.

There are also restaurants that focused on so called fusion because of each unique backgrounds with different techniques and available local and seasonal staples. I am fascinated by these Asian food expression. Even though my past culinary experience was mainly in traditional Sezchuan food, I am now reflecting the importance of combining some Western cooking techniques, traditional eastern philosophy and local sustainable ingredients.


Join Chef Tiantian and the Hip Hot team at the #LUCKYRICE18 “Breaking Bao Intergenerational Feast” in Los Angeles on July 26th.