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Touring Downtown WIFI: Plum Tree Inn

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, June 01, 2009, at 02:12PM
PlumTreeInn Ed Fuentes

Elaine and Amy Ting of the Plum Tree Inn in Chinatown.

Today's Downtown WIFI spot might be a bit of a surprise, but Chinatown's Plum Tree Inn is a place where you can have a working lunch or knock out a last minute deadline. So how does a 30-year-old family-owned restaurant stay traditional and yet cater to new customers?

Easy. The parents encouraged their three children to look beyond the restaurant business. They ended up with a computer techie son who thought WIFI in the family business would be a good idea. They also ended up with a daughter who is taking a break from a career in finance return to work at the family business, and is beginning to think a successful restaurant in a growing Downtown isn't a bad place to be.

Plus, after work, daughter Elaine Ting can explore Downtown's interesting cafes and bars and enjoy the city. All in the name of market research, of course.

Food? The mandarin dishes, like shrimp with honey-walnut glaze, are good. Plum Tree is considered one of the best places Downtown. The chef is Zhao De Zhong. Service? It's swift and helpful. Parking? They validate.

Now on to the important matter at hand: WIFI.

PROS: If you don't want to take up a table, place yourself in a small bar. The decor features soft lighting, so your eyes are not straining while staring at the laptop screen.

CONS: While the bar has two outlets, there are none in the large dining room.

LOGGING IN: Connecting to the Plum Tree WIFI requires one of the longest passwords I've seen. "No one will be able to remember it," jokes owner, mother, hostess, and security breach expert Amy Ting.

PRICE POINTS: Plum Tree Inn has a full lunch menu that features reduced prices––and lighter portions––of their dinner menu.

OVERALL: It's a good change of pace, but wait until after the lunch rush.

WILD CARD: You have to like a place that has deep rooted cross section of Angelenos as customers. On a day I went, Dodger Fans, Laker Fans, large families, couples, Chinatown Gallery artists and LAPD were among the regulars.

Plum Tree Inn / 913 N Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90012 / (213) 613-1819 / Sunday to Thursday: 11:30am - 9:30pm; Friday - Saturday: 11:30am - 10:30pm


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