I'm not sure if Lake Spring Shanghai in Monterey Park is a fave on the boards. However, I would like to report that a friend of mine, my wife and I went there last night and it was mediocre to kind of gross.
We ordered the pork pump, shanghai dumplings, hot and sour soup and the orange peel beef. My friend and I found the pork pump, their signature dish, bland. My wife found it gross. The brown sauce congealed quickly and the meat itself was fatty and bland. My wife and my friend claimed to vaguely taste star anise. I couldn't really detect any taste.
The dumplings were bland as was the hot and sour soup. (How do you make hot and sour soup bland?) The orange peel beef was pretty good, however if you cover beef in sugar and fry it it better be pretty good.
They made liberal use of MSG (my friend and I felt tingly and my wife temporarily lost feeling in her toes) which is fine when it enhances the flavor, but not fine when it seems to just enhance the inherit blandness of the food.
I probably wouldn't be writing in except that in addition to the poor quality of the food, the bill, for a non-fancy Chinese restaurant, was pretty expensive (over twenty per person).
I will say that the staff was quite accomodating. However, this may have been due to the fact that the restaurant was empty.
If you live in LA, it's certainly not worth the drive. If you live down the street, it is also not worth the drive. I highly recommend the nearby Dumpling House. If any of you out there have recommendations for Chinese food in Monterey Park (or closer to Los Angeles) please let me know.
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