I went to China Islamic (7727 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, cross street Del Mar, 626 288 4246, 70 bus from downtown). I hadn't managed to eat there before it closed for renovations in the spring of 2001. They were supposed to reopen in maybe July 2001, but the renovations were delayed by over a year and they just got around to opening again a couple of months ago. It's an interesting place, super-nice people and a real mix of customers, not just Chinese people but a wide range of Muslims as well.
I had the boiled dumplings (which are just called "dumplings" on the menu) and the lamb with preserved cabbage. Both were real good. The dumplings were big and had thick, floppy skins over a good-sized lump of meat and greens. The lamb with preserved cabbage probably belongs in the "challenging" category. Much of its interest is in the aromas it gives off into your sinuses while you're eating it -- not just a single fermented sort of smell but a whole series of unexpected smells that make you stop and say "uh, is that how it's supposed to smell?" for a moment until you get used to it. It also has an interesting silky texture that I liked.
The menu is not huge, and I didn't notice any separate Chinese-only menu. But they do have some interesting clay pots that I'm told contain a whole lot of food. Next time on those.
Updated 7 days ago | 28
Updated 24 hours ago | 111
Updated 19 hours ago | 15
Updated 3 days ago | 44
Updated 5 days ago | 50