Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area Chinese

Embassy Chinese Restaurant


Restaurants & Bars 7

Embassy Chinese Restaurant

Bob Wolllman | Apr 4, 2005 12:30 PM

As promised, I went with two friends on Saturday to Embassy Chinese Restaurant for lunch and to compare their shrimp with scrambled eggs to Ocean Star's version. Embassy is at 281 S. San Gabriel Blvd, a few miles north of Valley.

It is a far smaller Cantonese Restaurant than Ocean Star (about the size of a Shiang Garden). No live tanks. Very plain room with lots of large tables. When we arrived at about 2:15 five large tables and 3 small ones where occupied and (mostly) finishing up. No shrimp w/ scrambled eggs were visible on any table. The menu is pretty standard Canotnese fare, the prices low-to-moderate

The food was outstanding. The folks couldn't have been friendlier. I used my standard equation for ordering Cantonese food: Number of dishes = Two times number of diners.

Snow Pea Leaves w/Garlic Sauce
Pork Chop Spicy Salt
Chicken Chow Mein over Crispy Noodles
Mapo Tofu
Whole Crab Cooked with Fried Rice
Shrimp w/Scramled Eggs

The bill was $73, with the Crab Dish the most expensive at about $20 bucks.

Everything was fresh and delish. The CCM over crispy noodles is a dish my friends choose, one I wouldn't usually order...but we loved it. The noodles perfectly crisp, not overly greasy, and the minced chicken/bean sprout/mushroom sauce overlaying them was really tasty. The mapo tofu was fiery and sweet. Snow pea leaves could not have been fresher. But that crab dish blew us away, I am no cook, so take my guess at the technique for what it is worth (not much); a whole, stir fried crab is cracked then wrapped in a large lotus leaf with fried rice, then all baked together in aluminum foil. The flavors and texture where divine, almost risotto-y with the rice cooked in the crab juices. Only the pork chops were, to my taste, not as good as what I've had at many other Cantonese joints in the SGV. I thought they could have been saltier and spicier with less "crust." They were, however, meatier and slightly greasier (a good thing, IMHO) than their brothers at other places.

The raison d'etre at Embassy was, as mentioned above, to compare the shrimp with scrambled eggs to Ocean Star's. Well, I am a devotee of this dish (perhaps like no other) so you'll have to think of this as, say, Romeo comparing two Juliets. Both are beautiful in their own ways. Narry a yellow smear of soft eggy-lishousness was left on the plate at Embassy...but the same is true of Ocean Star when I take my friends for this dish of heaven. I can say that Ocean Star gives a few more (and plumper) shrimp, and has a touch more scallion. The eggs at Embassy were cooked with more oil, a bit heavier, but, perhaps, slightly tastier that the eggs at Ocean Star. I don't know...I am splitting hairs...but if I had only one (on a desert island) I think I'd go with Ocean Star's. But easy prices and easy entrance (eapecially on a weekend) will have me back at Embassy...real soon.

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