Was in the mood for some spicy food last night so we decided to try Yujean Kang's- after all, the place has been there forever (one of the few to last since Old Town became Chain Restaurant Central) so it couldn't be that bad, could it? We almost changed our minds when we walked up to the window to see one table with wine spilled all over the white tablecloth and no one in sight to even start cleaning it up. We strolled up the street wondering if we should go someplace else, but the hankering for some Chinese food won out and we (unfortunately) decided to try it anyway.
You know when you're craving something specific and then you see that EXACT thing on the menu and think "YES!" Well, that happened to both as J was set on some sort of spicy chicken/veggie stirfry and I had my heart set on cold noodles with a spicy sauce. After quite some time, our waiter came and we ordered 2 bottles of water, 1 order of tiny dumplings w/ chile oil, COLD NOODLES WITH PRAWNS IN SESAME SAUCE (the description said the sauce was "spicy") and the SZECHWAN SPICY CHICKEN. Bring on the spicy food!
We noticed other tables getting their food, and the waiters all serving each diner from the big main plate to their own plates- dropping food on the table twice. It's cute that they do that but obviously it causes problems. Anyway, after about 15 minutes and not a sign of our water, we finally flagged down someone who just could not figure out what I meant but needing our water. "Oh- you want glasses of water?" so I said "No- we already placed the order for a bottle of water" to which he replied, "Ok, two bottles of water?" so I said "NO- we already ordered it.....just waiting for our one bottle." He walked away, scratching his head and came back with two bottles. Fine, we would take it since we were thirsty. Our tiny dumplings came and were just so-so....not spicy in the least bit and definitely not hot.
Our main dishes came after that and my "spicy" sesame sauce was not spicy, not seasoned and virtually tasteless. I actually asked for soy sauce and chile sauce to "doctor" it up which made it taste a bit better but still lacked any depth. The prawns on the noodles were cooked perfectly, at least. J's chicken was basically a plate of chicken and julienned veggies with no decipherable flavor other than the extremely strong taste of Schiracha chile sauce. No hint of garlic, ginger or any other spice but at least it was spicy. Very spicy. We were both so hungry that we ate half our food at least.
While we were eating we noticed a couple of people who called for takeout- both took quite some time and the second customer was noticeable upset. Even though there seemed to be plenty of waiters, they all moved like a herd of turtles.
We were sorely disappointed and will definitely not be going back. If you can recommend any good Chinese places in and around Pasadena or Highland Park, I'd appreciate it!!!
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