The chefs from the now-closed Great Szechuan have landed at Happy Golden Bowl, which just opened July 1.
A star dish is soft tofu with crab roe, which rworange says is just exquisite: “delicate tofu in a golden, rich, deeply crab-flavored broth with lots of crab bits.”
Joel offers a comparison with Szechuanese fave China Village: Golden Bowl style fish fillet buried in chiles (number 2 on the specialties page) is the same as China Village’s West Style fish soup, but with a much darker and richer broth, and Joel liked it much better than CV’s more delicate version. Pork leg slices with spicy garlic sauce (number 4 among cold plates) was a hit with Joel’s party: thin slices of gelatin, meat, and tendon in a rich sauce. And savory chicken gizzard (number 10, cold plates) is very spicy (especially if you happen to bite into one of the jalapeños) but good, flavored with ginger, cilantro, and sesame oil.
Prices are a buck or two cheaper than at China Village, notes rworange.
Happy Golden Bowl [East Bay]
10675 San Pablo Avenue, El Cerrito
China Village [East Bay]
1335 Solano Avenue, Albany