Last night we had our yearly Christmas dinner with members of our family at Louies California Chinese Cuisine. It was early since will be out of town during Chistmas week. As you may remember I posted that being discovered in a newspaper can for a time ruin a restaurant. So I had just made our reservation the week before Ms Wu did the story on Louies. So I was worry that this would affect Louies. But I was lucky because as my son (who is studying to be a chef) said that Tuesday was the day real eaters go since it was a slow night and we could really see what the kitchen could do.
We started with a sample of dim sum to start the meal. This was made up of har gow, pork mai and pot stickers. We had three order of each. These were freshly steamed and pan-fried for us. They were excellent. Since one of my cousins was not available I had an open seat so my fellow chowhound Derek took her spot. He said that if the dim sum was this good went the North team tried it they could have selected Louies.
Next we had Three Color Combination Platter. They were five spice beef tendons, jellyfish, stuff pork shank and pickled turnips. This was well presented they had a sliced lemon ring to surround the jellyfish and turnip. The jellyfish was one the best I have had in a long time.
Honey Walnut Prawns, this was good, the nut were freshly made not made to far ahead of time. Sometimes the walnuts are made to far ahead of time and do not taste fresh. The prawns were large and well coated but not drown in sauce.
Sauté Calamari and Scallop with Chinese Green, a good stir-dry dish with a good an amount of seafood, but the outstanding part of this dish was the sugar snap peas. They were perfectly done in that they were sweet not overcooked and had snapped when we bit them.
Braised Four Happiness Shank Fin, this soup had great favor. There was a hint of ham, maybe a smoked ham or maybe a Smithfield ham. The only drawback was there was not a lot of shank fin. But in fairness when you find out what I paid for this meal you can live with that fact.
Dry scallops with Mushrooms and Mustard Green Hearts, this was second best dish we had. The greens were perfectly done, they looked just prefect. The shitake mushroom were fresh not the dried ones. The taste of the fresh would make the dried ones pale in comparison. The mustard actual glowed and cooked, while being crispy. Louies did all the vegetables dishes well.
Golden Fried Whole Chicken, good color and not overdone. The taste was good, just a good dish.
Steamed Live Fish, this was the highlight of the meal. In a Chinese banquet meal they always say live fish you never know fish you will get. The waiter told me that we had trout when he arrived at the table. I was not too happy with that selection because to a Chinese taste steamed trout is not a highlight. Then the Manager deboned the fish and when he present the fish he said it was large mouth black bass. The fish was done just right because Mrs. Yimster said so. She is the true lover of seafood, me I am a steak and potatoes man. One of cousins said that for an American born Chinese I really knew how to order. Then my other cousin said that this was a set dinner. It was noted that they did a great job of cleaning the fish that because there was there was no tank taste.
Dry Braised Yee Mein, the waiter showed the plated us the plate and then served us in bowls. My cousin said that they started with fresh noodles and fry them they were not the pre-fried noodles. The ingredients were bean sprouts, sliced shitake mushroom and yellow chives. It was very refreshing after a heavy meal.
Dessert, we were given two types of sweet rice cakes, one with red bean and the other yellow milk filling. They were small and not overly sweet and good ending to a good meal.
Derek will give a posting on good service we got.
They were not busy at good last night. I think they only had maybe five or six other tables. So if you want to go to a place for a good dinner at this or another high end place do so on a weekday night it will be well worth it. The staff will have time to serve you well and the kitchen will have time to do the meal justice.
Ken the Manager even time to talked to us. He told us about the article and was pleased with the two and half stars, but had hoped for three. Derek and I agree for us on a slow night we would have given him three stars.
As I stated before this was a set dinner for $168.00, which is, a fair price, but I used my Gusto card and got 20% off. Ken told me that Albertson preferred card also would have gotten us the same discount. They have four private dinning rooms for no additional charge. With tip and tax dinner for ten was about two hundred dollars.
In closing, my cover at Louies is over. One of my auntie said during the meal that I should post this on Chowhound the waiter overheard it and relay this to Ken. Who at the end of the meal asked me if I was the Yimster. When I made the reservation he had in his mind that since my last name was Yim he was petty sure I was the Yimster. I think I will need to use another name making reservations in the futurre. Ken did say that he gave us more he would not do for all his guests. This upset my sons who were talking in the car saying that they not happy that the Internet world knows them as the sons of the Yimposter. All in all it was a great meal with great service (it was a light night) and a private room for free. They have four private dinning rooms.