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Dinner at Oriental Pearl

Ice Cream Machine | Jul 23, 200411:04 PM

This post is late by several months. I'm listing the dishes we ordered
in honor of a new expedition to the Pearl this weekend.

Note that this was a mixed party, some chowhounds, some not, so not
all the menu choices were particularly adventurous.

From the cold food counter up front:

* Pig's ears

Spicy, oily, full of Sichuan pepper

* Garlic Cucumber in Sesame Oil

* Seaweed and Green Onion Salad with Hot Pepper

Entrees from the regular menu:

* (#112) Sichuan Cold Noodles with Special Sauce

chewy, spaghetti-like noodles; refreshing crunchy pickle bits

* (#056) Quick-Fried Beef with Green Chinese

a standard "beef in brown sauce" type dish

* (#050) Fish-Flavored Dried Shredded Pork

sweet, umame, chewy

* (#081) Ma Po Tofu

stinging! ka-pow! Sichuan pepper flavor

* (#093) Balsam Pear with White Sauce

"balsam pear" turns out to be another name for bitter melon. This
was bitter melon in a very light, almost tasteless sauce. Which
means this dish was bitter, baby, bitter. But I like bitter, so it
was cool. Actually this dish made a nice condiment for some of
the other richer dishes.

* (#016) Pickled Green Vegetable with Duck Soup

gamy, sour, with "small, orange fruity seedy vegetables" -- what I
found out later were vine berries (I think that's the right name).

* (#054) Shredded Pork with Dry Bean Curd

orange-y, anisey

* (#001) Fried Chicken Cubes with Hot Pepper

a giant pile of dried, stir-fried peppers with a dainty garnish of
chicken cubes -- by far the hottest dish we had

* (#018) Chung Qing-Style Hot Chopped Chicken

chicken pieces in spicy marinade -- many unusual pieces, feet,
neck, etc.

On a previous visit, Mrs. Ice Cream Machine brought me back what
must have been Fish-Flavor Eggplant, which a Hong Kong-born friend
of ours picked out. It was one of the two best eggplant dishes
I've ever had (and I love eggplant).

Oriental Pearl Restaurant
621 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801-3311
Phone: (626) 281-1898

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