There was a lonely post back in April (4/1/02) about Shangri La, a newish Chinese/Tiawanese restaurant in Belmont, near the Watertown line (on Belmont St., about 3 blocks west of the Mt. Auburn St. Star Mkt). It took us a long time to check it out but we went last night and it was really really good! Thank you "Aramt" for posting about it. It was (dare I say it?) almost as good as the Taiwan Cafe, and a heck of a lot closer and more convenient for us on a weeknight. We started with delicious boiled wontons with spicy sauce. The wontons were very much like Mary Chung's but the sauce was paler and spiced with Szechuan peppercorns that make your lips tingle. We had excellent dried tofu with Chinese chives, pork and chiles; Tung An chicken (chicken bits in a sweetish sauce with lots of browned onions and ginger); spicy eggplant with Thai basil (sauce not as dark as the Taiwan Cafe version, but excellent with the judicious addition of a few black beans); fried turnip cake, a favorite appetizer that is usually a dim sum dish but was very fresh and crispy at dinner; and rice with pork sauce and a slice of pickled daikon which is a dish the hostess at Taiwan Cafe introduced us to as "children's bowl". It is small and very child friendly, but at Shangri La it is made with very toothsome shredded pork (instead of ground pork) that is nicely flavored with 5 spice and cinnamon. The fried ravioli were a bit above average, with good pork/sesame/ginger flavor, and the hot and sour soup was just average.
We will be sure to go back again soon. There were many many things on the menu that looked a bit unusual and that we want to try. We saw some great looking fried oysters at the next table...and we were the only non-Chinese in the place on a very busy night. At one point a customer answered the phone as one lone waiter struggled to mind the desk and keep up with the tables.
Chowhounds in the western 'burbs should check it out! let us know what else is good on the menu!