I have a friend who really only knows and likes Westside Chinese food. THink Hunan taste.
He tells me that whenever he goes to a Chinese restaurant he always likes to order Hot and Sour Soup, sesame noodles, and lemon chicken. Is there any place in Monterey Park/SGV where he could the best of these?
I tell him no - that the best of any of these dishes will be at three different places - three different cuisines. So we decide to go progressive.
1pm saturday, Oriental Pearl. We order (the two of us +1) one order suan-la tang, hot and sour soup at a pretty decent sichuan place. Didn't want to freak him out at first with Best Szechwan - O Pearl is prettier. We also order a small 3-coldplate selection, their seaweed salad (peppery, of course, more so than I'm used to at Northern places), a green bean salad, and some thin-sliced pork tongue. The soup was great (but I remember liking best s. better, but not sure, been a while). Did burn, so much so that he wondered if the three chili-marked dishes mightnot be deadly (the soupo had only one pepper in the menu). Two bowls per head, paid off.
Stopped at Nanjing Kitchen on Las Tunas to buy some Salt-brined duck (Yanshui ya). take out, very good.
1:30, MaLan for sesame noodles, no chicken. $3.75. Turned out to be one small bowl perperson, three of us. Also ordered their haidai (seaweed salad) and the young bamboo shoots which were great. Note, the owner waited on us and could not have been nicer. Either he was psychotic the day the other poster met him, or it's a different owner, or we just get along better. Tasty, and done.
2:00 - go to MPV. They don't have Lemon chicken on the menu but this is a wonderful seafood place, as much an aquarium as a restaurant with grouper and sea bass and sheepshead and live abalone in tanks around the dining room. They have a great lunch special with all kinds of dishes, like beef and daikon in a clay pot, manila clams, etc. BUt they can make lemon chicken easily and do. It's thin-sliced chicken, zha - battered and quick=fried, rolled in sesame and then the lemon sauce is poured over it. The lemon sauce is thick but not gloppy perfect balance of sweet and acid. I like this place.
So fun afternoon (stopped at teh end at Best Szechwan for the tea and camphor smoked duck [herbal duck on the menu] and at Giangnan for the Jade celery all to go).
About $28 for everything including side dishes, fed three.
MPV SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
1412 S GARFIELD AVE
301 N GARFIELD AVE B&C
ORIENTAL PEARL RESTAURANT
227 W VALLEY BLVD # 128C
GIANG NAN RESTAURANT
306 N GARFIELD AVE A12
BEst Szechwan across the parking lot from Giang Nan
NAN JING KITCHEN
706 W LAS TUNAS DR B5
Addresses at lapublichealth.org/rating