A while ago, I posted a rave about Green Village. Said I was going back with a massive number of people, promised a report. But never reported. Reason: the group outing happened to fall one day after the L.A. Weekly review of Green Village, and when we got there, the place was (for the only time I've ever seen) packed with non-Chinese, and the food was decent, but not great. I figured: maybe the kitchen got nervous with all the press, I'll give it another shot.
Have since been back twice, and both visits were as excellent as original rave-creating visit.
Thanks again to the Carl Chu book's specific dish recommendations, found some beautiful dishes:
The Meatball. It's a braised meatball in hot pot. It's a big, soft, meat/vermicelli noodle meatball braised with cabbage and the Magic Brown Sauce. A deep, deep flavor. I think this was the table favorite.
Fried crab in brown sauce. Once we had it and the crab was great, the other time the crab was previously frozen. But, in any case, it comes in the BEST USE OF THE BROWN SAUCE EVER. It sort of reminds me of a Viet/Chinese crab prep my mom used to make. The crab is cut up and sauteed in a sauce made from its own guts, with scallions and ginger and garlic. (Have I mentioned my mom is a Great Cook?) What I had at GV is kind of like that, except the sauce is hella augmented with the brown sauce. It's kind of like crab brain/brown sauce reduction. It's insane. I love it.
Note: eating crab this way is MESSY. Involves fingers, sucking on crab bits, cracking shell with your teeth, and general misbehavior. Probably the worst date meal imaginable. (Or the best. I have been known to "test" dates with challenging meals. Amy, the lady love, had her first meal front and center at Palm Thai with fried pompano, and the bizarest things I could think of.)
Aside from the Carl Chu suggestions, the following I have found to be very pleasing:
1. Tofu with Preserved Egg Appetizer. Exceedingly pleasing. Cold tofu with oogie, delicious preserved egg, and loads of some of the best shredded dried pork I have ever had. It was like freaking savory cotton candy. Soaking in tasty sauce. It was soft and crunchy at the same time. Madness.
2. Squash with shrimp. This is just very good. Clear flavor.
3. Fried turnip shortcakes. I had this at Meilong Village, I like it more here. Turnip-something stuffing in a thick, fresh-flour dumpling, with a dusting of sesame seeds on the bottom, deep fried.
BTW - I've only been to Lake Spring once, and I found it flat. This was long before I went to GV. Is it worth a second chance - or is Green Village just gonna beat it?
Anybody want to come with me to make some massive invasion of King's Table or something?, the supposedly fantastic other Shanghai restaurant right next door? (critical mass, who has now left this board, once claimed that Lake Spring's old chef, who reigned at its height, was hired away to King's Table.)