Wanted to post on a recent visit to Lu Din Gee. We are NY foodies currently living in San Diego who are lucky enough to fly and have just discovered that El Monte Airport is smack dab in the middle of awesome cuisine. Flew in to check out Lu Din Gee on Friday.
We actually almost turned around and left upon arriving. We arrived a bit late in the lunch hour - 1:30, but not out of bounds for lunches. There was nobody waiting in line when we arrived, and the place was not at all busy but we stood for at least ten minutes before a waitress finally seated us. It was only after somebody who the waitress knew came in behind us, she started to speak to them, and I caught her eye did she even deal with us. It was truly baffling. I am Caucasian (my husband is Chinese), so maybe that had something to do with it. However, we have never encountered anything like that before anywhere. I ordered in Mandarin. Didn't know if the waitress spoke Cantonese or Mandarin, but I had to somehow establish my authenticity. Service perked up a bit after that but not much.
We had pre-ordered the duck three ways. We also ordered dan dan mien, the southern style pork that was recommended on Chowhound, a taiwanese sausage (because I have a bit of an addiction to them), and thousand layer cake. The sausage came first. It was sausage - like you buy in the store, but it really hit the spot. The duck arrived next. As y'all had indicated, the duck was quite good - the skin was firm and not too greasy and the soup was light and delicate. We would skip the second way (stir fried) next time - nothing special. Things then came to a grinding halt. The pork did not arrive and nobody came anywhere near us. When three o'clock rolled around and the wait staff sat down to eat without giving us our pork, our thousand layer cake, or our bill, my husband finally got up to ask for some help. We were not the only ones left by the way - there were others stranded as we were. The pork had been forgotten, but the waiter grudgingly sliced up and served the thousand layer cake. The thousand layer cake was not like any I had ever had but was good. It was made of glutinous a rice and interestingly sweet. We then had another long wait for the bill to come (while the staff ate), had to deal with attitude when we asked to have the pork taken off (since we had not received it), and had to deal with more attitude when we asked to have the remainder of our food wrapped up. We aren't very assertive (as you can tell by how long we tolerated the different waits), so the situation was agonizing. We finally got out of there at 4:00 and home after 6:00.
Alas, the food was really good, but we will not be back. The bad service left too much of a different kind of taste in our mouths.
That doesn't mean we won't be back to the area. Yummy food in a concentrated zone within flying distance - heaven.
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