The Chinese chef (Raymond) at the China Pavilion at the Montecito location is from Shanghai originally but he was classically trained in Cantonese and other Chinese dishes. The food there is amazing, fresh, and not laden with the usual msg-sauces.
Try the salt and pepper chicken wings--so flavorful and the steamed fish (sole) in a light soy sauce, which is a delicate, light, delicious dish. Ask for sauteed snow pea leaves on the side. Yummy and healthy.
Lately, we've been asking him to choose dishes for us and he always makes incredible food that allows us to explore the new and abandon the usual dishes one sees in Chinese restaurants. (Those are good too, though, like the Kung Pao chicken.)
A tip: He makes all the fabulous dim sum dumplings and such for the downtown (CP) location on weekends. This rivals any dim sum we've had in Chinatowns all over the world. The cuisine at the downtown --other than the weekend dim sum--is just not the same quality as the Montecito location. Try it! He is truly a gem and I wanted to share the joy with readers.
1070 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara, CA 93108