Thanks Kirk, you did a great service for the Chowhounds. The banquet at New Shanghai was a feast to remember. It's the best Chinese food I've eaten outside of LA and the ONLY sichuan food in San Diego that I know of.
This was a real food orgy. I don't know exactly what everything was that we ate, a lot of offal, but nobody objected. We did real justice to the chef's efforts.
On Kirk's recommendation, I had visited New Shanghai the week before and allowed my Chinese friend to order, it was good but rather tame. In contrast, we got the full fire flavor treatment at the Chowhound's feast,thirteen of us on Friday the 13th. I had mentioned the place to an adventurous food lover from Chicago and she was anxious to try it. So, believe this..after the orgy of Friday night, three of us returned for lunch on Saturday (that's how good it was). The owner recognized me and treated us to appetizers...the most delicious dish called 'husband and wife'(also served at the banquet) that consists of tripe and other unidentified body parts but in the most delicious spicy sauce that leaves a pleasant singe but doesn't burn out your taste buds, and a dish of chewy, sliced pig ears. Yummy. I also ordered eel, which I very much favor. In this case, cooked with yellow leeks, not overly spiced but very flavorful. Another favorite, spicy eggplant with pork, was a great surprise, flavored with ginger and garlic with no mundane ground pork but juicy and tender shortribs, the works, bone, marrow and cartilege and totally succulent. My friend ordered a seafood soup with rice noodles. Good but not as good as the soup we had the night before which was served as a palate cleansing digestive aid in the middle of the meal. But all the goodies were left in the bottom! Pork hocks, veggies and chicken were among the dregs. These were possibly ignored because the food just keep coming and diverted our attention. What can I say about service except that it never stopped! The tea was kept refilled and clean plates were brought us when ours were full of bones, crab shells and chile pods. I brought a guest from Hong Kong who was overjoyed with the entire meal and said it reminded him of home. Everyone left smiling and, I rather believe, a firm resolve to return. This was a real find, a treasure. San Diego is no where near a culinary destination but things are improving and the New Shanghai is proof positive. Put it in your book as a must try.
It was great to see the chow hounds again. Ed and Gregg come all the way from Yuma. Now that's a chowhound!