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South Legend, Milpitas -- report

PekoePeony | Apr 10, 200609:24 PM

My bf and I went to South Legend in Milpitas last night. I ran a quick search on CH beforehand for recs but didn't find any with specific dishes (but I'll admit to having poor searching abilities) and so am writing up what we had.

This was our second visit, but I don't really count the first since we went with a large group of people previously, many of whom couldn't eat spicy food and so we had to ask for everything dumbed down, spice-wise. This time at 8.30pm on a Sunday night the restaurant was about 1/2 full, mostly with large groups of Chinese diners.

We ordered (the names may be a bit off from the menu since this is from memory):

* 3 Kinds of Vegetable Appetizers (zero peppers on the menu -- the # of peppers indicates spiciness, with 3 being the maximum). A good sized dish of uncooked finely julienned carrots, daikon, and cucumbers, lightly bathed in a soy/sesame dressing, were brought out. It wasn't too exciting by itself but it was a nice cool and crunchy contrast to our other dishes.

* Sichuan Flavor Dungeness Crab (2 peppers). This was a whole dungeness crab, cut into pieces and barely battered and fried, and then cooked in a light black bean sauce with green bell peppers, red bell peppers, garlic, scallions, peanuts and dried arbol chiles. I don't know why this was rated 2 peppers on the menu since it's not spicy at all unless you eat the dried chilies. My bf and I prefer the mouth-burning dry-fried style at Seven Stars Pepper in Seattle, but this version was still good, with a reasonable amount of moist crab.

* Deep Fried Chicken Pieces with Peppers (3 peppers). When we ordered this dish, the waiter warned us that it was very spicy. My bf said: "That's great, we like spicy!" (Actually I can't take spicy foods that well but have gotten better since a trip to South India.) Out came a plate of dry deep-fried chicken chunks, each with a bit of bone (I think they were all hacked-up chicken wings) and littered among a plethora of dried chile peppers. The chicken chunks were coated with a medium batter studded with bits of dried chile flakes. This dish was definitely spicy, but very tasty!! It was our favorite dish of the night, though the chicken bones were a bit annoying. When I had leftovers for lunch today with rice, it seemed more tolerable, or may be my tongue was getting used to the spiciness :)

* Sauteed seasonal vegetable (zero peppers). We were given the choice of spinach or green beans, and we chose spinach since we order green beans at Sichuan restaurants too often. They were lightly sauteed and good.

Overall dinner for two with tax and tip was about $54, and we had enough leftovers for one lunch the next day. I thought the food was fine but I did notice the lack of sichuan peppercorns!!! I've never seen Sichuan peppercorns at South Legend and don't feel that's quite right, but otherwise the food is good and dependable.

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