On Saturday evening I was part of a large group treated to dinner at "Best Szechuan" or "Jiawei Chuancai" in Monterey Park at 230 N. Garfield Avenue.
My experience convinced me that the best food in LA, Chinese or otherwise, can be found in unassuming mini-mall restaurants. And unassuming this place was! No frills decor. The carpet was somewhat threadbare and it had a B in restaurant sanitation.
But the food was excellent. I don't eat meat so can't comment first hand on the quality. Fellow diners however raved over the pig feet and chicken soup, the various chicken dishes and the pigs ear cold dishes.
I "settled" for the vegetables and a few bites of "dousu yu" or steamed fish with spicy beancurd sauce - fresh and well-prepared. .
MUSHROOMS (not spicy). These were tender and melt-in-your mouth. Not too salty and with a nice sauce.
"SIGUA" or "dishcloth gourd" was similarly tender and very fresh. We ate it simply, fried with garlic and a delicate sauce. It was also served with a few pieces of bamboo innards, porous delicate strips which soaked up the sauce nicely.
FRIED SPICY GREEN PEPPERS - delicious! I can't wait to go back and try more of their vegetarian dishes.
I have spent quite a bit of time in China and this food is some of the best and most authentic I've had this side of the Pacific. For those of you are are a little put off at pig feet and chicken attached to the bone, stick with the vegetables, fish, gongbao jiding (chicken with hot pepper and peanuts), and tofu. I guarantee you will go home happy.