I've been wanting to eat at Hua's Garden (Sichuan) in Monterey Park since reading Jonathan Gold's review a couple of years ago. Finally got over there last evening (after a phone call when they answered with another name, and I asked, "Is this Hua's Garden?" and the guy said, "Yes"). As we drove up, it turns out to now be Yui Gui Garden.
We were taken aback but decided what the heck, let's try it. Restaurant fullish. The waitress was quite accommodating, made several suggestions, which we followed.
We started with a noodle soup which had nice broth and fresh ingredients stirred in at table. Things went downhill from there. The waitress-recommended Lamb with Cumin had so much cumin that you could feel the gritty texture of the spice in every bite. The Chicken and Fish with Sichuan Special Sauce was palate-numbingly incendiary. Literally, the dish left our palates tingly and numbed, which was a strange sensation. The Spareribs with Garlic Sauce were deep-fried to dry toughness, incredibly greasy and had an odd vanilla odor. The "garlic sauce" consisted of some raw minced garlic sprinkled on top. We left most of the platter uneaten. The Cantonese standard, Shrimp with Walnuts, was only OK. The shrimp didn't taste very fresh. I had a much better version a week earlier at Genghis Cohen, which I wouldn't have thought possible.
The food came within three to five minutes of ordering it, which appeared to indicate that nothing was prepared to order.
This was the worst meal I have ever had in Monterey Park. Steer clear. And does anyone know what happened to the much-vaunted Hua's Garden (which continues to live on in Google searches at the address below)?
Yui Gui Garden
301 N. Garfield