I was very happy with take-out from Yum Yum House on Valencia at 17th. This place is a little bigger inside than it seems to be on the outside. It bills itself as Mandarin Style Chinese, but the items tonight reminded me of long ago meals at a Hunan across from Clown Alley downtown and such similar places. Really different than I would seek in Chinatown today, but very satisfying flavors and large portions. Really hit the spot.
We had Spicy Mandarin Eggplant ($7.95): this was the style of eggplant I had almost given up on finding again (after eating crude rawish offerings at Thai places the last couple years), it was rich, silken tender, succulent and CARMELIZED! The dish also contained whole shrimp, diced chicken and some vegetables with whole basil leaves. Excellent.
Also General Tsao Chicken ($7.95), it just looked good, very lightly battered and fried, non oily, sparingly sauced and surrounded by tons of broccoli (sorry not Chinese broccoli) that was generous if too crunchy.
These were listed under specials on the menu; more basics are $6.95, inc basil chix, garlic chix, Kung Pao, five flavor, ...etc
The menu says "order 2 entrees and get FREE fried rice or chow mein" and they did offer it ($4.95 on the menu.) It was a huge styro container of it. All said the leftovers are in the fridge and it could have served 4 which would make $4.50 per person. That is a good deal for the high quality of ingredients and fresh veg used. More authentic Chinese food mavens may sneer, but I'll be back and hope I stay this happy with it.