The Westside of Los Angeles is becoming a haven for only excellent Chinese restaurants, but specifically, Sichuan food. A couple of years ago, China’s Meizhou Dongpo opened up their first US location in Century City. Then GuYi opened up earlier this year, followed by West LA’s Hop Woo adding management and chefs with experience preparing excellent, non-Americanized, Sichuan dishes. In the near future Sichuan Impression will take over the space where long time Chinese American restaurant Jin Jiang used to reside, in West LA as well.
Though I wasn’t much of a fan of the food at Meizhou Dongpo, it was quite the opposite with GuYi and Hop Woo (both whom have created dishes that are spicy and are packed with indepth flavor).
What a even more surprising about GuYi was that their Sichuan cookery has improved since my first visit back in May. The dishes were well prepared and seasoned well, offering a good amount of spiciness and mouth-numbingness without the dishes being extremely salty as many other Sichuan restaurants seem to do.
Highlights of our Labor Day dinner at GuYi were the Fish with Green Chiles and the Steamed Chicken in Chili Sauce. The flavors were outstanding; the spice level, good; and an adequate amount of mouth numbing Sichuan peppercorns used in the dishes.
Because GuYi is located on the west end of the 3rd Floor of Brentwood Gardens shopping mall, their prices have to be on the higher side in order to compensate for the higher rents they have. In addition, some of the portions were on the trimmer side. However, the deliciousness of the food made it easy for us to overlook that.
Click on thumbnails to enlarge the photo with captions.
This is the place to go for a great variety of cold appetizers you can choose from, and the appetizers run from $5.00 to $12.00 per order. With most being under $8, it was easy to order a huge variety of dishes to share. Aside from the tasty cold appetizers, Cindy’s Kitchen serves up some decent pan fried noodles and noodle soups as well.
Some of the better cold appetizers we noshed on included their Smoked Duck, Spiced Chicken, and Spicy Chicken Gizzards (which I somehow missed taking a photo of). The flavors were quite pronounced. The smokiness of the duck was enhanced throughout the dish. Every bite was a nice bite of smokiness and savoriness.
At $23 per person (which includes tax and 20% gratuity), it was considered inexpensive, and it may contain exotic herbs and spices from around world, in their dishes. Such a bargain, and we were stuffed to the gills afterward. Even with a party of 8, we barely made a dent in the number of dishes they have offer on their menu. So, we’re going to head back in late September, and hope to be able to sample more dishes from their dinner menu.
As always, click on the thumbnail to enlarged the picture.
Three Flavor (shrimp, pork, Chinese leeks) Dumplings in Beef Broth
Spicy Beef Stew Noodle Soup
Spicy Beef Stew Noodle Soup
Pickled Baby Bamboo
Soybean Dry Noodle (Zha Jiang Mian)
Spicy Sliced Bean Curd
Pickled Long (Green) Beans
Knife Cut Noodling at Shanxi Noodle House in City of Industry
In the East San Gabriel Valley, more and more Asian restaurants are popping up all over from La Puente to Walnut, and from Northern Chinese cuisine to Burmese. Shanxi Noodle House isn’t a newcomer. They’ve been in business for over about 2 years now, only having been discovered by me, when a friend and I needed to find a place to grab a bite while on our way home from checking out the superblooms along the 15 Freeway in Lake Elsinore back in March of this year. Searching through Yelp, we stumbled upon their listing, which has been awarded a good number of 4 and 5 star reviews from Yelpers, and decided to give them a try. The result was enjoying the wonderful layers of flavors as well as different textures in the dishes we tried, particularly of the Crispy Potatoes with Oat Flour Noodle Rolls. After that night, we came back for more. The noodles and dumplings are all house made, and the knife cut noodles are made to order.
Machine knife cuts noodles
Dumplings are all house made
Pan Fried Noodles with Beef
Sliced Potatoes with Knife Cut Oat Flour Noodles
Stir Fried “A” Choy
Pan Fried Dumplings (Potstickers)
Pork & Chinese Chives Meat Pie
Beef Noodle Soup
Spicy Cold Chicken
Pan Fried Potatoes with Oat Flour Noodles
Lamb Noodle Soup
Inside look of the pumpkin cakes
House made scallion rolls/pancakes
House made scallion rolls
Modern Indonesian Fusion and Bone Broth Noodle Soups at Bone Kettle
Nicely plated dishes that tasted lovely, but nothing special. The bone broth soup with noodles was good, but it was just too much of a production for a bowl of bone broth that was poured over a batch of ramen egg noodles.
This family-owned restaurant serves some of the best Chinese food in the San Fernando Valley, if you choose the right dishes. The family is from Henan in Northern China, just east of the Shaanxi province where the ancient capital of China (Xi’an) is located. The mother’s expertise in making dumplings from scratch as well as hand-pulled noodles is one of the reasons this place’s food is a stand-out. San Jian Bao (we had the Pan Fried Buns filled with ground pork and napa cabbage), Potstickers (we ordered the Lamb & Zucchini, but she was out of zucchini and created potstickers from ground lamb and Chinese chives), Wontons in Spicy Sauce (the sauce included peanuts, which is different from the Wontons in Chile Oil we see in most other Szechuan restaurants), and of course, Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings). Her hand-pulled noodles are used in her Spicy & Sour Beef Noodle Soup, according one of my BFFs, is the best he’s ever had, even better than those served in the San Gabriel Valley, and in Flushing Chinatown in Queens, NY. Her house-made knife cut noodles are used in her Lamb Noodle Soup, and I loved the firmness and chewiness of the noodles. Add a couple of well made Szechuan dishes, and my group declared this place a winner. Website: http://www.tampagardenchinesedelight.com/
Wontons in Spicy Sauce:
Lamb Noodle Soup:
Sauteed Spicy Sour Napa (Cabbage):
Spicy & Sour Beef Noodle Soup:
Xiao Long Bao/Soup Dumplings:
Eggplant, Potato, Green Bell Pepper:
San Jian Bao (Pan Fried Buns filled with ground pork and napa cabbage, lighter and thinner bun wrap than most other places):
Cold Spicy Chicken:
Pan Fried Dumplings/Potstickers:
Szechuan Spicy Fish:
Beef Chow Fun (Dry Style):
The best dishes are hidden within the menu. Look beyond these popular favorites for a much better culinary experience.