Location: 206 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 573-8289
Date: November 19 & December 1, 2015
Cuisine: Szechuan Chinese
Rating: Awesome heat
Oh Szechuan cuisine, how I love thee.
My online searches for new places led me to the well reviewed Huolala, so Sebastian and I decided to give it a try.
The Monterey Park interior is pretty much the typical no frills, food on the wall type.
The menu is full of Szechuan goodies.
And they have the cold appetizer bar.
Of course we had to order Dan Dan Mein, the classic.
This was a solid version. The noodles themselves were excellent. It was a bit wet and soupy, with not quite enough nut paste or meat for my taste, but the flavor was good with some numbing heat.
Hot and spicy glass noodles. Not the best of this dish I’ve ever had, but lots of nice tangy hot flavor.
Eggplant with garlic. This is always a tasty dish, but this particular implementation was a 10. Nice soft, hot eggplant, and a tremendous garlic kick. Yum!
Sautéed lamb with hot pepper. 2-3 times fried lamb chunks with peppers, Szechuan peppercorns, and puffed rice. The lamb was full of flavor and fairly tender. The crispy rice was interesting, particularly as it soaked up the aromatic flavor of the surrounds (and the chili oil). Great stuff.
Dry Braised Yellow Fish. Never had this prep, with spicy peppers, garlic, and slices of Chinese sausage!
Kung Pao tofu. I’m not sure I’ve had my King Pao with tofu. These were great chunks of fried soft tofu, tossed with peanuts and chilis. Rather excellent actually.
Mao Po tofu. A top top notch version of the classic. Great soft texture and a rich spicy meaty sauce. Not too salty too (which is a good thing).
As this was just a pair of quick lunches, we only sampled a few dishes, but everything was really top notch in terms of flavor and ingredient quality, so we will have to come back and broaden out. Stay tuned!
Afterward, to cool down, we had to head to Salju Dessert and picked up this guava snow with passionfruit, kiwis, strawberries, and almond jelly.