Restaurant: Shaanxi Garden
Location: 529 E Valley Blvd #178a, San Gabriel, CA 91776. (626) 787-5555
Date: October 1, 2017 & January 12, 2018 & February 19, 2019
Cuisine: Shaanxi Chinese
Rating: Really good (and interesting) stuff
I love heading off to “unusual” (i.e. not Cantonese) Chinese food. We’ve been to Western Chinese before but it’s not the most typical in that it specializes in knife cut noodles and the like from the region near the old Tang capital of Xian.
The mini-mall frontage.
Shaanxi is in the mini-mall next to the Anhui place we ate at recently (which is how we found it). The interior is very typical. Sadly the Anhui place is closed now.
Some of the gang.
Seaweed salad (2/19/19). Rather excellent actually, with a nice tangy quality.
Cabbage. I enjoy this lightly stir fried cabbage and this version was no exception.
Cabbage with dried shrimp (1/12/18 and 2/19/19). A slightly funkier version — also great.
Wontons in chili oil (1/12/18 and 2/19/19). A nice version of this dish. Lots of flavor. Really excellent.
Bean curd with chili oil (10/17 and 2//19/19). Nice dish actually and interesting thin tofu texture.
Pork bun (first visit and 2/19/19). Sweet BBQ pork in a bread bun.
Tangy pork bun (1/12/18 and 2/19/19). With a more vinegar based sauce.
Beef and tendon and tripe with chili oil (10/17 and 2/19/19). Really tasty pastrami-like beef with garlic and lots of very hot mala chili. I ate a ton of this.
Chicken noodle big plate (10/17). Giant bowl of chicken in brown sauce with potatoes and knife cut noodles.
Potatoes (10/17). This dish has a slight vinegary note and a little bit of heat. With a bit of extra sauce it has a great texture and is delicious.
Pork with chilies and noodles (10/17).
This was very similar to some Vietnamese dishes, particularly the signature Hoi An dish Cao Lou.
Fish filets in chili sauce (first visit and 2/19/19). A solid rendition of this Szechuan classic. No numb taste and very oily though.
This oil was so hot that touching it gave me a second degree burn!
Lamb dumplings in sweet and sour soup (10/17 and 2/19/19). Very unusual, sourish broth, rich lamb dumplings.
Eggplant (10/17 and 2/19/19). A bit like the Szechuan version of this dish. Tasty and not as hot though.
Fried chicken with chilies (10/17). Very eggy batter. Good though.
Pork belly coated in rice flour (2/19/19). Another classic Szechuan dish. Good too, but a slimy texture that put off some people (I, being adopted Chinese, like it).
Sebastian keeps thinking that hole-in-the-wall Chinese places adhere to typical American resteraunt memes. So he thought he was ordering Yellowtail. But alas:
Yellow Croaker (2/19/19). Delicious whole little fish in tangy sauce with all the bones, eyes, jaws etc!
Szechuan style clams (2/19/19). This is a typical Szechuan dish and was actually quite good here with lots of flavor and easily accessible clam meat. It wasn’t as spicy as the OG version, but it was excellent.
Beef with ripped bread (10/17). A kind of noodle / bread ripped into little pieces and mixed with a spicy meat sauce. I guess like a Western “ragu.” Really loved it. Very filling though.
Lamb with ripped bread (1/12/18). The even more classic version — delicious — with pickled garlic.
The lamb with ripped bread on a different day (2/19/19). Maybe even a slightly different dish.
Spicy beef with chilies and onions (10/17). Green pepper fun.
Beef with bamboo shoots (1/12/18 and 2/19/19). Excellent!
Beef noodles (10/17). Another fun noodle dish.
Lamb noodles (2/19/19). Because you really have to love knife cut noodles.
Epic noodle pull! It must be one giant noodle.
Cumin lamb skewers (10/17 and 2/19/19). Pretty much the usual.
I brought gelato (10/17) from home. Three flavors: Zabaione, cappuccino caramel, and lime basil.
The 2/19/19 gelato:
Strawberry Basil Hendrick’s Sorbetto – Strawberry and Hendrick’s Gin Sorbetto laced with Fresh Basil. Strawberries from Avignon — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #sorbetto #strawberry #basil #Hendricks #Gin #cocktail
Butterscotch Butterscotch Caramel Popcorn Gelato – I made my rediculously decadant homemade butterscotch, crafted a gelato from it, layered it in, and added caramel popcornjust because I could! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — oh my! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #butterscotch #vanilla #popcorn #CaramelCorn #sauce #sweet!
Salty Peanut Fudge Reese’s Gelato -Salty Chunky Peanut Base with homemade Valrhona Chocolate Fudge Ribbon and mini Reese’s Peanutbutter Cups! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — oh my! — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #IceCream #NomNom #dessert #peanut #salty #reeses #peanutbuttercup #fudge #Valrhona
Overall, another great SGV find. Some really yummy and different western Chinese!
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For more LA Chinese dining reviews click here.
Wines from the 10/1/17 evening: