Restaurant: Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine
Location: 742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803. (626) 782-7555
Date: February 5, 2019
Cuisine: Uyghur Chinese
Rating: Excellent execution, and closer to Afghan than Chinese
There are a bunch of new SGV places that Yarom and I have been wanting to try so we’re making a point of heading out for some small lunches to do forward recognizance as we just don’t have enough dinner slots available.
Dolan’s, which is a new Uyghur place celebrating the cuisine of Western China — the part above Tibet known as Jing Jiang. Perfect for lunch to as they are Halal and don’t allow alcohol.
The interior has a distinctly “western” style — and considerably more style than most Chinese places. While the building was probably some mid-century family restaurant they have added the Islamic style “windows” and tile.
Copper tea pots.
A big menu featuring lamb, lamb, and more lamb! Good thing we love lamb!
Cucumber with garlic. Cucumber salad with garlic dressing. Pretty typical Chinese appetizer but this was a great one with really crunchy cucumbers and nice tangy (garlicky) dressing.
Cold Beef Salad. Sliced cold beef with chili sauce. Not sure what is salad about it — except maybe the green onion — but this was also a great dish. The beef was dense, almost like tongue, but thinly sliced and the tangy/spicy sauce was excellent.
Fried Tomato with Egg. Scrambled egg with stir-fried tomato. Yarom ordered this Chinese comfort food and it turned out to be a nice rendition of the dish.
Uyghur Goshnaan. Uyghur style hame-made Naan filled with lamb, onion, and green pepper. This is a specialty of the house, although it was one of our least favorite dishes. The meat inside was delicious, and the outside nicely made, but there was so much breading that it drowned out the meat.
Manti. Uyghur style dumpling filled with ground beef. These are stylistically close to XLB (but with beef) and also to Afghan Manti. I love both of those and I loved these. The skins were delicate and the filling really flavorful. I started using some of the chili sauce as a dip, but the waiter told us that Uyghur do not eat them with sauce. Still, I think they would be best with the yogurt, tomato, and green chili Afghan sauce.
Laghman. Traditional hand pulled noodle served with stir fried veggies and lamb. We think it was lamb. The meat was very flavorful and this dish overall was like an Uyghur Jewish “beef stew.” The carrots were cooked really well too. The noodles (you can glimpse them underneath) were tasty but a bit heavy.
Braised Lamb. Lamb stewed with wolfberry, chili sauce, and pepper over round noodles. This lamb was also very good and the round noodles were even better — fabulous actually.
Roasted Mutton Leg. Marinated mutton leg made with family recipe. Just lamb meat — but tender and delicious.
Lamb kebabs. Sheep must be very scared when they cross into Uyghur territory! But these were some of the best lamb kebab I have had — hot off the grill and super tender and with just the right amount of cumin and spice.
Fried cabbage. Stir-fried cabbage with chili dressing. Nice and crunchy and really delicious! Loved this dish.
We didn’t have this baklava, but they had it on the counter.
Overall, not only was Dolan’s super interesting, but they were delicious as well. It’s related most closely to Western Chinese, but not totally Chinese in style (food-wise, decor isn’t Chinese at all). The kitchen was excellent though, and everything was extremely tasty — you better like lamb though!
For my catalog of Chinese restaurant reviews in China, click here.