Restaurant: Yunnan Restaurant
Location: 301 N Garfield Ave. Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 571-8387
Date: August 25, 2019 and October 15, 2022
Rating: Really interesting and delicious. Best cold bar in town.
I’ve been looking forward to this one, as I always love unusual regional Chinese.
It’s the usual SGV sort of frontage, including the B rating.
The huge menu.
The space is divided between a more formal back half with semi-private rooms and a more casual front.
Yunnan restaurant is well known for its extensive buffet of cold authentic Chinese appetizers.
All sorts of yummy cured and spiced meats.
Wood ear mushrooms, pigs ears, and some kind of fried treat.
Pickled vegetables and chicken.
Spiced tofu and garlic cucumbers.
Cold Appetizers (not so weird edition). Smashed cucumbers, pickled veggies, wood ear mushrooms, daikon, spicy chicken, and spicy beef and tendon. All of these were pretty good, especially the beef and tendon.
Cold Appetizers (weird edition). Smoked gizzard and sliced spicy pig head. These were both pretty awesome. The gizzard is salted and smoked then sliced like pastrami. The “head” has a weird but wonderful mixed texture and a fabulous chili oil flavor.
Salted peanuts with anchovies. Better than normal peanuts.
Bean curd rice noodle. This was one of my less favorite dishes, although it was still tasty. Just soft and mild with the silken tofu.
Cold Sichuan Noodles. When mixed up these hearty noodles were quite spicy, a bit tangy, and rather delicious.
Local chicken with spicy sauce. Not a bad version of the cold spicy chicken in chilies.
Cold tofu with preserved egg. I really like this dish with the tofu tofu, pungent and salty egg with tangy sauce.
Lamb with pickled pepper. Tasty and strong, with soft meat and lots of of flavor.
Fish with Szechuan special sauce. The classic boiled spicy fish. Hot with big chunks of fish.
Sichuan Fish Filet boiled with Green Chilies. This was a perfect version of this dish. The fish was soft and boneless and the broth intensely numbing and “green pepper” spicy with that semi-gelatinous fish bone thickness. Awesome.
Crispy Rice with Shrimp. The hot saucy dish was poured over the crispy rice which it slowly softens. I really liked the texture of this dish with the slightly chewy, slightly crunchy rice, the veggies and shrimp, and the light white pepper sauce.
Yunnan cured pork with leek and green pepper. This was an amazing dish. Salty, with tons of cured ham and leeky flavor.
Yunnan Style Pork with Leek and Red Pepper. This dish is awesome. The pork is a kind of smoked pork belly or bacon and pairs amazingly with the leeks, coating them in that night lardy flavor.
Frog with Pickled Pepper. Tangy and hot. Lots of bones, but delicious.
Szechuan Special Cured Crispy Duck. Really tasty, pastrami like meat.
Yunann Style Dry Beef. Another great dish. Like a salty chipped beef. Crunchy and delicious. Some people didn’t love this dish, but I did. The beef is ultra thin, salted, and fried to crispy bacon-like texture. I really enjoyed it. It’s one of those dishes that starts off a little bland (or maybe purely salty) but grows addictive as you chew more of it.
Cumin Lamb. Nice rendition of the classic cumin lamb. Very spicey and the onions were chopped instead of sliced. This allowed them to pick up a lot of the cumin and chili sauce (not to mention the oil). Quite delicious.
Sichuan Style Braised Pork with Preserved Vegetables and Crepes. The “crepes” are buns that I skipped. The super fatty pork belly, however, was salty, melt in your mouth soft, and rather amazing. As usual it paired well with the “flavor” laden salted greens underneath. Great dish.
Pea Shoots with Garlic. Perfect version of this classic Chinese green dish.
Omelet with shrimp. A solid omelet with succulent shrimp. Extra delicious with the chipped beef.
Eggs with Green Pepper and Green Onions. Pretty much a soft Chinese omelet with a bunch of green onions. Surprisingly nice. This was supposed to be eggs with Chinese chives but they ran out of chives.
Eggplant in Garlic Sauce. Fairly salt, and unusual, but great flavor.
Key Lime Pie Gelato — base is a key lime egg custard, layered with house-made Graham Cracker and covered with house-made Torched Meringue — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #KeyLime #lime #custard #meringue #GrahamCracker #cookie
Citron au Courant Sorbetto – Fresh squeezed Lemons blended with French Currants (Cassis) — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #lemon #cassis #currents
Afterward off to Salju for a bit of sweet.
Service was very friendly at Yunnan and they recently got their liquor license and let us open our wines. But beyond that this is delicious and interesting cuisine. Quite salty, with a lot of cured meats and pickled vegetables. And they do have hands down the best cold appetizer “buffet” in the SGV. Super bargain prices too so overall a very fun and tasty place.
For my catalog of Chinese restaurant reviews in China, click here.