Location: 501 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754. (626) 284-3227
Date: April 3, 2022 and December 22, 2022
Rating: Good duck
Duck House is a staple SGV restaurant for my gang. The food is good, it’s on the closer side, and the owner is incredibly nice. I’ve even housed a birthday dinner here. But this is my personal first return after the pandemic.
The logistics of this dinner were a bit odd as we had two tables and about 14-15 people so there were like 7 at each. Yarom had organized and preset the menu but his plane returning to LA was severely delayed/canceled and so Yarom wasn’t at his own dinner! This has never happened before, not in the approximately 400-500 dinners I’ve eaten with him! He never cancels or misses for anything. He’d show up with a freshly amputated leg if he had to. Also there was a full copy of each dish ordered for each table so there was way too much of most stuff.
Peanuts. They always have these on the table. I swear I buy this same brand on a regular basis for home snacking — pretty tasty with a nice medium Chinese heat and numbing quality.
Bang Bang Chicken. A bit of numbing. This was one of my favorite dishes actually, all owing to the “crack” sauce. The chicken was incredibly moist and juicy and the bang bang sauce is to die for. Really really great dish. I could drink the slightly numbing sauce.
Squirrel Fish with the super goopy super sweet sauce. Too sweet. Too heavy.
Lobster with ginger and scallions. Very succulent. Totally solid Cantonese lobster.
Lobster “Typhoon Style”. Very meh. Meat was overcooked and dry. There were way too many breadcrumbs here as well. Garlic flavor was nice.
Eel Sticky Rice. Tastes very Japanese somehow.
Peking Duck. Duck House has very good duck. The skin is nice and crispy. They serve it in this old school manner which has the advantage of lots of skin but the disadvantage of being a bit cool (it was carved back in the kitchen) and the meat being a touch dry.
Duck House Peking duck spread:
Skin was very thick and crispy, really delicious = 9
Meat was dry without the skin, but fairly pleasant flavor = 6
Pancake was thin and translucent, but a bit sticky = 8
The burrito/bing together was a 8/10 because the pancake/hoisin is the most important component of that.
Extra bonus incredible service!
More details on duck and in comparison to others in my Ultimate LA Peking Duck Guide.
Condiments. They have proper thin spring pancakes and good hoisin.
Hoisin was very good. Not too thick, sweet and savory, with a hint of medicinal tone but not off-putting = 8
Accoutrements were scallion and cucumbers as usual plus a spread of pickles, mustard sauce, corn flakes, and raw garlic = 9
Duck Bones. The regular version just roasted. I didn’t really like these.
Duck Bones stir fried with cumin. Much better flavor but not a whole lot of accessible meat.
Duck Tails. Insanely good, insanely fatty, insanely salty bits of yumminess. VERY salty.
Cabbage with Chinese Sausage. Delicious, although the cabbage was a bit mushier than I like. It should have some crunch.
French Style Beef. Very sweet. Tender, but still very sweet. Boring.
Cumin Lamb. Not your typical version of the dish as it didn’t have much spice, much wok hei, or any cilantro. It was more a sweet slightly cumin brown sauce. Still, pretty tasty.
Kung Pao Chicken. The brown sauce version, with only a little heat, but still very pleasant.
Sweet Sesame Mochi Soup. These weird sweet Chinese soups are never good.
Cherry Ginger Limonade Sorbetto – Fresh squeezed Lemons, Limes, and Avignon Cherries were blended with house-made Ginger to make this delightfully tart and tingly frozen treat — 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 #lime #cherry #lemonade #ginger
An old Ramen Roll classic — Matcha White Gelato – Ceremonial Matcha Green Tea base mixed with White Chocolate Chunks — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #WhiteChocolate #matcha #GreenTea
The April 2022 dinner wasn’t the greatest dinner. Sure, the duck and lobster were excellent, but we had too much of each dish and a super tame boring order with too many sweet “crowd pleaser” dishes I’ve had many times before. I could totally do without squirrel fish, french beef, or salt and pepper pork chop. But they do have a very good kitchen and a big menu so there are plenty of different options for the more creative orderer. I’ve gotten some of them before.
The December 2022 dinner was a bit better, but we still could have ordered far more interesting stuff.
And it was so weird being at a Yarom dinner with no Yarom. Haha. (in April)
But still, service was absolutely first rate as always. Our big private room was nice and we were spoiled. So fun as always and I’d definitely say that Duck House is a great SGV gateway drug place for those who need to baby into the more extreme and different stuff.