Restaurant: GuYi Restaurant
Location:11677 San Vicente Blvd suite 315, Los Angeles, CA 90049. (424) 293-0988
Date: May 24, 27 & June 18 & December 10, 2018 and May 2, 2019
Cuisine: Szechuan Chinese
Rating: Amazing for the neighborhood
I was stunned when I learned from a friend (Sklar) that they had opened a Szechuan place in Brentwood!
And not just Brentwood on Wilshire or something, but in Brentwood Gardens, least ethnic mini-mall in Los Angeles! I mean this place is gentrified to the hilt. It still features CPK.
In fact, GuYi is right on top of CPK and looks like… well a newish SGV place with a view.
I ignored these boring white bread lunch specials. Forget about ’em!
The usual large menu, featuring Szechuan and Northern dishes — but oddly very few noodles.
They have some bottled smoked plum juice. It tastes like it always does. Maybe it’s always bottled. I don’t think they have a liquor license.
Boiled dumplings with pork and cabbage. They were light and delicate, tasted mostly like cabbage, but were actually rather excellent.
Clear noodle with sauce (spicy). I didn’t expect this dish, although I’ve had it before and this was a decent version. More vegetable (cucumber?) than noodle. And it’s the pappardelle-like rice noodles. Strong mustard flavor as it should have, but I was alone and it’s hard to eat a whole bowl of these oneself.
Bean Jelly in Szechuan Chili Sauce. Got these twice. I love them in general, and I loved them here. Nice jelly texture and great tangy/spicy sauce.
Cold Beef with chili oil. Really excellent (and spicy / tangy) version of this dish. Lots of cilantro to balance it out. There was quite a bit of tendon in here too — which I find rather excellent due to its nice mouth feel (but I’m “adopted” Chinese).
Griddle cooked chicken (w/ bone) and mixed vegetables. What I often call dry hot pot. Very nice flavor. The celery and potatoes soaked up the chili. Chicken tasted really good, but did have all those bones (authentic style).
Popcorn chicken (sometimes known as Szechuan fried chicken with chilies). A nice rendition of this dish, a touch sweet with a fairly thick fry, but no bones and very tasty.
Fried Sweet and Sour “Squirrel” Fish. The squirrel refers to how it looks, all fried and fluffed up like that. Nice fish.
GuYi Sautéed sliced pork. Almost bacon with green and red peppers. This was REALLY good. Very spicy too with a longer burning heat from the green peppers. Like super spicy tasty bacon!
Boiled fish slices in hot sauce. A solid rendition of the classic Szechuan dish. Not enough mala (numbing Szechuan peppercorn) for my taste though.
Boiled beef with tofu pudding. You can get the fish this way too. Similar sauce, with beef and lots of tofu. Sometimes at Szechuan places you get it with beef, tofu, AND fish. I liked this one slightly better than the fish, but both were very good. Nice strong flavor. Maybe a touch salty.
Kung Pao Shrimp (12/101/18). Very nice Kung Pao sauce with that tangy/sweet/spicy blend. Not enough shrimp, but the ones that were there were great.
MaPo tofu (pocked marked old lady face tofu). An ok version of this dish, but not great. Some heat, but no numbing, not too much pork. Needed more depth of flavor.
Overall, I’m blown away that this is in a mainstream Brentwood mall. Hard to imagine most white Brentwoodians eating here, and if they did they’d just have the boring lunch special or American stuff. But service was very nice (if sometimes a touch slow) and it is very tasty. It needs more mala (numbing) and a slightly more tuned up Szechuan flavor balance, but great to have so close!