Location: N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. (310) 275-3345
Date: December 12, 2021
Rating: Better than I thought semi-Americanized Chinese
I’ve seen Xi’an on Canon for years but never even considered going into because it looked so Americanized and kitchy. But Yarom met the owner and she offered to make us a special “Chinese” menu.
The outside patio was mobbed.
But in the wake of the virus most people were scared off the inside.
The normal menu is pretty Chinese American. There are even a bunch of oddball dishes that aren’t Chinese at all like salads, edamame (I guess some Beverly Hills residents confuse China and it’s island neighbor).
They start off with plenty of sauces on the table though.
Drunken chicken. Very nice and moist.
Garlic ginger chili sauce. This is pretty much a traditional hainan chicken sauce.
Sichuan Style Chicken Wontons. Not bad, would be better with pork. No self respecting Chengdu chef would use chicken for this dish. Sauce was a bit sweet.
Tofu with chili and Century Egg. Somewhat bland version of this dish. Needed the sweet/tangy soy sauce.
Scallion pancakes. Could have been crispier.
Friend shrimp dim sum. Excellent. Hot and delicious.
Chicken lo-mein for a wus. For some unexplained reason, our esteemed leader sometimes invites people to Chinese who have no interest in real Chinese food — they order dishes like this because they won’t eat what everyone else does.
Miso cod. What’s this doing on a Chinese menu? Did it hitchhike over from Matsuhisa?
Peking duck. Hoison was excellent. Duck was a touch dry. But they had pancakes and rolled some of them for us.
The pancakes were a tough tortilla-like.
Chinese Broccoli with Chinese Sausage. Very good.
Salty egg fried rice. Nice.
Lamb stew with a bit of anise and black cardamon. Quite good. A touch gamey.
Shanghai Style Dungeness Crab with Shanghai Rice cakes. Great ginger/garlic sauce.
Southern Spicy Prawns. Not my favorite.
Hunan Style braised/steamed pork belly with preserved vegetables. Respectable version of this dish, although I have had better.
String beans. Excellent crunch, a touch under-seasoned.
Sesame Red Bean Buns. Chewy.
Fruit. This was ice cold and kinda nice.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by Xi’an. The meal was quite enjoyable. It’s not even slightly “Xi’an” as in having cuisine even remotely related to the capital of Shaanxi province, for that go here. And I wouldn’t be very interested in the regular menu, but what we had was pretty good. It was kind of hit or miss. I had the feeling the chef is solid, but out of practice seasoning dishes authentically given his Beverly Hills crowd. Some dishes were solid and many were middling — but I love Chinese food and even middling Chinese is quite enjoyable.
And they treated us like royalty. Overall a great time.
I didn’t bother photographing the wines.