Restaurant: 香辣汇Xiang La Hui
Location: 621 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801. (626) 703-4165
Date: December 21, 2019 & May 28, 2021 & January 23, 2022
Cuisine: Szechuan Chinese
Rating: Some great dishes. Very solid modern Chengdu style joint
Continuing the Lunch Quest series in which Yarom and I explore more casual Asian lunch spots.
Some friend reviews and an eater article brought us to this new Szechuan entry on Main St.
Food photos as decor — something I can get behind.
But the inside is of that newer style appealing to the under 30 set with a touch of decor and smaller rectangular tables (as opposed to the older “palace” style places).
The menu has most of the Szechuan classics.
And by 5/28/21 they made one of those super fancy modern Chinese picture menus.
Cucumber in garlic. Excellent. nice crunch. lots of garlic. only missing the spice.
Chicken w/ chili sauce and pepper. Whole cleaver-ed chicken. Lots of bone but tons of flavor. Green and numbing and gorgeous.
Cold Noodle (with chicken) — delicious with a nice vinegary flavor and great texture. Much better than the dan dan.
Jelly Noodle with Spicy Sauce. I like these, but the cold noodle with chicken was the best here.
Happy Chicken. Garlicky “hanging” chicken. Pretty good.
Dan Dan Mein. Fairly typical Chengdu Style. Not that nutty or spicy though. Ok.
Stir Fried Rabbit with Green Pepper. Super hot, lots of mala, and very very tasty. Little bones though.
Diced Rabbit in Chili Sauce. A slightly different rabbit variant.
Frog with Chili and Serrano. Hot and boney.
Shredded Pork with Garlic Sauce. Classic, not bad. A bit sweet for Yarom.
Twice Cooked Pork. A classic.
House Special Pork Belly. Nice and fatty with a bit of preserved vegetable underneath.
Toothpick lamb. One of the most flavorful and most tender versions of this dish I’ve had.
Dry Beef in Chili Powder. This was a bit different — and good.
Cumin Lamb. Super tender and full of flavor.
Pork Belly with Rice Flour. Old school traditional.
Live spicy roasted fish with Rattan Pepper. You get to pick your “add-ons” individually. We added all sorts of stuff here including crab sticks, spam, lotus root, etc.
Mapo tofu. Excellent version. First rate really.
Wok-Fried strong beans. Very nice version with crunchy beans.
Grapefruit Aperol Tarragon Sorbetto — Cold pressed Fresh Grapefruit juice from my garden, Aperol and fresh Tarragon! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — Unique and bracing — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #sorbetto #grapefruit #aperol #tarragon
I love this flavor — Peppermint Bark Gelato — Base is pure peppermint milk (subbed the sugar with crushed peppermint candies) and it’s laced with house-made double-sided peppermint bark, Valrhona Dark Chocolate and Ivoire White! — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — The Peppermint Bark recipe was developed by a famous pastry chef and author, the mum of a Naughty Dog Alum @nancy_baggett — this year I added the two layer thing which is awesome — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #dessertgasm #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #peppermint #bark #Valrhona #chocolate
On the first visit, I would have liked to try more dishes, but of the ones that I had, at least half of these were great and the other half were pretty good. It’s not as consistent as Sichuan Impression, but the chicken with chili sauce, toothpick lamb, rabbit, and cold noodles were fabulous.
On my second visit I found everything we ordered to be excellent, particularly the toothpick lamb, mapo, and cold noodles. I’m upping my “rating” to consider this one of the best Sichuan kitchens currently operating in the SGV. The style is quite representative of Chengdu.
On our third visit we had even more. I continue to think this is one of the better straight up modern Chengdu Sichuan places. And they allow corkage no problem. Service is a little scattered though.
For more LA dining reviews click here.
For more LA Chinese dining reviews click here.