Thursday, November 3, 2016

Chang’an Restaurant - San Gabriel, CA

A friend of slave girl and mine invited us to Chang'an for lunch tasting. We have been to the restaurant before for dinner and we were impressed by the flavors and presentations so it was a no brainier for us to go back and try different dishes.

After we got there, I found out on top of the regular menu, they also have a special menu and it gets changed every month. For the month of October, they had some interesting items and I was definitely ready to try them.

We tried bunch of different items but here are some items that stood out for us: the signature salad, crispy jidori chicken, grilled beef tongue, deep fried prawns with pepper and salt, noodle with shredded pork and chilies, abalone fried rice, and braised pork (hong shao rou). There were still more items but we could only fill so much food in our tummy.

Happy hour menu front

Happy hour menu back

Regular menu

The food we got were delicious just like how I remembered. The signature salad was made with crown daisy, a type of kale, grouped with british cucumber. It was very refreshing and truly I have never had a salad with crown daisy before. It was very good in my opinion.

The crispy chicken was fried beautifully and done very well. Crunchy skin with tender meat. The only thing I didn't like was the sweet and sour dipping sauce. If it was seasoned with salt and pepper, I would give this dish a golden star.

Grilled beef tongue was sliced thicker than the usual size of Korean BBQ but way thinner compared to Japanese beef tongue steak. It was grilled just right with good texture. Personally speaking I would like to see the sauce being less sweet.

Salt and pepper prawn was seasoned well and plating was unique and cute. Some of the prawns were a little mushy but still a very enjoyable dish.

cute plating

The noodle with shredded pork and chilies was super tasty. If I have to pick a favorite affordable item on the menu, this is it. It's a must try if they offer this on the menu.

Abalone fried rice was the most expensive dishes on the table and it delivered. The fried rice was not oily and there were plenty of abalone for us to share. One of the better fried rice I've had.

Braised pork was just amazing. The first time we came, we ordered short rib and I seriously didn't think they would have anything better on the menu anymore but I was proven wrong. The pork was glazed and it was so soft. With little force it was separated easily with a fork and melted in my mouth. A must try if you don't mind pork fat.

Here are some pictures of remaining dishes we tried.

comp starter

sweet lotus roots with sweet sticky rice

shishito peppers

seasonal vegetable skewer

spicy mixed seafood stir-fry with veggies

cold noodles

grilled prime beef

dessert: sweet white fungus soup with lotus seeds

Overall I would highly recommend this restaurant. I had a pleasure talking to the restaurant owner, Minda, and learned much about why she wanted to open a restaurant. Her vision of having a high end Chinese restaurant in SGV is very admirable and great quality comes with higher menu price. Hopefully they will get to serve hard liquor soon to spice up their daily happy hour.

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