Thursday, December 5, 2013

Chengdu Taste


Chengdu Taste has been one of the buzziest new restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley since its opening, with lines out the door at all hours. It got even more popular after being reviewed by Jonathan Gold.

After seeing my brother’s photos from his visit to Chengdu this summer and recommendations from friends, I decided to give it a try on my last visit to Los Angeles.

We went pretty early, arriving at 4:30 pm, and there was already a wait. Luckily for us, the wait wasn’t too bad. The restaurant also takes reservations, but even with a reservation there is usually a wait.

We noticed that almost every table had ordered a bottle of plum juice, so we did the same. Sour plum juice is an acquired taste. I personally enjoy it and we found that it did a better job than water at relieving the heat from some of the dishes.

Mung Bean Jelly Noodle with Chili Sauce

It was pretty interesting to see mung bean made into noodles. They are pretty soft, softer in texture than I enjoy, though I realize it is just the nature of this dish.

Toothpick Lamb with Cumin

This was a really fun dish to eat and one of my favorites. It’s also one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. I imagine it probably wasn’t fun for the people putting the lamb onto the toothpicks.

Couple’s Sliced Beef in Chili Sauce

This dish was quite deceiving. It wasn’t peppered in chili peppers like some of our later dishes, but it was by far the spiciest of the night. We could barely eat it.

Braised Dongpo Pork

I was a little disappointed with this dish. The meat could have been braised longer.

Sliced Fish with Tofu Pudding in Hot Sauce

Tender fish fillet is mixed with very soft and silky tofu. I’ve had versions of this in San Diego, but without the hot sauce.

Red Tofu, Pig Intestine, Mix Vegetables, Beef, Tripe in Spicy Soup

This was a hodgepodge of ingredients. I thought it would be a great way to cover all our bases, but it was a pain to dig through the spicy soup.

We had a fairly good meal here, but I wouldn’t wait in the long lines. If you can get there early and you are in the neighborhood, it’s worth a try.

This was the crowd when we left.

Chengdu Taste
828 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803

 

8 Responses to “Chengdu Taste”

  1. 1

    Gastronomer — December 5, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Those crowds are cray! The food is good, but definitely not worth hours of waiting. There’s never a line at Lucky Noodle King!

    • Kirbie replied: — December 5th, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

      mmm, I will keep Lucky Noodle King in mind!

  2. 2

    Faye — December 5, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    Oh wow that’s a long line. I always find new places to go to in SGV b/c of your blog so thanks (the last one I think was the giant XLB).

    The couples sliced beef would probably be my pick (is it also called husband/wife beef?). I’m going to LA next week so I’ll have to take mom here – hopefully the lines won’t be so long.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 5th, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

      I usually love the husband/wife dish, but it was soooo spicy here! i recommend the lamb on toothpicks though. it’s one of their most popular dishes and so fun to eat.

  3. 3

    Kirk — December 10, 2013 @ 6:48 am

    Hi Kirbie – You know, we tried to go here twice in the last couple of weeks, but man, that line. All I gotta say is; it better be good. The Lucky Noodle King is a good suggestion for Sichuan. Shufeng is also a good one, but it’s not Chengdu Style

    • Kirbie replied: — December 10th, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

      I didn’t think it was worth the line…It was pretty good but not worth waiting for. You could try making reservations?

  4. 4

    Mary — December 10, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    The toothpick lamb looks like a fun dish! I spied lots of chili peppers in all the dishes though, I’d probably have to stray and eat more “weak” stuff haha. I want to just spend a week in SGV and eat my way through it.

    • Kirbie replied: — December 10th, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

      A week isn’t enough! haha. Yeah there are a ton of chili peppers, but they can be deceiving. the ones with the most actually weren’t that spicy.

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