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.
828 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803