Monday, October 28, 2013

Chengdu Taste - San Gabriel Valley

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Every time I've driven by this San Gabriel Valley restaurant, I've noticed the amount of people outside waiting.  It doesn't matter what time of the day or night, there's always a line.  This tells me something must be really good AND people are willing to wait for whatever it is they're selling. 

My friend Bill mentioned that he wanted to check it out and organized a group dinner, he even went early to get in line.  Before heading over to the restaurant, I took a look at Yelp to see what people were ordering.  One of the comments I saw the most, is the wait.  Be prepared to wait an hour or two, cause they only have 50 or so seats.  The dish most talked about or ordered was the "Boiled Fish in Spicy Soup."   



While we waited for our table, we decided on which dishes 
to order and had a plan of attack when we were seated.

None of us had been there before and I'm sure 
there are other dishes we should've tried, 
but this is what we ordered.

Part of the appeal of this Chengdu-style
cooking is the spicy dishes.  

NOTE:  Although they have a lot of spicy dishes, 
they also have non-spicy dishes too.

See What Jay Eats...

Mung Bean Jelly Noodles with Chili Sauce
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu

This was a nice appetizer to start.

It was a nice combination with the noodles and
chili sauce, but there was something a tad sweet.


Kung Pao Chicken
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu

It was good, not really anything special tho.


Toothpick Lamb with Cumin
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu

Not sure why it had 1 Chili Pepper on
the menu, I didn't think it was that spicy.

I did see this dish on a few other tables as
we were leaving the restaurant.


 Twice Cooked Pork
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu

Loved the pork belly and leeks.


 Boiled Fish in Spicy Soup
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu

This was our "must order" dish that we
saw on Yelp.  It was one of my favorites
of the evening.

It reminded me of fish poached in hot sauce.
This one was served in the chili sauce it was
cooked in, lots of bean sprouts and other
vegetables at the bottom of the pan.

This is a must order dish!


 Flavored Pork Ribs
1 Chili Pepper icon on menu.

This dish reminded me of salt & pepper pork chops.
Although cooked with chili peppers, didn't think it was
spicy enough to rank 1 Chili Pepper on the menu.
But by this point of the meal, I've had a lot of spicy.


House Special Tea Smoked Duck (Half)
No Chili Pepper icon on menu

I love smoked duck, this one has the crispy
skin on it.  Not sure why it was served with
steamed buns?  No sauce was served with it.


OVERALL
I really enjoyed the food, each dish that we
ordered was solid.  Didn't have anything that I 
wouldn't order again in the future.  I can see why
everyone ordered the fish, it's very good.

I was glad to be able to go with a group
of friends and to try different dishes.  I'm not sure
if it's worth a wait of an hour or more tho.

I would go back and have the
boiled fish in spicy soup!

Service needs improvement, nothing major.
In order to turn tables and get people served
in a timely manner, it's the little things that will
keep the flow and get people fed and on their way.
Things like refilling water glasses, removing
empty plates, and packing leftovers 
will help to turn tables and reduce the wait.
BUT there's more to it than just these things...

Give me a call, I'll train your servers
to give exceptional service , serve more customers,
and make more tips in the process.


Chengdu Taste
828 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 588-2284




Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats

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