227 W. Valley Blvd. Suite 358, San Gabriel, CA 91776
I didn’t know what to expect. Driving up to the three-story outdoor mall on Valley Boulevard, I almost missed this elegant spot located on the top floor. After I parked my car and walked to the elevator, I wondered what I would experience. Cashew chicken? Broccoli beef?
As the doors opened, and I turned the corner to see a lovely restaurant and got excited.
As I walked in, it was such a well-decorated room with lots of space. There were long tables for groups, a huge bar, and an outdoor patio. It looked like a great place to hang out with a group of friends.
I sat down to look over the menu, which was extensive and creative. None of the run of the mill Americanized Chinese dishes I was expecting. It was more like a Spanish tapas menu with Chinese inspired dishes and flavors. There were starters, rice dishes, mains, even a grilled skewer section, not to mention a huge beer and wine list and some interesting cocktails. I started there. I wanted something light and refreshing, and the staff told me about the Pearfection. What arrived was a mojito-like drink with sweet pear flavors, mint, and citrus. It was a great afternoon drink to get me started.
Before the food arrived, I was brought three small dishes. One was a simply sliced cucumber, another was rice jelly with a spicy sauce, and the last was soup boiled peanuts with small pieces of carrot and celery. They told us that for every table, there is always a small offering before the meal but that those varied, I didn’t think I would like them, but they were all so tasty! The variety of textures and flavors got my taste buds ready.
The first dish I received was the Sautéed Eggplant. It had been suggested by my server and was a dish I would have typically passed up. So glad I didn’t. There were pieces of super soft eggplant and some that were firmer, lots of shrimp and bell peppers. It was perfectly seasoned with a flavorful sauce and had pine nuts as a textural component. Not only was the taste amazing and totally different for me, but his presentation was phenomenal. It looked like a work of art on my plate.
Next up, the Pork Ribs, they were perfectly glazed and served on a leaf, I didn’t even want to touch them because it was so perfect. But when I finally took a bite, the sauce was a bit spicy and a bit sweet, a perfect balance to the meat.
The Salty Egg Rice was next. There were small pieces of pumpkin and huge plump shrimp. The serving was huge! I’ll be enjoying the leftovers for a few days!
Finally, the most beautiful of the bunch, the Prawn Tempura, arrived. The black plate was the perfect backdrop to the two gigantic prawns fried in a mayo sauce and spun in crispy tempura, the plate was so decadent, I almost felt guilty eating the whole thing myself.
After I was done eating, I was so impressed that I looked over the menus again and made mental notes as to what dishes I wanted to try when I come back, because I will be coming back. With a group of friends, probably for dinner to enjoy drinks on the patio and try a bunch of really delicious tapas style Chinese food.