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Hunan's Restaurant is Crown Cafe made Better

I had a fabulous meal last night at Hunan's Restaurant (NE corner Atlantic and Valley) where I was thrilled to rediscover the owner, cooking team and menu of the late-great Crown Cafe.

The place is far more clean and comfortable than the previous incarnation and there is a private room.

We had about 12 dishes all of which where as good, and most were even better (more vibrant spiciness/smokiness/yumminess and better quality fish and pork), than at CC.

Highly recommended.

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  1. Oh, that's so great. I never made it to Crown Cafe and I was so bummed when I learned here that it had closed.

    1. Bob, is its address something like 913 W. Valley Blvd. as I remember it in a previous post?
      I know I ate several meals in its San Gabriel location and might have been the first one to post about it here, or at least one of those early on, yet thought the food was wonderful.
      Sure plan on doing a tasting real soon.
      Thanks for the info.

      1. Exactly, Carter. Plenty of parking in the lot behind.
        Best dishes the other night:

        Tofu, Pork, Chinese Sausage casserole
        Spicy Fish Head (ordered in advance)
        Fried Spicy with Spicy
        Stir Fried Lamb
        Hunan Crab (also I believe ordered in advance)
        Hunan Smoked Ham with Vegetables

        As I said the cooking is even better than before. ENJOY!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Thanks for the post - we were heartbroken when we heard Crown had closed. We'll definitely be visiting Hunan soon.

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Do they serve beer or wine? If not, were you able to bring some along?

            1. re: stevebass

              They serve beer (Taiwan beer and Tsingtao) and may serve wine.
              We brought Scotch, a Chinese wheat-based liquor (that burned even more than the Hunan food) and some good wine.

            2. re: Ciao Bob

              Just checked with the ABC web site, and Hunan Style Restaurant's beer/wine license was applied for and temporarily granted on August 7, but the address shown is 903-905 W. Valley Blvd. and yes, it definitely is the same people, headed by Xi Cao. Can't wait, and in fact may con someone into taking me tonight.
              Thanks for doing the scouting work - rough job, but as the saying goes...!

            3. It took a little while to make the ID (thanks, Chadavkl) but my sources deep in the SGV have eaten there and confirmed that this pheonix has again risen and now it is re-re-born as Hunan's Seafood 8772 Valley Bl. in Rosemead. YAY!

              6 Replies
              1. re: Ciao Bob

                Never made it to Crown or any other former incarnations of Hunan's Seafood. Going by myself, at lunch time, what would you suggest that I try?

                1. re: sel

                  I haven't been to the new locale but in the past I have loved and recommended
                  Tofu, Pork, Chinese Sausage casserole
                  Spicy Fish Head (ordered in advance)
                  Fried Spicy with Spicy
                  Stir Fried Lamb
                  Hunan Crab (also I believe ordered in advance)
                  Hunan Smoked Ham with Vegetables

                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                    What is 'Fried Spicy with Spicy'? I think they have 'Spicy with Spicy' on the menu at Chung King on San Gabriel Blvd. as well.

                    1. re: sel

                      It's a direct translation of the Chinese name for the dish, "La Chao La," and usually is a spicy stirfry of diced ingredients: preserved turnip, pressed tofu, pork, celery, red and/or green chili peppers, maybe some fermented black beans. Delicious!

                      1. re: Hailyn

                        Thanks so much for the clarification! I will order that first, sounds so good!!!

                2. re: Ciao Bob

                  Wow, that's great to hear! I ate there twice and it became my favorite Chinese place in all L.A. A week later, it burned down. Major bummer! (I suspect it was all those hot chilis!) Real happy to know it's reopened. I got a trip to Chung King coming tomorrow, but I'll try the new Hunan next week. Thanks, Ciao!

                3. I was at Chung King yesterday for lunch and thought it was really fantastic. Really, super fantastic. To the point where 3 of us ate 5 dishes, plus some of the cold appetizers.

                  So Hunan's (and Crown Cafe before) is in the same league or even better? I must know. Since I understand Chung King now, tell me more about Hunan's, please.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: CulverJack

                    Szechuan and Hunan are very, very different cuisines. There are many "spicy" dishes at both but the flavors and spicing (even of the spicy dishes) are quite distinct. The Ma La (numb spicy) of Szechuan is one of my favorite flavors in the world. Hunan spicy is hot but a different hot. So it is hard to answer your question: my girlfriend loves Chung King (as do I, super, super fantastic as you say) but she never liked CC/HR (or any Hunan for that matter), while I love Hunan as well. Very personal, very different.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      Thanks! I think we'll try and get to Hunan's next week.