the Hunan cafe is fine, it's not really hunan food.
For real Hunan (xiang 湘) food, go to Hunan aka Hunan army on colima rd in rowland heights. If you live in pasadena or in the SGV it's not far. If you don't, it is.
18406 E COLIMA RD #D
from Chinese Y Page
Hunan Restaurant 18406 Colima Rd., #D
Smoky spicy food, smoked peppers, a bit oily. Very real - chairman mao might approve.
Thank you. I printed this out. Will try this weekend.
Just spent 3 weeks touring Hunan and love the food. Having guests from Changsha in December. Other than my guests cooking at home, would like to be able to take them to a reasonable facsimile of a Hunan style restaurant. Maybe ChuoDoFu on menu???
Here's a thread on a Chowhound favorite, Hunan's Restaurant, from the owners of Crown Cafe.
But I'll give you my standard disclaimer for when posters ask for Szechwan and Hunan food: this is Hunan food as in, what they actually eat in Hunan province in China.
If you are looking to recreate a nostalgic experience of a Hunan restaurant in San Francisco or New York, the places in the San Gabriel valley might not be what you're looking for.