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Jan 3, 2008 10:38 PM

ISO: 2 types of Chinese meatballs in SoCal...

Hi all,

Happy 2008!

Mrs. J.L. asked me where to find excellent Chinese Lion's Head (Shanghai or Hubei style), and I thought I'd forward the question to all you 'Hounds. We've already tried the Lion's Head at Mei Long Village in San Gabriel - quite good, but we're always looking for better!

I myself have been craving Chinese "Pearl Spheres" (pronounced 'zhen zhu whan') - which are smaller (steamed?) meatballs coated with a layer of sticky white rice (a Hubei delicacy). Does any eatery do a good version of this in SoCal?

As always, thanks in advance!

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  1. I really love the Lion's Heads at Green Village.

    6 Replies
    1. re: pinpei

      Agree, fantastic!

      Off topic, but Green Village has a whole fried duck stuffed with a rice and pork mixture that is scrumptious.

      1. re: Ciao Bob

        I don't know why, but I am unaware of Green Village! Where is this restaurant located? Bob, please tell me more about that scrumptious duck and any other must haves.

        1. re: Waverly SGV

          Green Village is on the second floor of a shopping center [250 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel (626) 576-2228] right across the street from the Mei Long Village/Beard Papa/Lollicup minimall. It is ostensibly "shanghianese" but there is alot of eclecticism as well. I believe the owner/chefs were once at Green City, in the great mall of china.

          I have had quite a few great meals there, usually pre-ordered and in the private rooms. In addition to the duck I have had a wonderful white-fish filet/tofu dish that cooks in front of you on a platter over sterno fire...unfortunately I can't give you the names since I didn't order there. SHreeded Pork with fresh leeks was great too.
          Here's a blogggers write up

          Try it, most things are really good.

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            The pork pump and -- most importantly -- the pork with bean curd -- are insanely good. The latter is made with hand-tied tofu noodles and the sauce, while brown-gloppy-looking, is amazing.

            1. re: Ciao Bob

              Thanks Bob, you're incredibly helpful!

      2. Green Village in San Gabriel or Rowland Heights for the 狮头丸 (shi tou wan, lion head meatballs) Shanghai-style.

        I've never had 珍珠丸 (zhen zhu wan) and don't know of any Hubei restaurants in the SGV, but perhaps Jerome or ipsedixit will. To me 珍珠 always refers to those glutinous tapioca pearls that 18-year-olds suck out of sweetened tea drinks.

        1. the shi zhi tou at mei long village is very good.

          1. Aside from Mei Long Village, you can get very good Lion's Head Meatballs at Chang's Garden.

            As to the other type of meatballs, the pearl spheres, I've actually seen it at NBC if I recall correctly (don't recall if it was a menu item, or as part of a banquet setting).

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              ...or as a dim sum item? I have a vague memory of seeing the zhen zhu whan and thinking "hmmm, this is rare!" at one of these dim sum restaurants that I've patronized in the last year or so: NBC, Elite, The Kitchen, Capital.