Best Chinese Seafood Restaurant?
Okay guys, I'm looking for opinions on the best chinese seafood restaurant either in Chinatown or San Gabriel Valley. In my opinion, overall SGV has far superior chinese restaurants than anywhere else such as Ocean Star, Quanjuudes Beijing Duck, Mei Long Village, Lake Spring, etc... I'm planning on dining oput with my girlfriend tomarrow night and we definitely want to indulge in a whole crab and possibly whole steamed fish, etc... Other delicacies such as jellyfish, tripe, tendon and other chinese prepared offal, etc... would also be wonderful if served by a specific restaurant since they're some of my favorites.
So I appreciate any suggestions you guys can give me that fit my criteria and that you think is fairly reasonable (up to apround $80 for 2) and of superior quality. I've heard good things of NYC Seafood, but have never been. And I've also seen some people on this board talk about a place MPV Seafood. Where is that located and do they have othger things on the menu along with seafood, like some of the delicacies I mentioned? Some still say the crab is best at Mon Kee's and Empress Pavillion, although both are pretty drab feeliong. Overall I'm open to informative suggestions. Thanks.
My personal favorite is Ocean Star, but with clearly the best Chinese food in the U.S. right here in the San Gabriel Valley there are obviously many good places. MPV is at 1412 S. Garfield in Alhambra (just s. of Valley) and the newer (but not better) MPV Garden is at 415 W. Garvey in Monterey Park. NYC Seafood is also good, as is the sister NYC Jumbo, 203 W. Valley in Alhambra. Also can't forget NBC in Monterey Park and 888 in Rosemead. All of these have a good non-seafood menu also. Newer and farther out, but very impressive, is Guangzhou Palace. It's at 1463 S. Nogales in Rowland Heights, ironically in space formerly occupied by a branch of MPV.
I second the Guangzhou Palace recommendation. The seafood there is utterly amazing and the selection blows the mind. Get the fresh steamed live shrimp. The flesh is so sweet and so dreamy. The texture is akin to very tender crawfish. The maine lobster in gao tang is excellent (better than the standard scallion ginger preparation in my opinion). And if you see these huge spindly-legged crabs roughly the same shape as dungeness crabs but larger, get them. I had written an extensive review on the place, but it seems to have been wiped out in the archives.
Okay, I've made my decision based on some of your guys suggestions to go to Guangzhou Palace. But I have two questions? do they serve any othe things for appetizers other than the live seafood, like tripe, pork feet, jellyfish, etc...? And I have no clue where Rowland Heights is. Is it just past SGV if I'm heading east on the 10 fwy frm Hollywood? Thanks for your help guys. Much apprciated and I'll give my crituque of the place after going there tonight.
Thankyou for the compliment. I like the screen name too, as it somewhat portrays an accurate depiction of my eclectic and often non-mainstream tastes.
Well as far as my critique of Guangzhou Palace, I indeed did dine there last Saturday night. My friend and I shared a 3 lb. crystal crab and a whole steamed fish. We also split an absolutely orgasmic appetizer of pickled,squid with shredded chicken. She felt the squid was a bit too salty, while I on the other hand felt the saltiness was perfectly controlled and harmonized well with the ingenious combination of shredded chicken.
Now as for the crab, we had it prepared with ginger and scallions. It was very good, although I would have preferred if they had left the entire rumanants of the carcass intact. As I slowly devoured the crab, I worked my way to the bottm toward the carcass and when I flipped it over, there was hardly anything to be found. My dining comapinion was even less impressed and complained that the crystal crab had a too delicate taste compared to the more pungent regular crabs. We both agreed that it was well prepared though.
The fish was also quite good, steamed with soy sauce and scallions. Deboned tableside, the flesh was flaky and delicate and at first seemed a bot too bland. But when mixed with the wonderful soy based broth it burst with good complimentary flavors of salty and savory. This was my friends favorite dish, while I felt it was merely good, but nothing memoralbe. I also would wished the eyeballs would have been a bit larger, but that's nitpicking.
All in all, the experience was pleasent, but we both felt that we have had better Chinese prepared seafood at the less attractive and semi-drab Mon Kee's in Chinatown. There when you order crab, the flavors are more intense and there is always a lot more to be savored in the carcass. But I will dream about that jellyfish dish for some time, or until I have a better version someday.
re: Liver Boy
Rowland Heights is at perhaps the southeastern tip of the SGV. From the East LA interchange, take the 60 E for about 20 min. Once you pass the Puente Hills Mall on the right, you have two more exits until Nogales. The link below will help. After you've dined in Rowland Heights, you will realize you've bought a ticket to one of the most chowhoundish culinary fun zones in So Cal.
Being born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, I've had Chinese food up and down the spectrum. I think this is THE place for quality Chinese seafood. We rarely go to Chinatown, and that area hardly lives up to its name anymore. But whenever the family has a special occasion to go out, we always end up at NYC Jumbo. We enjoy the steamed jumbo prawns, my sister loves the salty-spicy squid, and my personal favorite is the crab. Not sure what the English name is, but the Cantonese term is "bei foong tong hai." It's a spicy fried dungeness crab, covered in garlic, peppers, and preserved pork. The big family favorite.
Anyway, this is the most recent review in the LA Times magazine. I usually see this critic panned on this site, and I've never tried these dishes she had (except for the soup, which is excellent), but it makes for good reference info. Yes, there are two, but go for the one in Alhambra. It's on Valley Blvd., 2 blocks west of Garfield.