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Yujean Kang's in Pasadena

Has anyone been to Yujean Kang's? I have family coming from Taiwan and I wanna take them somewhere nice around the San Gabriel Valley.

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  1. I've been several times and can't think of anything to recommend it except the location (middle of Old Town Pas.). But, if they're coming all the way from Taiwan and are looking forward to having decent, if sort of bland Chinese food in an attractive setting w/ lots of shops nearby, maybe this is your place.

    1. Sorry... this is just my suggestion...

      If your family is coming from Taiwan to visit, I would think they get plenty of delicious & authentic Chinese food over there. Why not take them to try something they won't usually get in Taiwan (something that's not Chinese)?

      5 Replies
      1. re: eileen216

        That doesn't matter.. my wife's Chinese and her family ALWAYS has Chinese food no matter where they go. You would think in a place with such diverse cultures and foods as So Cal that they would venture something different, but nope. Chinese 99% of the time with the other 1% being maybe once a year or two for Japanese or Thai. Also, my wife and I went to Beijing a couple of years ago and wouldn't you know, the Chinese food in the SGV is better than the food we had over there.

        1. re: eileen216

          eileen216,

          This is EXACTLY why they should go to Yujean Kang's. Coming from Taiwan there is no doubt they probably haven't experienced uanuthentic, bland, tasteless and overpriced faux Chinese food.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              If that's the case they should visit PF Chang as well. ;P

              1. re: ipsedixit

                But surely Taiwan must have it's share of unauthentic, bland, tasteless and overpriced food too. Are Olive Gardens and Red Lobsters unique only to this country? They must have some "Taiwan On Express" chain restaurants over there.

            2. I like Yujean Kang's for the quality of food and the ingredients used (see blog post http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com/2008/...), but I think it is expensive considering plenty of Chinese places in San Gabriel area nearby...

              but I have to agree with eileen216, if they are coming from Taiwan, I doubt they will be blown away by any Chinese food in this area. If they miss chinese food, just take them to standard places in san gabriel that are cheap, then blow your money in something that they can't really get in Taiwan.

              1. took my SO ( she's mainland chinese..only in america 3 years ) to Yujean Kang's ( i used to frequent the place when i worked in pasadena. Her spin - this is not a chinese restaurant !! She felt it had some chinese influences but it was not true chinese ...to be honest, she really couldn't explain why ...personally, i thought it was high - end chinese. I agree with one of the other posters - my SO ...if she had her way...we would eat chinese food EVERYDAY !! I'm in china next week ...1st visit ...i'm excited about comparing my fav SGV and Vegas chinese places with the places she takes me in china ( guangzhou and surrounding areas )

                Good Luck !

                3 Replies
                1. re: kjs

                  Thanks for all the input. I'm guessing that most of you were not blown away from Youjeen Kang's. I would like to take them somewhere nice but without taking them out of their comfort zone. Knowing my family, we'll probably end up going to the Olive Garden.

                  1. re: haitwun

                    Chinese are not high on cheese, so Olive Garden would be a big mistake. I certainly would not take them to Ding Tai Fung, as they come from where the mother ship is. BTW are they from Taipei, or some other Taiwan city?

                    I would suggest a blow out Cantonese dinner at, for example, Elite.

                    1. re: haitwun

                      So Italian is in their comfort zone?

                      I would suggest Elite for dim sum as it's still chinese food. Location/setting isn't opulent, but it's decent by chinese restaurant standards (i.e. not a dive).

                  2. How about taking them to Triumphal Palace? It's much more elegant than most Chinese restaurants, the service is great during dinner, and the food is authentic. Yujean Kang's food is for non-Chinese people cuz it's too sweet!

                    1. I like Yujean Kang. I've always had good meals there. The thing is, it's not a Chinese restaurant, strictly speaking, any more than Chinois on Main.

                      Chinois applies "Western" techniques to traditional Chinese ingredients, while Yujean applies Chinese techniques to typically "Western" ingredients. I think that most people expect it to be something it isn't. It is neither an authentic Chinese restaurant nor an Americanized "Cantonese" joint serving up chop suey and egg foo young, but a species unto itself.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Jack Flash

                        Exactly: use Chinese techniques on western ingredients. That was Yujean Kang's premise for the restaurant. But the result is more like sort-of Chinese all around. It doesn't work for me, personally, just as the other-way-around fusion doesn't work for me either.

                        To the OP: we don't have a "toilet" restaurant here, maybe do a Japanese restaurant and get a big boat. :)
                        How about Lu Din Gee for some Peking duck.

                      2. Yujean Kang's isn't San Gabriel, but it's not trying to be - it is, for better or worse, a ``fusion'' bistro using very good ingredients. It came out of the 1980s post-Chez Panisse explosion of Berkeley restaurants. The best of its food, the lobster with favas, etc., hits quite different spots than pure Chinese cooking tends to - I suspect that Kang's would be quite fashionable in Taipei. And the wine list, rich in well-priced vintages of Stony Hill and Williams-Seylem, among other things, is just killer.

                        1. Try Elite in Monterey Park or Seafood Harbour in Rosemead. They are Cantonese places, but your family will probably like them. Here are some other personal reviews of Chinese restaurants in the SGV: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...