Jing Zhao Yin-Excellent Northern Chinese Delicacies
- Samo May 13, 2002 12:21 PM
Years ago J. Gold published one of his typically hyperbolic reviews of JZY Cafe. On Sunday, 12 May 2002, I visited this remarkable monument to Beijing style cuisine. From the iced sour plum drink to the black glutinous rice and taro dessert, every dish was perfectly executed.
JZY, or to give its full name, Jing Zhao Yin, is a clone of a small, beautifully realized gembox of a snack shop on Taipei's Lishui Jie, not far from that great palace of Shanghai dumplings, Ding Tai Feng. In addition to their poetic and classical names, JZY and DTF share a commitment to authenticity and refined quality very much in line with the Republic of China's longterm endeavour to make itself the true repository of traditional Chinese culture.
While the restaurant's specialty is light lunches (a six dollar lunch special is offered M-F 11-5), delicate bowls of perfectly prepared noodles, sweets and wontons, the menu also offers Peking duck (thirty dollars per duck, includes four additional small dishes, must be ordered one half hour in advance), mutton hotpot, fishhead hotpot and so on.
Do try the zha1 jiang4 mian4 (warm noodles with sesame sauce and julienned vegetables), the la1 pi2 (cold rice noodles with mustard sauce and julienned vegetables) and the ci3 mi3 lian2 zi3 zhou1 (purple rice--actually black glutionus rice--porridge with lotus nut).
Finding JZY can be difficult. It's in a San Gabriel mall, on the north side of Valley Boulevard, west of Walnut Grove, about a three minute drive east on Valley from San Gabriel Boulevard. The number is 1039. There is not much English signage for the restaurant, but it's the first establishment on the left side of the mall as you enter.
For readers of Chinese: jing1 (Beijing de jing) zhao4 (portent) yin3 (fuyin de yin).
Jing Zhao Yin
1039 E. Valley Boulevard (near Walnut Grove)
San Gabriel, California 91776
Open 11-10 seven days
Do they serve knife-cut-beef-noodle dish? (Dao1 Shiao1 Niu2 Roe4 Mien4) The last time I tried them at the Taipei location, it wasn't as great as I had hoped. But since I haven't found a good place for the above dish here in the US, I'm wondering if they have a decent version of it.
I did not see any evidence on the menu of daoxiao mian, but why not use the phone number I gave above and find out? The noodles in the zhajiang mian, while not made in the restaurant, were outstanding: firm, nutty, delicious.
Many places in the Monterey Park area serve blade-cut noodles. Since you've dined in Taiwan I can warn you against Heavy Noodling--some of the nastiest noodles I've ever encountered. Many misguided souls (including J. Gold) have praised this place.
Why not initiate a thread on the subject of daoxiao mian?
I totally agree with your assesment of Heavy Noodling and the people who praise it. I went there after reading good things about it, and while the service was good, I was really disappointed with the food. And I ordered the noodles which everyone recommended. Total waste of time, money, and energy.
Unfortunately, like many of the Chinese restaurants, if you don't know how to read Chinese, it's a crap shoot. That where I resort to "Kung Pao Chicken" (I admit, I'm pathetic for being Chinese). My friend and I tried to point out some dishes by the pictures in their menu; we ended up ordering this noodle dish, which I am sadden to say, wasn't very good. My broken Chinese doesn't help the cause. I need to take my parents there and have them order for me so i could determine if this place is actually a good as people say it is.