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Nov 9, 2008 02:08 PM

Sunday @ Trend Restaurant, Mountain View

Before lunch, there were forays to the Mountain View Farmers Market — and, after lunch, chestnut picking at Skyline Chestnuts Orchard at 22322 Skyline Blvd (Hwy 35) in
Palo Alto.

Lunch with 21 'hounds - two tables, each ordering separately from the extensive Sichuan menu.
$22 per person — Our 16 dishes started with a sampling of Appetizers -
A4 Crushed Garlic Cucumbers
A8 Chili Oil Chicken Gizzard
A10 Five Spice Rolled Bean Curd
A11 Sliced Bacon Cut Pork with Spicy Garlic Sauce
A17 Spicy Beef Tendon
A28 Sliced Green Bean Jelly with Shredded Pork, Egg, Cucumber, Shredded Bean Curd, Seafood and Sliced Carrot in Mustard Sauce

D3 Pork intestines Boiled with Blood Pudding in Clay Pot
E18 Szechwan Braised Chicken with Taro
E22 Old Fashioned Tea Smoked Duck
F14 Flaming Stir-fried Pork Kidney
H9 Spicy Boiled Beef
I35 Seafood Handmade Noodles
N9 House Special Twice Cooked Pork
N12 Szechwan Dry Cooked Frog
N19 Spicy Cat Fish (freeloader fish)
Special - Orange Beef

We enjoyed the tasting of many dishes with the 'hounds on this pleasant Sunday afternoon. Thank you for Melanie's wine pours to refresh our palates. Many thanks to Nancy and Melanie for organizing today's chowdown at Trend. Great Company - one and all!

Trend Restaurant
400 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA

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  1. Three points to the meal, item I35 were hand cut noodles A28 had mung bean noodles available as such at Asian markets (the ones that looked like them at Korean Markets are made from yam, not that it could not be used but I am not sure since I have never use yam noodles in this dish) and Orange Beef not on menu has house made Orange Peels as part of the stir fir. The fresh peel was very interesting. Need to let my meal settle before my comments. So full and happy. Great company. Each table ordered their own dishes. So I look forward to read about the other table.

    1. the second table had
      cold dishes:
      a6 pig ear
      a10 (as above)
      a21 spicy beef combo (tendon and tripe)

      b9 chinese leeks pancake
      b10 pumpkin cake
      b21 pork and napa cabbage dumplings

      d13 chongqing style spicy beer sauce duck (in "warm pot") (with mushrooms)
      e13 chongqing chili chicken (deep fried on a bed of two kinds of peppers)
      f16 dry cooked pork intestine
      f23 szechwan home made smoke pork
      i34 shrimp handmade noodles (or "h&made" as it says on the menu)
      L9 "A vegetable" in garlic sauce
      L22 Pea greens in garlic sauce
      n17 hot and spicy pork shoulder (with baby bok choy)
      n19 spicy cat fish

      my opinions:
      the leek pancake was not a typical scallion pancake -- it had a leek filling, a bit like
      a stuffed paratha.
      the smoked pork and pork shoulder were delicious and the greens were perfect.

      i would not reorder the handmade noodles and the duck in beer broth (which several
      said was oversalty). the cat fish, which we ordered because we heard the other table
      ordering it, i found to be quite ordinary. several of us expected crispy deep fried
      intestines, but it was a saute, and too hot (to my taste) -- the taste of the
      intestine was almost invisible (and that takes a lot of hot oil...) (i think i'll take my tripe
      caen or italian or in andouiellette...)

      as we only had 10 people at the table and we overordered, it ended up $24 per person and
      we had some leftovers...

      2 Replies
      1. re: markseiden

        rich and i had the pleasure of the 2nd table. after alot of discussion we had a interesting delish lunch. i didnt like the order they brought out the food like starches toward the end. and they didnt change plates til we asked them. or kept the hot tea filled. saying that i did like that they had wine glasses and water and a plate of spicy veggies on the two tables.
        .likes> pig ears ,spicy beef combo, pumkin cake was really sweetpotato mashed with sweet rice flour and a res bean filling .my granma made it also but she rolled them in small loquat sized balls.they remind me of xmas when i taste them.these were brought out after after several spicy meat dishes so they tasted a bit oily ..again i think they would have been apreciated more if they were brought out in the beginning of the meal.this also would have helped the dumplings and leek pancake,more likes> both green veggies a-choi was good but the large pea shoots were excellent.
        didnt care for cat fish or duck caserole
        great group and i hope we can attend more dinners esp in the east bay,now im ready to explore the 'hot foods' for a cold winter[ying yang of life]~KC
        thank you nancy and melanie for setting this up otherwise i would have never gone to mv farmers market which was awesome!

        1. re: markseiden

          Great report, Mark. One addition, though. We also had:

          A28 Sliced Green Bean Jelly with Shredded Pork, Egg, Cucumber, Shredded Bean Curd, Seafood and Sliced Carrot in Mustard Sauce

          I liked the pig ear for its texture and hot/tart balance. The beef combo (tendon and tripe) was good, too. I also liked the chongqing chili chicken (wings) -- they were fried well and nice and crispy without being oily. However, I like this dish even more at Zone 88 on San Bruno Ave. in SF. The rolled bean curd was simple but rather tasty -- I liked it a lot. I really enjoyed the hot and spicy pork shoulder -- it was braised in a spicy sauce and the perfectly cooked crispy and sweet bok choy balanced the heat. All of the vegetables that we ordered were cooked very well -- I really liked the A vegetable and the pea shoots were delicious, too -- lots of garlic (but not too much) in both.

          The handmade noodles had a nice texture, but the shrimp were overcooked and the sauce was just ordinary. The leek pancake was also just ok -- the filling was a bit mushy, but the flavor was good. The spicy catfish was also just ok -- catfish is not my favorite fish by a longshot -- some folks got muddy tasting pieces -- and the sauce was not great. The smoked pork was stir-fried with leeks and was not nearly as good as the smoked pork with cabbage and leeks that's served at Hunan Home's in Los Altos. That dish has much more flavor and heat and the smoked pork is much leaner. The pumpkin cake tasted pretty good, but it was too oily for me.

          I didn't have room for the dumplings -- they came near the end of the meal. I didn't like the duck dish, but by the time it got to me, there wasn't much duck left -- it was pretty salty. And, finally, although I really like crispy pork intestine, the intestine dish served at this meal did not appeal to me, so I skipped that one, too.

          As for service, I agree with mychineseauntie about their shortcomings. I especially missed the changing of plates -- everything started to taste of chili oil. I also felt that the appetizers, which we ordered well before we ordered the entree dishes, should have all been served before the entrees.

          All in all, this was a good, but not great meal. I've actually had better versions of a couple of the same dishes there at previous visits. I was a bit disappointed. The company was really good, though, and we had a great day when you add the Mountain View farmers' market before the lunch and the Skyline Chestnuts( chestnut gathering in La Honda, after.

          And, one more thing -- the charge per person was $21, I think, not $24.

        2. OK, the meal has settled well.

          I like the way the chef was able to handle the spicing and heat of the dishes. They were well seasoned but not none was overly hot and spicy. Too much of the same pepper can stop the taste buds from working

          We did order rice to help keep the eat in line.

          I asked for the following dishes
          N12 Szechwan Dry Cooked Frog, had this dish at both here and GS in Richmond. The sweetness of the frog is a great pairing with the heat of pepper corns and chili pepper. A real plus

          E22 Old Fashioned Tea Smoked Duck, which was moist enough for this dish. Well done in that mostly overly dry.

          The N19 Spicy Cat Fish and Orange Beef were recommended by the staff. I know one of the servers from the Wynn days. She said these dishes were real good and that turn out to be true.

          The Orange Beef has fresh orange peels which give this dish a new taste compare to dried orange peel. The beef was slice very thin and cooked so that the meat was still moist.

          Over all the meal was very good and I for one would return soon. There are still a few dishes we did not get to order and I hope to check out later.

          To my taste I wished that we were served the Taro Chicken and Pork Intestines earlier. I was too full when they arrived.

          To answer a question asked of me by ChewChew, who want to know if he could get better tea at the meal. I did not remember if I answered it fully. I told him that Trend only had cheap bags and did not have anything else.

          Sometime when you go to somewhere that serves dim sum during the day you can request higher end teas. They most likely will charge you a dollar per person. If you get free tea than do not hope for high end teas. If you want to have great tea then you should plan to have your own in a bottle.

          1. I was at this table.

            I liked most of the appetizers. I was a bit surprised by the garlic sauce or crushed garlic on all the appetizers to have chili in them (at least they looked reddish). I particularly liked the texture/cooking of the beef tendon in A17. A28 was an interesting appetizer I've not had before. I liked A10 even though it tasted mroe chickeny than 5 spice.

            Out of the entrees I liked N19, E18, and N12. D3 was just an okay version for me. I35 seemed less like noodles and more like rice cakes to me (small quibble).

            Also, can someone tell me what kind of spices are used in most of those spicy dishes we ordered? Special kind of chili? Sichuan peppercorn? I am asking because I think I am allergic to something in the spicing combo used in the hot dishes. I had intense headache, dizziness, some tongue swelling, mild fever and basically passed out for 17 hours post our meal.

            I've never been a huge fan of Sichuan cuisine (too fiery and strong for my palate) and now with this newfound allergic reaction I'll probably be more careful in partaking but still enjoyed adding the culinary data point on Saturdaywith fellow Hounds. Trend restaurnat does do a good rendition of its genre. Thank you to Melanie and Nancy for the organization and the wine.

            4 Replies
            1. re: vliang

              The Sichuan spicy beef noodle soup I had last week at Trend had arguably multiple herbs and spices in it, but most prominent were Sichuan peppercorns (hua jiao), and bay leaf.


              Chinese page (which has a lot more info



              I would not be surprised if similar herbs were used like those at Little Sheep Mongolian hotpot (spicy version).

              1. re: K K

                Had the beef noodles soup (a mild one since I wanted to taste the depth of the soup will order spice next time) and was impress with the flavor and the size of the bowl.

                A most have on a cold day.

                1. re: yimster

                  You likely had the non spicy hung shao (stewed) version. The Sichuan Spicy (chuan wei) looks very scary bright orange red with a layer of crazy grease that is chili oil.

              2. re: vliang

                I only notice in the red spicy sauce, ground chili pods, szechuan peppercorns and garlic. The other spices (which I am sure were there) were cover by the strength of the three other ingredients.

                I forgot the five spice tofu skin was more chicken in flavor that five spice. In fact I smelled the dish and did not smell five spice.

                Also the two sheet (mung bean sheets) was not as good as some of the Shantung take on this dish. I would not order it again.

                Should have order green onion pancake and/or the thick sesame bread. But rice is better for soaking up the chili sauce.

              3. I liked these apps:
                A4 Crushed Garlic Cucumbers
                A8 Chili Oil Chicken Gizzard
                A10 Five Spice Rolled Bean Curd - my very favorite of the apps
                A11 Sliced Bacon Cut Pork with Spicy Garlic Sauce
                A17 Spicy Beef Tendon
                A28 Sliced Green Bean Jelly with Shredded Pork, Egg, Cucumber, Shredded Bean Curd, Seafood and Sliced Carrot in Mustard Sauce
                the N19 Spicy Cat Fish - not muddy at all, just softened silkiness
                (the only dish I would not order again would be E18 because the taro & chicken were too salty for me)
                I do look forward to trying more of the dishes from the other table's offerings—especially the braised pork shoulder and bok choy