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Nov 12, 2012 08:07 AM

Best Szechuan or Hunan in SGV?

Looking for a not-too-shabby place to take non-Asian friends for spicy food. Please recommend your favorite places, and dishes. Thanks.

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  1. Lucky Noodle King, Hunan Chili King, Hunan Restaurant, Yunaan Garden, Hong Yei, Taste of Chong Qing in W. SGV.

    Chuan Ma, Long Choa Shou, Shufeng and Manie in E. SGV.

    Take your pick.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Hong Yei's menu looks enticing. What are your favorite dishes?

      1. re: fdb

        I dunno, depends what you like.

        Cumin lamb, water boiled fish, mapo tofu, etc. Can't go wrong with those stand-bys.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Wait a minute ipse, I thought you chided me for referring to Hong Yei as Sichuan?

        Good list. I think we need a definition of "not-too-shabby" though. I'll also add Mao's or Hunan Mao (the former Hunan Seafood in the former Ruben's Kitchen) and Xiang Wei Lou for Hunan and Yunkun Garden for Sichuan.

        1. re: JThur01

          Yeah, that's probably right.

          (Re Hong Yei. OP asked for recs for "non-Asian" friends ... )

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Taste of Chong Qing is now out-of -business

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            I overlooked that. Yes, ToCQ is gone, replaced by Haige Star.

        3. "not-too-shabby" in terms of what? food? or decor?

          Food, I stick by Xiang Wei Lou. Decor + room, Haige on Valley.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TonyC

            "not-too-shabby" in terms of decor

          2. I'll put in a vote for Yunnan Garden. There are probably places that do either Sichuan or Hunan better, but few that do both as consistently well. Plus, there's a huge and inexpensive cold table with everything you could possibly want (and probably a few things you don't...), decent parking in lot and on side street, and waitstaff with fairly good English skills.

            Your non-Asian friends will also appreciate that YG won't "water down" their dishes. The Lovely Wife and I like things on the hot side, and we were sweating and sniffling our way through the cumin lamb when we noticed the Chinese family next to us having pretty much the same reaction to the same dish. So, yeah, they're equal-opportunity flamethrowers :)

            Not much in the way of romantic ambiance (a bit sterile-looking, really) but not at all "shabby".

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bradbury

              <<equal-opportunity flamethrowers >>
              LOVE IT, Bradbury.

              1. re: Bradbury

                I haven't noticed much Hunan at Yunnan Garden. Good place for Sichuan tho'. I also never understand all the love for Yunnan Garden compared to little for it's sister restaurant, Yunkun Garden. I like both, but of the two, I slightly prefer Yunkun. Yunnan Garden does have a slightly larger selection at the cold counter. Also, the menus are somewhat different now whearas they used to be quite similar.

              2. Thanks for all inputs. We went to Hong Yei. Nice varieties for both spicy and non-spicy eaters. Good price, too!

                1. Had a very good lunch today at Shufeng on Garvey in Monterey Park, including a wonderful fillet of fish in hot bean sauce, a twice-cooked pork, that short of having more msg than I like, was reallly flavorful. The eggplant with spicy garlic sauce was equally good. The shredded pork with green mustard and udon noodles was my least favorite, yet the most preferred by my Taiwanese companion.
                  Obviously, I like spicy food more than he does!