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Apr 15, 2013 12:48 PM

Calzone and More at Yue Lai in San Gabriel

As reported by TonyC in Eater LA, the heralded Yu Garden at 107 E. Valley in San Gabriel has been replaced by Yue Lai, an offshoot of Kuan's Restaurant in Montebello, another Shanghai style eatery. It seems to be the same menu as Kuan's, with ingredients delivered daily from the Montebello location. However, they didn't truck over any of the calzone with garlic and chives today, so I didn't get to try any. However, I had both chicken dumplings and fish dumplings, both of which were very good. Furthermore, I didn't realize they sell these frozen in bags of 50, so I'm definitely a happy camper.

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    1. re: ClarissaW

      Actually the chicken dumplings are the feature because they are so rare in the SGV.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        Have you tried any of their other dishes?

        At the Montebello location, I was disappointed as to how watery the Hot & Sour Soup was (although the large order could feed a table of 12), and how the Lunch Special Kung Pao Chicken was just like any other Cantonese style restaurant.

        Also, are the dishes more authentic and better when ordered off the regular menu and not the Lunch Specials menu? (And I'm asking for either or both Yue Lai and Kuan's).


        1. re: TripleAxel

          I actually tried their hot sour soup this weekend and it wasn't bad. Not remarkable but definitely solid. They even allowed us to bring our own pot when we ordered it to go.

          1. re: TripleAxel

            Haven't had anything else there lately. I think some of the lunch specials are geared towards non-Chinese diners.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              Brought my social foodie group here for lunch on Sunday and just about all of them Chinese and non-Asian loved everything we ordered (except for the Chives & Pork Boiled Dumplings). A few of us did think the Scallion Pancake (although huge - about 13" in diameter and very crispy) a bit dry and lacking of enough seasoning and scallion flavor. We tried the soup dumplings, chili won tons (which they thought were an amazing deal at only $3 for a bowl of 8-10), pan fried dumplings, boiled dumplings (chicken, fish, pork & fennel), cold cucumber appetizer (light on garlic), and wood-ear fungus with vinegar. A few of us went to a gathering at
              Alhambra's 100 Noodle Express and found them to be a bit disappointing, especially after having eaten at Yue Lai.

      2. Chandavkl, how do their fish dumpling compare with Qing Dao's ?

        11 Replies
        1. re: selfportrait93

          Not bad, thick skin, but Qingdao is the gold standard for me.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Someone needs to make fish dumpling with sea bass. It is the perfect pescatarian equivalent of pork - fatty and a bit oily, not flaky and dry like haddock or cod.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I just assumed those fish dumplings where something cheap like tilapia.

              I'm happy with the occasional sole fish dumpling.

              Haddock and cod sound pretty good. Who serves those?

              1. re: Porthos

                Qingdao serves sole and I believe 101 Noodle Express offers sole and cod. A number of other restaurants also offer cod. (All descriptions are alleged.) Then there's the Dalian place with their mackerel dumplings. Ugh.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  I think alleged is the key description.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    Not a fan of mackerel? ...or just their dumplings?

                    1. re: JThur01

                      Note a fan of mackerel and the dumplings reinforced my feeling.

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        I like mackerel.

                        And I like dumplings.

                        But I don't like mackerel dumplings.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Between TonyC's horrible experience and your comment, it doesn't sound like those are worth checking out. Too bad, I love mackerel.

                    2. re: Chandavkl

                      Yes, 101 offers both cod & sole and I can detect a difference in texture between the two.

                    3. re: Porthos

                      From what I understand, just about every Chinese restaurant worth their salt will use cod with fish dumplings. We've tried tilapia, and the texture just isn't right when boiled and mixed with the other ingredients.

                      Some places will use haddock, and you can tell right away that you're in for a bad meal.

              2. So they have lu baos too? Wonder if I'll get the same blank look as I got at Shang Ming when I went in and asked.

                Since I just finished the "Chinese calzone" piece, I expected this to happen. I see an update coming.

                1. Kuan's Restaurant in Montebello is now called K&Y Restaurant. I presume to indirectly tncorporate the Yue Lai branch. Nothing seems to have changed besides the signage etc.