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May 8, 2013 12:41 AM

South Legend Sichuan Restaurant in Milpitas

Five or six years ago, South Legend in Milpitas used to come up whenever we discussed Sichuan restaurants in the area.

I didn’t try it then. But last month I finally had the chance to drop in for a solo lunch. The cold dish, diced rabbit in Sichuan red oil (ma la tu ding), $6.75, was my intro. As blazing hot and numbing as promised, this took me by surprise considering the relative absence of Sichuan peppercorns at so many other spots. Here in spades and then some making for an intense and complex taste sensation. The rabbit meat was somewhat dry. The kitchen had made no effort to remove any of the bones and even included the meatless rib cage in the dish.

Dealing with the splintery bone fragments yielded little reward, and I gave up though I did like the flavors. After tackling about a third of the dish, here’s what the bone fraction left behind amounted to.

However, my primary target was dan dan noodles, $6.00. Though marked on the menu as one-chile pepper spicy, this was completely devoid of any spice or redness. I wound up spooning some of the mala red oil from my rabbit onto this dish to give it some personality.

The complimentary dessert here is “ice cream” though it tasted more like icy orange sherbet to me but could just as easily have been a low grade mango ice cream. I did enjoy it though after this odd meal. The staff were quite nice here though their English skills were limited. They were amused by my photo-taking of the specials menus posted on the walls, shown here,

From Milpitas I continued north, and took a detour to still-closed China Village in Albany where I wound up talking to the owner, Mr. Yao, . He wasn’t familiar with South Legend by name, but when I showed him the take-out menu, he recognized the Chinese name and location on the map. He said that it must have changed hands and that the new Chinese name was the same as the now closed House of Sichuan in Cupertino.

House of Sichuan to i Restaurant

Checking the ABC license, there appears to be no change in ownership reported. However, talking to some friends in the South Bay, they felt that something was different during their visit a few months ago compared to last year.

Has anyone been here lately?

South Legend Sichuan Restaurant
1720 N Milpitas Blvd
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 934-3970

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  1. Have not been for awhile but is seem time to revisit soon.

    I will report back

    1 Reply
    1. re: yimster

      I'd love to hear about some of the specials on the menus posted on the walls.

    2. I haven't been here in a couple of years. I'll put it on my list to revisit.

      1. I am meeting a friend for dinner this Tuesday 7/16 in Milpitas. We both would enjoy a spicy Asian dinner, Is South Legend a good bet? Also considering Banana Leaf for Thai and we are open to other suggestions. I should mention that neither of us is multi lingual, so English menus are probably a necessity for us.
        Thanks Hounds!

        3 Replies
        1. re: KatoK

          More than 95% of the menu is in English so no problems in that regard. And if you're curious, you can always ask the waiter to translate whatever is posted on the walls from Chinese.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks Melanie for the reassurance. I love rabbit but will probably not choose it based upon your experience. Would you have an alternate selection that would still highlight the sichuan spicy style of preparation?

            1. re: KatoK

              Wish I could be more help, but I've only been to the place a single time. The online menu is skimpy and I don't have the take-out menu any more. If you like tripe, maybe the Couple's Beef, which is a combination of beef shank and tripe in a fiery sauce. Or mapo doufu.

              The Chinese name for Sichuan peppercorns is 花椒 or hua jiao. I'd suggest that you show that to your server and ask for recommendations that include this signature spice.