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The new, other Shen Yang (Monterey Park)

odub May 29, 2013 12:18 AM

I rolled out to the new Shen Yang on Garvey, just east of Atlantic, with two friends (and one thoroughly bored daughter) after reading TonyC's mention on L.A. Eater. I always liked the Shen Yang on San Gabriel Blvd. (cumin chicken bones!) and given that this one is closer, it was worth peeping.

Before we proceed any further, I need some confirmation on WTF this dish is: http://goo.gl/rZ5Px

It says "race dog meat" and I was told by one friend that it's referring to greyhound meat, at least that's the literal translation. Now...I know things get lost in translation on these menus all the time but is this place actually advertising that they serve greyhound meat?!?!?!

Suffice to say...we didn't order it.

Did get the cumin chicken bone which was decent...less greasy, slightly more meaty than the ones at SY SG though also crazy salty.

The Korean-style cold noodles were on-point. I haven't had any in about two years so I don't feel like I'm capable of rendering a relative opinion about whether it's better or worse than any other place but it tasted good.

We got the braised pork ribs but those were no big deal. Decent but not memorable.

The la-pan-mien was great; just the right amount of sour. Could have used a little more noodles in the dish but all said, really good stuff.

Dry green beans with a ton of crumbled pork. This was fine. Not memorable.

A plate of lamb skewers. This was good but it's lamb skewers: hard to mess up.

I'd definitely go back again, tons on the menu left to try. But yeah, "race dog meat." Uhhhhhh.

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  1. Tripeler RE: odub May 29, 2013 01:16 AM

    At least they didn't say "Intercity Bus Meat"

    1. ipsedixit RE: odub May 29, 2013 06:56 AM

      The race dog meat dish (or 賽狗肉) is from what I understand a play on words and refers to a tournament in Northern China. It is usually made with pig feet or trotter meat, and braised with deep and heavy accents of allspice, cumin and sometimes star anise.

      So, no, no greyhounds were harmed in this post.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        J.L. RE: ipsedixit May 29, 2013 09:23 AM

        Agree with ipse.

        Nor were any actual Buddha/Buddhist monks were harmed in the making of "Buddha Jumping Over Wall"...

        1. re: ipsedixit
          Mr. Roboto RE: ipsedixit May 30, 2013 03:18 PM

          I thought it was a dish make from pork offal (豬雜).

          1. re: Mr. Roboto
            ipsedixit RE: Mr. Roboto May 30, 2013 06:16 PM

            Not always.

        2. Chandavkl RE: odub May 29, 2013 09:20 AM

          Northern Restaurant in Rosemead does have Fake Shen Yang Dog Meat on its menu, so perhaps they're trying to replicate the flavor.

          1. TonyC RE: odub May 29, 2013 09:58 AM

            FWIW, race dog meat was f'ing fantastic. It's a pulled pork "salad", if you will. A hint of sweetness, a bit sour, topped with cilantro, carrots, sesame seeds, served room temp. It's the perfect beer noshing food, before, or after watching the races at Canidrome. (Shoddy pic attached).

            Pitcher is B2G1 free, though draft is only 百味 and Amberbock right now.

            Major miss has been the "sea bass" stew. They used crocker, which is OG Dongbei and all, but rather difficult to eat. Also, I've been having a hard time finding the comparable "sauerkraut" stews so readily available at The Other Shen Yang (unrelated). But if you want chitterling done 3 ways, this place has you covered.

            This is one of finest '13 openings in SGV, barring the "Magic Toilet Cafe". Even the skewers are fairly edible, and I'm waiting for the "smoked" chicken rack to come online (sometime shortly) as well as for them to import a second naengmyeon press so they can make buckwheat noodles they promised during the first week.

            4 Replies
            1. re: TonyC
              kevin RE: TonyC May 29, 2013 01:13 PM

              "Magic Toilet Cafe " ?

              And is Canidrome the same as Santa Anita Race Track ?

              1. re: kevin
                TonyC RE: kevin Jun 5, 2013 10:21 AM


                1. re: TonyC
                  kevin RE: TonyC Jun 5, 2013 11:39 AM

                  Thanks Tony.

              2. re: TonyC
                odub RE: TonyC May 29, 2013 09:36 PM

                Tony: what's the other chicken bone dish? I didn't see it on the menu.

                And what's the Magic Toilet Cafe? I am now intrigued.

              3. ClarissaW RE: odub May 29, 2013 10:04 AM

                Went there the other day. The race dog meat is actually pork in a fermented sauce.

                They're known for the cold noodles. (get the sweet and sour one)

                The entire staff is from Shen Yang.

                8 Replies
                1. re: ClarissaW
                  ipsedixit RE: ClarissaW May 29, 2013 10:38 AM

                  Top Ten Race Dog Meats in Los Angeles?

                  C'mon, you know it's happening ...

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    ClarissaW RE: ipsedixit May 29, 2013 12:03 PM


                    i personally hated it. too "suan" 酸

                    1. re: ClarissaW
                      ipsedixit RE: ClarissaW May 29, 2013 12:30 PM

                      So, it's not cracking the top 5? Maybe a contender for 7 or 8?

                      If you can actually find 10 different iterations of 賽狗肉 in Los Angeles I will personally fund your Taiwanese restaurant in Manhattan (NY or KS).

                      1. re: ClarissaW
                        kevin RE: ClarissaW May 29, 2013 01:14 PM

                        What does "suan" mean ?

                        1. re: kevin
                          scoopG RE: kevin May 29, 2013 01:33 PM

                          Sour, tart or acidic. 酸 suān

                          1. re: scoopG
                            kevin RE: scoopG May 29, 2013 02:08 PM


                    2. re: ClarissaW
                      granadafan RE: ClarissaW May 30, 2013 09:51 PM

                      Even if it is actually pork, the name doesn't make me want to give my business to this restaurant, let alone try the dish.

                      1. re: granadafan
                        TonyC RE: granadafan May 31, 2013 09:27 AM

                        It'd be your loss. Many ethnic cookeries serve all types of mock domesticated animal meats. e.g. Chin Go Gae's "dog stew", Wok Coco in Anaheim has a "Sulawesi stew in the style of dog meat" (which, btw, is a fantastic dish), etc.

                        Obviously, none of these establishments are serving dog. Cuz we're in 'merika. It's about respecting the flavor profile (and the hyperlocal culinary traditions), more than unethical meats in these cases.

                        FWIW, Shen Yang's race dog dish is delicious, as was mentioned above. It's a more herbal/aromatic/non-smoky Carolina BBQ.

                    3. ClarissaW RE: odub May 29, 2013 10:07 AM

                      + The fried chicken platter is delicious.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ClarissaW
                        kevin RE: ClarissaW May 29, 2013 01:14 PM

                        Is this joint supposed to be kind of sichuan with the spicy fried chicken cubes ?

                        1. re: kevin
                          ClarissaW RE: kevin May 29, 2013 10:49 PM

                          nope it's northeastern chinese.

                          1. re: ClarissaW
                            kevin RE: ClarissaW May 30, 2013 01:56 PM


                            1. re: ClarissaW
                              J.L. RE: ClarissaW May 30, 2013 07:32 PM

                              Is zha ziang mien on the menu?

                            2. re: kevin
                              JThur01 RE: kevin May 30, 2013 09:29 PM

                              It *was* a Shufeng Garden, they of the outstanding Sichuan, but...no one realized it until chandavkl stopped by and saw the menu (the signs read Saporous Grill and Mrs. Chen's Tofu in English & Mandarin, respectively). Within a matter of a few weeks after chandavkl discovered this, and TonyC, confirmed it...it became Shen Yang. Dongbei style.

                          2. j
                            JThur01 RE: odub May 30, 2013 09:35 PM

                            Just so everyone will know, I have something coming up on Shen Yang, but I didn't simply copy off this page, since it was pretty much done before odub's post.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: JThur01
                              odub RE: JThur01 May 30, 2013 10:56 PM

                              Only on CH would a food writer feel it necessary to disclaim as such. :)

                              1. re: odub
                                J.L. RE: odub May 31, 2013 01:19 AM

                                But I'm sure Jim was like "Oh dang!" when he first saw this post.

                                1. re: J.L.
                                  JThur01 RE: J.L. Jun 2, 2013 10:34 AM

                                  ...or something thereabouts. I try not to work blue, but it was a bit stronger than "Oh dang!" :-)

                              2. re: JThur01
                                ipsedixit RE: JThur01 May 31, 2013 07:38 AM

                                And just so you know, Jim, we don't have the password to access your laptop. No, really, we don't.

                                Trust. Me. On. This.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  JThur01 RE: ipsedixit Jun 2, 2013 10:35 AM

                                  I've often wondered why I have such an easy time getting on the wi-fi at various places around the SGV...now I know.

                                  ("That's strange, I didn't even need to type in my password, and I haven't been here before") :-)

                              3. barryc RE: odub Aug 3, 2013 05:26 PM

                                was back yesterday for lunch. they updated their menu to: race dog meat (pork) where they'd written in (fake) in pen.

                                we had an order (and the kid with glasses smiled when we ordered it. not sure what to make of that). not knowing what real race dog meat tastes like, all i can say is that it was soft-jerky-like in terms of texture and consistency, spicy, with a hint of gaminess that one might associate with dog meat,
                                and served with cilantro.

                                while the menu upgrades did not correct the spelling for the "sweat"/sour cold noodles, the noodles were again spot on.

                                the cumin chicken bones were nowhere near as heavily laced with cumin this time around though. a little disappointing.

                                the noodles & dumplings we ordered to round out the meal were ok.

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