The new, other Shen Yang (Monterey Park)
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.
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.
Northern Restaurant in Rosemead does have Fake Shen Yang Dog Meat on its menu, so perhaps they're trying to replicate the flavor.
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.
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.