farewell lunch @ mandarin deli
728 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754(626) 289-2891
yeah baby! you don't need to rub your eyes to make sure you read the sign correctly. that's a big fat A!
so why did i chose mandarin deli? well, my dear friend alison (the camera woman from park's bbq) was in town and since i had told her about this place quite a while back, so she wanted to try it. we were also meeting up with an old friend from elementary school, roy, who was getting ready to move to paris. so what better way spend the day then to get some great home style chinese food before he left. here is our little farewell luncheon.
from the cold fridge - soy braised tofu curd sheets...
this dish always reminds me of my mom because she used to make it all the time. during the time she was sick, she would be too tired to make it, so i would help her soak all the sheets and prepare this dish.
mandarin deli's is so flavorful and tasty! i love the pieces on the bottom that are soaking inside the sauce...but all of it is so well made and perfectly seasoned and braised.
beef pan cakes...
basic chinese pancake rolled with cold braised beef thinly sliced with fresh cilantro. this is the second time i have had it, and its still ok for me. i still prefer just plain green onion pancakes.
leeks with fish dumpling (boiled)...
this is the second time i've had this here and i still really enjoyed the delicate flavor of the fish, the garlic chives gave it a great burst of flavor. the chives balances really well with the fish and the nice hand made dumpling skins. you can buy these frozen and i believe its like 50 to a bag for some ridiculously low price like $12 or something. but don't quote me...
green onion pan cakes...
the green onion pancakes here are thin and crispy. i think i still put a touch of salt on mine...but it was good. i typically love the thick, crispy, doughy ones i get at supreme dragon. but i still enjoyed these.
spicy beef noodle soup...
i forgot to get a picture of this before we dug into the big bowl...so i made a miniature version. the noodles are handmade by chef zhong and they are DELICIOUS! they had the perfect bite to it! my only issue with this dish is the beef...i wish that it had been cooked longer because there were some pretty tough pieces. i knew poor alison had a large, tough piece because it just sat in her bowl. i will try these noodles with a different meat next time.
spicy chili beef...
yes...that is some serious reddness going on in that pan! it is all red chili peppers and chili oil. i saw someone else order this dish the last time i was here, so i wanted to try it with alison and roy. it wasn't as hot as i thought it would be. the meat was very tender, but the taste is so strong of just red chili oil, that it had a bit of that bitterness to me, so this isn't something i'd probably get again in the future. but do i know that the other patrons that get this dish really love it.
sauteed string beans (chinese name, gan bien tze chi do... i'm spelling it phonetically)
we wanted veggies and when they came out, we immediately dug in...leaving this messy plate to photograph. these are some of THE best green beans i've ever had this way. i wish i knew how to say it in english, but once i figure it out, i'll let you know.
my favorite dishes here are the fish dumplings, the bean curd, the noodles from the beef soup noodles, and the green beans! at least from this particular visit.
mandarin deli is a one of the many little hole in the wall chinese places in monterey park. this place is great for some home cooked food and of course, not everything is amazing, but there are some nice stand out dishes. mrs. miao is always there (co-owner), and you just have to ask her if you have any questions. but honestly, it's easier if you speak mandarin or bring someone who does, so you are able to better understand what the dishes are because the descriptions are all very basic.
our farewell lunch is not quite over...its time for some fosselman's ice cream!
1824 W Main St
Alhambra, CA 91801(626) 282-6533
having a very nostalgic day with alison and roy...
fosselman's has some great flavors, their dutch chocolate and blueberry are a couple of my favorites. their ice cream is not necessarily the creamiest or richest. its just basic ice cream but its the happy memories that this place evokes in everyone that eats here.
funny thing...we ran in to my friend ryan cross, who is a professional musician (bassist). he's so talented and plays all over l.a.
what a great afternoon of good food and friends!