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Chungking restaurant, Monterey Park


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#1 FoodZealot

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:17 PM

Some pix from a recent outing to Chungking restaurant, located at 206 S Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, east of downtown LA. These were taken with my little spy camera, so they're like cheap food porn picked up in the sleazy part of town, rather than arty, glossy food porn from the ritzy part of town.

As usual, please forgive and correct any errors in my descriptions.

Some starters from the cold table up front - seaweed salad, covering Chinese ham, and cucumbers. Inexplicably, the woman insisted on putting the seaweed salad on top of the ham...
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I'm not sure of the name of this on the menu, but it was something like dumplings in spicy broth. A first for me, and delicious.
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Stirfried fish and tofu
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Diced chicken with chilis and Sichuan peppercorns - neither as hot nor as numbing as I recall, but still quite good.
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Three flavors sizzling rice
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The spareribs with Sichuan pepper is no longer made there - these are fairly straightforward, and surrounded by shrimp styrofoam chips
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Mapo Dofu
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#2 GG Mora

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:30 PM

Actually, your pictures look a hell of a lot better than many I've seen taken with expensive gear. It's all about the photographer, and you're making me hungry.

#3 jschyun

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 10:40 PM

He's had a little practice.

Great, now I'm hungry again.

#4 tanabutler

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 11:08 PM

Love your pictures, FZ.
"Nana, I just counted to infinity really fast!" Logan, age 5-1/2

#5 mongo_jones

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:50 AM

"hot sauce wontons" is what those dumplings are called. and i think the fish is something like "sliced fish with hot bean sauce".

and yes, the food was not anywhere as hot as i remember it being either. i put this down entirely to the absence of the manager on the night. we remembered later that the designated "english speaking" waitress has in the past independently told the chef to tone things down for us barbarians--we'd had the manager intervene in the past. but, nonetheless, it was an excellent meal and excellent company. the only off-note was the spare-ribs debacle. oh and that thing jschyun said that caused a hush to fall over the entire restaurant.

my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


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#6 jschyun

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:38 PM

You mean when I said I was Chinese in another life? Through the hush I thought I heard some snickers.

#7 beachfan

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 07:01 PM

Nice notes and pics, thanks!

How does it compare with Monterey Park's finest?

#8 FoodZealot

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 10:23 PM

Thanks for the kind words, all. It was a great evening. I hope the lovely and long-suffering Mrs. Jones was not too bored by us. [grin]

beachfan, I don't have very much basis to compare against other Sichuan/Chongqing places in SGV, but it certainly seems vibrant and flavorful compared to other Sichuanese food I've had. Communicating the right level of heat and numbing seems to be a tricky issue, but I have a plan to learn how to say some key phrases in each language, one of which is, "Please prepare it as you'd would for your countrymen" or equivalent.

Any other suggestions for good Sichuanese? Scott mentioned that he liked Best Szechuan...

~Tad

#9 mongo_jones

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 06:36 AM

Nice notes and pics, thanks!

How does it compare with Monterey Park's finest?

of course, it is tough to stay up on these things given the rate of new restaurant openings in sgv. in my experience i would say it is up there at the very top for sichuan food generally--there is some consensus about this in l.a. it is always packed, and in the valley that is a very positive sign.

tad, have you tried hua's garden? until recently this is the sichuan place j. gold used to recommend--he seems to have switched over to chungking as well (as per the recent weekly thing on l.a eats).

my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
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#10 Gary Soup

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 04:52 PM

Jothanan Gold (why do I keep thinking of apples?) has a review of a tempting new Shanghainese place in Monterey Park in this week's LA Weekly. Has anyone tried it?

Those xiaolong bao are way too big, though.

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#11 FoodZealot

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Posted 14 July 2005 - 10:27 PM

tad, have you tried hua's garden? until recently this is the sichuan place j. gold used to recommend--he seems to have switched over to chungking as well (as per the recent weekly thing on l.a eats).

I went there once a while ago with tissue, (trying not to sound pedantic) I believe they hail from Yuanan or Yunnan (adjacent to Sichuan, just South of Sichuan, and SE of Chongqing). Very enjoyable. I'll happily go back to taste again and compare and contrast... [grin] This map of Yunnan province is much more helpful than I am.

Perhaps JonaGold's change of heart has something to do with more accurate geography than quality of food?

GS, I'll put that place on my list of restaurants to visit.

#12 FoodZealot

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 10:49 PM

In this post on CH, "hun la" is said to be the translation of "very spicy". I imagine then that "hun ma" would be the way to say "very numbing hot" - the descriptor for Sichuan peppercorns.

Anyone know if these are accurate?

#13 mongo_jones

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Posted 23 March 2008 - 12:26 AM

an excellent lunch today at chungking. we got the hot sauced wontons, the cold chopped chicken with spicy sauce, spareribs with prickly ash, and the ma po tofu. plus a bunch of stuff from the cold bar. one of the best meals we've ever had there (even after adjusting for nostalgia).

my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
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#14 mongo_jones

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 03:58 AM

and the pictures of our lunch. three greedy people can do a lot of damage.






my annoying opinions: untimely whisky reviews and occasional cultural commentary

 


facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson




#15 FoodZealot

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 01:19 AM

QUOTE(mongo_jones @ Mar 26 2008, 07:58 PM) View Post
and the pictures of our lunch. three greedy people can do a lot of damage.


That looks effin' delicious. Thanks for the pix.

~Tad