Yes, another road trip so soon. We had an appointment in our old neighborhood....man, we've lived in San Diego for over a decade now, time sure does fly. Anyway, after our appointment, the Missus was hungry and I was still kind of hurting after our last visit to Chung King in Monterey Park. So we thought we'd get something close by...plus I wanted some Liang Ci Ba to take back with me.
And while I've stopped here for Liang Ci Ba, I really hadn't had anything else since this place was called Manie's Restaurant back in 2006. Strangely, though the menu looks the same and the lady who runs the place looks the same, the name has changed. So I was wondering what was going on....until I met "Manie"......and things got even more confusing...
You may recognize the turtle from a previous post....it has gotten a bit bigger. We were told the turtle is now 6 1/2 years old, so maybe the turtle was named after the restaurant and then???? Oh, so many possible scenarios go through my head....some NSFW, so I'll just stop.
Man, the two young ladies working here looked really beat and it was only 11 in the morning!
We decided to order a couple of items we saw on photos posted on the wall....well because the menu here is soooooo huge, with over 270+ items, not including lunch specials, scattered about like leaves on the ground...there are "Happiness Special Dishes" in one section, with "Happiness Special" in another.....not sure what meaning the addition/deletion of a single word would have, but the menu can induce total paralysis.
The Missus really liked one of the photos, but balked at the price, $16.95, for the House Special Fish.....but I told Her "sometimes you just gotta go for it", so we did. What arrived, well, looked like, but didn't look like the photo on the wall if you know what I mean. It arrived in one of those metal mixing bowls......
It looked like fish filets were cooking in a pot of bubbling oil, but not frying! Once things settled down, I had a taste and it seemed like it was all oil(it didn't separate overnight). The fish however, did not brown, and I'm guessing was either poached in another fluid and finished in the oil...or perhaps oil poached, which seemed like a more reasonable assumption since the fish had a wonderful buttery texture that almost melted in your mouth...."fei ur bu ni" (rich without greasy). The dish as a whole was not very spicy and the seaweed and other items in the oil didn't really add much....until we slowly, very slowly, heated up the leftovers the next day, but which time the chilies and seaweed had imparted a wonderful flavor to the remaining fish.
We'll ask the next time we have this...the Missus enjoyed this, so I'm sure we'll have it again.
The House Special Hot and Spicy Lamb Chops ($10.95) did look like lamb chops in the photo, but were just lamb ribs.
The batter was o the mushy side and the flavor not particularly appealing....decent beer food overall. The best part of the dish were the scalded scallions and garlic, which had also absorbed what the Sichuan Peppercorns in the dish had to offer.
The Missus asked me if I wanted the Kou Shui Ji - saliva chicken - written as Happiness Spicy Chicken ($7.95) on the menu. I thought why not.....
I felt kind of weird when it arrived....this usually a cold dish and it hit the table warm, almost hot. Catching a bit of the fragrance, I could make out sesame paste, which was a good start. In the bowl, this looked like soup....I fished out the chicken, much of which had been cubed, almost like it was being prepared for la zi ji, chicken with chilies. The flavor was actually not bad...there was a hint of vinegar, it was salty enough, sesame paste, but not sweet, nor spicy enough. If I had eaten this a year ago, I'd have rated it pretty low....but after having two renditions even worse then this in the last couple months, what can I say......still can't really recommend it, but it's passable.
And of course we got the Liang Ci Ba - Sticky Rice Cake ($6.95), which is under Happiness Appetizers, to go. Taking a peek at the table, I realized it's not quite what it used to be.
The rice cakes looked like they've been worked pretty pretty hard and they've gotten pretty stingy with the peanut-sesame paste topping, which was really dense. The Missus got to the topping before I did and left me all the carbs. In case you have any doubts about this.....here's what it looked like in 2006:
In case you're thinking it's because I ordered it to go....here's what it looked like around Xmas of 2010:
Well, I didn't have much time to dwell on that for very long as we headed off to our "second lunch"....stay tuned!
18438 Colima Road #106
Rowland Heights, CA 91748