While it seems that the "other Village" is getting a lot of play these days......when a couple of folks from work asked to have lunch with me. Well, I picked Village Kitchen. It had been a while since I'd visited and I was interested in how things were coming along. I'd also heard that the owner wasn't around much these days....he was busy opening restaurant elsewhere.
The meal was a line-up of dishes I'd enjoyed in the past and a couple of new one's. Here's a short and sweet rundown.
Pork Intestine with Chilies.
The intestines were nicely cleaned, but were on the mushy side. Not very spicy; I actually enjoyed the previous version with slightly bitter greens more.
I wanted to check out the La Rou here and though they were out of several versions; we ended up with the Smoked Pork and Dried Radish.
Not a great version as far as I was concerned. The pork was way too salty and had kind of an artificial flavor to it. The radish hadn't been prepped perfectly and was too hard. Beauty Hunan definitely makes better La Rou.
The best dish at VK is still the Eggplant and Green Chili with Preserved Egg; though it's much more eggplant, that has been made a lot creamier.
Less peppers and Pidan this time around. "RR" asked me what this was and seemed kind of afraid to eat it....I told him it was "Chinese Babaganouj"..... Smokey, creamy, a slight bit of spice....Calvin agreed that this is still the best thing on the menu as did the Missus, who enjoyed the leftovers.
I still enjoy the Sour and Spicy Chicken Gizzards; something that I was given by accident. It's still pretty good.
This was the spiciest dish of the day. Nice crunchy gizzards, decent saltiness. Though VK bills itself as a Hunan Restaurant, the dishes aren't very spicy like our favorites in the SGV. Though I probably can't tolerate that level of spice anymore. "RR" didn't know what gizzards were....I Googled it for him....he wouldn't touch this.
"RR's" favorite dish of the day? The Hunan Style Lotus Roots; another favorite of the Missus.
Nice and crisp.
I really enjoyed the Baby Radish Leaves.
Slightly bitter, making this quite savory. Not as spicy as I recalled.
All in all; a decent lunch. GK did real well for a kid from Minnesota and of course Calvin enjoys eating this stuff. "RR" is from Italy and talks a good game; but he could only handle the Eggplant and the Lotus Root. I'm not sure he'll ever go out to lunch with me again....oh well.
Even without the owner present; VK is still doing pretty well. It may not be on the top of the Chinese Food heap here; but it's much better than most. I need to return more often.
4720 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117