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« BTSD Japan Cultural Bazaar | Main | Rei Do Gado »

Monday, 06 June 2005



Oh yummo! You do the pics well Kirk! I hate to confess this but all Chinese restaurants eat the same to me. I'm not happy about this. I'm particularly frustrated when faced with the Chinese placards. I just KNOW I'm missing something but I have no idea what it is or how to go about finding out. I fear that I am not bold enough to ask... =o( It would be easier to gather my courage if it were not for the fact that my husband is completely satisfied with stuff like sweet & sour pork and almond chicken EVERY time we go to a Chinese restaurant. It would be wonderful if we could establish a relationship with the owners as you have. Long time ago we actually did, but then they retired and moved away. VERY sad! So, I'm gonna start working on my arm strength and when I can flap long enough and hard enough... Will you take me to Ba Ren? ::hopefull smile::


Jo - I'll be glad to take you to Ba Ren when you're in town! Actually the Missus speaks Mandarin, but most of the time I'm either picking up take-out myself, or am taking friends there.....the staff is really helpful!


ah HA! Yep, having someone along that knows what is being said can be a big advantage. I wouldn't hold my breath for us to show up though =o( I've made it back twice since leaving back in '76. Most recently was when our daughter came back from Iraq. She was there for the start of the "engagement" and had to leave behind our GrandSon who was only 6 months at the time. When she got back she took all of us to Disneyland as a thank you.

::laughing:: I wore EVERYONE out! My daughter, a 22 year old Marine at the time, my husband, and all 3 of the little guys! Yep, Granny get a major case of "The Bunnies" when it comes to Disneyland!


Hi Kirk,

I do like Chinese food, and this sounds/looks really good. As you know, most of the Chinese food here is Cantonese. I don't think I know of any really good Szechuan places here. Too bad. I love hot and spicy.


Reid - This is by far our favorite restaurant! There are layers of heat in the food - though the liberal use of oil scares some people. In Seattle you should try Seven Stars Pepper Szechuan in the ID - I'm told (we didn't try this dish) that they make a mean Szechuan Crab.

Victor Lieberman

Went to Ba-Ren finally about a month ago, after realizing it was east of the 805 and not west of it.

My son really dug it but I think we ordered wrong. I found the found very good but not as flavorful as Spicy City or the Dumpling House.

Now that I see what you guys order, I am anxious to re-try.


Hi Victor - Depends on what you consider "flavorful". I will tell you this much - Spicy City is Beijing Style - so Sichuan as you would get in Northern China - this means alot more liberal use of Vinegar, etc.... I like the food at Ba Ren alot more, mainly because it's what I've had in the "Sichuan" places in Monterey Park - ChungKing & Oriental Pearl. BTW this is ChungKing style Sichuan, not Chengdu style Sichuan.

Diana Strain

Kirk, one of my all time favorite regrets in life is that Jim and I were unable to attend your Chowhound feast at Ba Ren. Reading all the descriptions of those dishes you selected makes one realize that eating at such a place with two or four people just will not do. Is there any chance of a sequel?


Hi Diana - Well let's see what I can set-up ok?

Diana Strain

You are magnificent!

Jay Carli

Kirk, did you know you were mentioned in the recent Nov. 30th review of Ba Ren in the SD Citybeat paper! SUPERSTAR!

off topic: Ever check out this food blog? Whoaaaa!


Hi Jay - Thanks so much, it was kind of a kick. Actually, I hope more people try out Ba Ren. IMO Ba Ren is probably one of the few Chinese places in San Diego that would actually do well in the San Gabriel Valley - it's that good. And Graham does have a excellent blog - I'm always lurking there!


#1=Dry-cooked Chicken
#2= " Lamb
#3= " Beef
#4= " Frog
#6=Fish w/Shirataki Noodles
#7=Dry-fried Beef Slivers
#8=Twice-cooked Fish

Is this correct? If so, does anyone know what #5 is? Thanks very much for the breakdown.

Andy 食神

Trent, #5 is a 乾焗牛肉絲 (P:gan ju niu rou si) "dry baked/roasted beef strips"

Kirk, I went to Ba Ren this weekend and just like Friends Korean Restaurant, we got a booth where the table was ridiculously far away from the seats. I will post the picture of the spacing soon. Great place great food! I wouldn't know where to eat in SD without your blog!


Hi Andy - Thanks for the kind words. You really do get around, don't you?

Chris the Concierge

I'm going to have to try some of the dishes you mentioned here. I went the other day and was thoroughy impressed. I was watching what everyone else ordered and the most interesting was the pumpkin with pork. They said you have to call 3 hours in advance for them to have time to prepare it. Can't wait


Hi Chris - Yes, you need to call ahead for that is not one our favorites, but many seem to really enjoy it. A kabocha squash is roasted, and slices of pork are coated with what I believe is ground rice powder and fried. Once cooked the kabocha is hollowed out, and the meat from the squash and the pork are mixed, and stuffed back into the squash. Interesting flavors and textures.


I lived in Sichuan (Chengdu mainly) for 4 years. My wife is from Chongqing.We have eaten there 4- 5 times and each time she has declared it 100% Real and delicious. I'd concur.The problem is that in Sichuan people have a huge list of places that they frequent. Eating out in Chengdu/Chongqing is really inexpensive so the variety is endless. She's bored with their food. She likes it about once a month. If you have never had Sichuan all's the real deal. And's supposed to be swimming in oil and chilies.Enjoy.


Hi TLB - We love Ba Ren, it is by far our favorite restaurant.


Is Ba Ren closed on Thursdays, or closed in the late afternoon? I ate there for the first time about two weeks ago and it was so fabulous I wanted to pick up some take-out for another great dinner. But the restaurant was dark and uninhabited at 4:45 p.m.

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