Jiang Nan Spring (Los Angeles, December 2022)

We have pretty good Sichuan food in the Twin Cities metro these days. It’s certainly not as good as that available in the best places in the San Gabriel Valley outside Los Angleles; but it’s good enough that eating Sichuan food has not been at the top of our Chinese food agenda for a while now when visiting Southern California. Not when there are genres available there that are far superior to versions found in Minnesota (dim sum, for example); not to speak of genres and cuisines that are not available here at all (or for that matter in most other parts of the United States). On this list is the cuisine of Shanghai and environs. Over the years I’ve reported on a few such meals: eaten at Mei Long Village, Chang’s Garden, and Shanghai #1 Seafood Village. To that list now add Jiang Nan Spring, where we ate one of our best meals out on this trip. Continue reading


Mei Long Village (Los Angeles, July 2015)

Mei Long Village: Shanghai Spareribs
One of my very first Los Angeles meal reports on the blog was of a dinner at Shanghai #1 Seafood Village, a then relatively recently opened and somewhat snazzy restaurant. I noted there that the strong reviews it had received particularly made me want to eat there as there are no Shanghai restaurants in Minnesota. This is still true (as far as I know); but, of course, it is not true that Shanghai #1 was in any way a Shanghai cuisine innovator in the San Gabriel Valley. My report today is of a meal at one of the mainstays of the Shanghai scene in the area, the very far from snazzy Mei Long Village. Continue reading

Chang’s Garden for Christmas Lunch (Los Angeles, Winter 2014/2015)

Seaweed Flavoured Fish
It has been exactly a month since we got back from Los Angeles but I still have a number of restaurant meal writeups coming from the trip. We ate in the San Gabriel Valley quite a bit less than we usually do—partly on account of a couple of plans that fell through, partly because the holiday season meant very tight opportunities to see some friends and family in other parts of greater LA, partly because we went down to San Diego for a few days. We did, however, go out for Chinese food on Christmas, as we usually try to do and, despite heading to the SGV, shockingly decided against dim sum, Sichuan and Hunan. We went instead to Chang’s Garden in Arcadia for the the milder food of Hangzhou and Shanghai.

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Shanghai #1 Seafood Village (Los Angeles, Summer 2013)

After dim sum at Elite on Saturday we returned to the San Gabriel Valley for dinner on Sunday, this time to Shanghai #1 Seafood Village in Alhambra. This is a relatively recently opened place that has received very strong reviews and as we don’t have any Shanghainese restaurants in Minnesota (that I know of, at any rate) we wanted to try it. It sits in the same location as a previous Shanghainese restaurant, Green Village (though significantly expanded and refurbished) in the huge strip mall at 250 W. Valley Blvd.

The restaurant, which is divided into a number of dining rooms seems very elegant and luxurious as you enter, with lots of dark panelling and red and green satin. But as you sit down in a bright dining room it all begins to look somewhat tacky. This kind of decor in a fusion restaurant aimed at non-Chinese diners would doubtless be described as kitschy and attract derision, but in this context some of the reviewers have seen fit to describe it as an elegant throwback to the aesthetic of 1930s Shanghai restaurants and clubs. Well, whatever. Continue reading