Sunday, May 31, 2009

Liang's Kitchen

Liang's Kitchen, located in San Gabriel, CA, just opened several months ago and serves Taiwanese style food. We went there the first few days it opened and was less than impressed. We decided, though, not to make any conclusions about this place during our first visit because it just opened and we knew the potential the restaurant could have. The owners of Liang's also own two other restaurants in Rowland Heights, one of which we were regulars. We stopped going there, though, after they discontinued their Three Flavor Chicken, which was so good that it was worth the 25 minute drive to Rowland Heights.

We don't typically like to eat at new restaurants, but we heard the Three Flavor Chicken had made a reappearance at Liang's Kitchen. Like we said, we weren't impress the first time, but after consistently going there for the last two months and trying the other dishes, we have seen Liang's Kitchen grow and perfect itself. This small family-owned restaurant located in the corner of the Hilton Plaza is now worth praising.

The name "Tasty Peanuts" describes it all. With a mix of peanut oil, chili, star anise, and other spices, this appetizer keeps you busy until your main dishes arrive. The peanuts are soft from the marinade, but are still slightly crunchy. Though we see chili mixed with the peanuts, it is not spicy. Also, the peanuts are aromatic--you can smell the star anise and spices. Just a warning though, once you start eating these you'll find it hard to stop.

Each of us ordered a Thai Ice Tea. Though we ordered the same drink, the Thai tea did not taste the same. Evelina's was slightly more orange and had a stronger tea taste while Wesley's was less orange, but creamier. The drink is huge so we recommend sharing it. Aside from the inconsistency in preparation, we liked the Thai ice tea because it's not too sweet and is worth the $2.50 we paid.

We were disheartened when we first tried the Three Flavor Chicken because we had high expectations, but we did not completely cross off Liang's Kitchen off our favorites list. We decided we will come back in a few weeks. A week later, though, word got out that we thought the food wasn't up to par. Apparently, my friend told the owner's son, and when we went there to grab some peanuts to-go (we liked the fish and peanuts we had ordered), the son was working and asked Evelina about it. Boy was that embarrassing. Instead of being a snob about it, though, Evelina was pleased to find out that he wanted to know what was wrong with the dish because they wanted to make it right. You don't see many Asian restaurants looking for feedback from their customers, so we were impressed by how much they cared.

We love this dish because of the brown chili sauce. The Three Flavor Chicken is accompanied by a slightly sweetened soy and onion dipping sauce, the more traditional ginger, green onion, and oil sauce, and a brown sauce that includes green and red peppers. The brown sauce is uniquely sweet tasting and goes very well with the chicken broth rice and boneless chicken. Evelina thinks the chicken broth rice is not flavorful enough, but that is compensated by the brown sauce.

Though the Three Flavor Chicken brought us to Liang's Kitchen, what keeps us going back is the Beef Tendon Noodle Soup. You can have it with thick "special" noodles (pictured) or with regular thin noodles. After trying both, we prefer the thin noodles, which goes very well with the thick beef broth and braised beef. Chopped pickled vegetables and crunchy fresh lettuce are also tossed in. The pickled vegetables complement the beef broth and adds a very slight sour kick to it. We don't recommend the thick noodles, which suck up and over power the wonderful broth.

Every time we go back, we have tried at least one new dish and all have not disappointed. Liang's Kitchen serves delicious food and people in San Gabriel Valley are catching on because the last time we went there was a wait!

Liang's Kitchen
227 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776

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Liang's Kitchen in Los Angeles

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Pandas! Buy 1 get 1 Free beer here after 9pm, let me know if you guys are down!