Shanghai Yu Garden Restaurant – San Gabriel


Resto Review: San Gabriel’s Shanghai Yu Garden Restaurant

This LA Times feature convinced me to try this newly opened restaurant, which is literally footsteps away from my home. Most Asians only ever scratch the surface of China’s complex culinary heritage (meaning Cantonese or Taiwanese cuisine), and I’ve never personally tried native Shanghainese cuisine (the owner? even speaks the dialect).

I got the chance to try this restaurant out on Friday, while on my way back home for spring break. The service was extremely slow, because lunchtime is apparently understaffed and they weren’t prepared for the publicity that they got from LA Times. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated, but nothing striking.

As for the food, we ordered green leaf wontons, shredded pork with garlic sauce and sweet and sour spare ribs. The green leaf wontons were chewy but delicate, but the soup base itself wasn’t memorable. The shredded pork in garlic sauce is a Sichuan dish, but not very spicy. It reminded me of Burmese food, the kind drenched in chili oil and served without garnishes. The sweet and sour spare ribs, which I was told was really Shanghai, was indeed sweet. I think that was the piece de resistance, considering its lovely presentation (glistening pieces of pork ribs in a thin sweet and sour sauce), which matched its taste. A hearty meal for under $25 and leftovers.

But a heads up, bring cash. But I love 626 for providing me with affordable and tasty eating options since 1989. It’s new finds like these that keep me coming back week after week. 🙂

Score: 4/5

– Justin

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