SHUTTERED: Szechuan Chef 川揚軒 in San Gabriel, CA
I first dined here 2 1/2 years ago when it was still called Szechuan Chef in English, but it’s Chinese name was “醉成都.” First time back after 2 years, I was surprised to see new signage out front with a new Chinese name, “川揚軒.” Generally, when this happens to a restaurant, it can indicate that it has gone through a change in ownership.
This dishes we ordered on this night were excellent. They weren’t shy about using the Sichuan peppercorn as the effects of it hit a few of us hard resulting in coughing spats. Sometimes in order to offset the spiciness level of the food, more salt will be used. That was the case with the Mapo Tofu. After the initial burn from the chili peppers and Sichuan peppercorns, the dish became rather salty. The other dishes were more balanced.
The dish the table couldn’t get enough of was the Dry Pot Cauliflower. Cooking the cauliflower with fresh Chinese bacon gave a bit of smoky flavor to the dish that made it stand out from the rest.
The House Special Fish Fillet in Hot Sauce had a mixture of green and orange chili peppers, as well as an abundance of Sichuan peppercorns, which gave a nice tingling burn with every bite.
A table of 8 of us shared 10 dishes, and the bill came out to only $15 per person (with tax and 20% gratuity included).
As always, click on the photo to enlarge it for better viewing.