Yunnan & Sichuan Dishes at Yunnan Restaurant 雲南過橋園 in Monterey Park, CA
When eating Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley of Greater Los Angeles, there are only a few Chinese restaurants that specialize Yunnan cuisine. It’s probably not easy to offer considering it’s province of China that features over dozens and dozens of minority ethnic groups, such as the Miao, Dai and Bai peoples, and many of the dishes are made with regional ingredients we most likely don’t have in the U.S.
From what little research I have done, I found that Yunnan Restaurant offer at least a half dozen of dishes that are popular within that region of China, such as the every so popular Yunnan House Special (Crossing Bridges) Rice Noodle Soup with boned-in Chicken, and square slices of sandwich ham meat. This dish was served table side, where a server will bring out all the ingredients on a compartmental tray and then start mixing them into the broth, followed by the long thick strands of rice noodles. It was hearty but a light dish as well.
The Cured Pork with Leeks was tasty, but was too salty. The same can be said for the Yunnan Dried Beef, which was a little salty and chewy.
We supplemented the rest of dinner by ordering some of the more Sichuan dishes such as the Kung Pao Chicken and the Chungking Style Spicy Shrimp (it’s normally whole shrimps with shells deep fried, but they offered to prepare a version with shelled shrimps. I wonder if that was suggested to us since our table was half non-Chinese. We opted for the shelled version). These 2 dishes were stand outs for me. We enjoyed the slight sweetness in the Kung Pao Chicken. So much so, that we finished the dish in minutes.
Though the rest of the dishes ordered were good, they didn’t have enough Sichuan peppercorns nor the ma-la flavor profile to make the dishes sing. Nevertheless, price-wise, you get ample amounts of food for your money, and that Cold Appetizers Bar at the front of the restaurant is a much try.