Monday, March 22, 2010

East 180

Probably one of the nicest decorated Chinese restaurants I've been to lately. But as we all know with nice decor and ambience you usually sacrifice quality and authenticism.

East 180 is located about an hour and a half from where I live, so it was quite a trek. My mom had recommend it and we decided to head out on a Saturday afternoon. It's located in Diamond Bar and along the way you will pass many exceptional Chinese restaurants.

Reading some of the Yelp reviews, was prepared for something less than exceptional. The first thing you'll notice when you enter is the decor, it's pretty darn nice. The building used to be a Sizzler and you would not be able to tell. The restaurant was pretty empty, maybe four or five tables were full. Not a good sign on a Saturday afternoon. But once we sat down and started to review the menu, we knew why. On weekends the the dinner menu is served all day, which means the prices are pretty high for lunch.

We ordered the some items that my mom had tried before and some standard items. Beef Fried Rice, Sauteed Spinach, Salt Baked Chicken, Shrimp and Rice Noodles with Black Bean Sauce, Sweet and Sour Spare Ribs and Salt Pepper Fish.

The shrimp dish arrived first and it was the best dish of the day. The rice noodles were sauteed with black bean and served on top of the sauteed shrimp. The black bean added a nice saltyness. All of the dishes were garnished with some pickled cucumbers.

Several dishes arrived at once, the ribs which were incredibly sweet, not to my liking. The salt baked chicken was presented by our server in the clay pot and taken back to be plated. It was very nice, the chicken was moist and the salt added nice flavor to the chicken. The dipping sauce served with the chicken was strange, it looked like a sesame sauce, but tasted very tart.

The salt pepper fish was okay, not enough seasoning and the batter was not crisp. Spinach was well done and the beef fried rice wasn't too bad. The restaurant prides itself for using organic ingredients and no MSG. This is unusual for most Chinese places. But that is part of the reason the prices are high. If that is important to you, then East 180 is a good option.

Since we ere celebrating my mom's and sister's birthday, we ended the meal with their Taro Almond dessert. My mom and my sister both loved it.

Unless I'm in the neighborhood, I probably won't make the trek again. There are just so many great Chinese restaurants, that it was an opportunity to mark it off the list.


  1. Interesting. never was on my radar, at least you were .. full?