Sunday, November 14, 2010
Just got back from a trip to China. I missed the food and had to satisfy my craving.
Decided to search for a new option in Alhambra. A&E had a lot a of good reviews and looked like the comfort food I was looking for. Four of us arrived at about noon on a Saturday. We were seated immediately and greeted by the wonderful staff. The menu has photos and English titles, several members of the staff also spoke English.
Our meal started with two cold dishes, bean curd with mustard greens and a bean curd with mushrooms. Both dishes were light and had a subtle flavor. Next up came the beef and tendon noodle soup. The spice level was perfect and the noodles had a great chew to them. Some scallions and cilantro would have added some freshness, but it was delicious nonetheless.
The Thousand Layer Pancake came and the Pan Fried Meat Bun arrived shortly, followed by the Fried Chicken Plate. The Fried Chicken was great, it was served on a plate of rice, some chopped Bok Choy and Pickled Mustard Greens. That dish alone with some hot sauce would be make A&E worth trying. Just so comforting. The Thousand Layer Pancake was good, but the Scallion Pancake was better. The Pan Fried Meat Bun was meaty and delicious.
The last item to arrive was the XLB, what the dumpling lacked in soup it delivered in meat flavor. The filling was meaty and flavorful. With all of these dishes we barely dented the menu. After just getting home from China, A&E was a great option and fulfilled my craving for authentic Chinese food. I look forward to my next visit!
Friday, November 12, 2010
It was a last minute decision to go out and have dinner. I had my Blackboard Eats discount that expired in one day, so I decided to take advantage and try out Street.
I was lucky enough to get a table for two at 7pm on a Friday night. We arrived a bit late due to traffic, but we were seated immediately. The interior has an odd layout and the decor is unusual, but all of this in a good way. The menu is has a nice variety of dishes and drinks. I ordered a drink from the Eiixir portion of the menu, don't remember the name exactly, but something "Indian", it was nice and refreshing.
The meal starts off with a curry flavored "rice cake", nothing spectacular, but different. And that's how I felt the entire experience was at Street. Our server Sara was helpful and explained how many dishes we should order and what the popular items were. The dishes are meant to be eaten family style and the portions in the medium range.
We ordered seven dishes:
Kaya Toast - Very popular dish, too sweet for me
Spinach Varenky - Similar to perogies, served with lemon marmalade, also too sweet
Lamb Kafta Meatballs - Good stuff, more my style
Romaine Leaf Salad - Don't let the name fool you, interesting twist on a "salad"
Tatsutage Fried Chicken - Rock Star, nice contrast in temperature from cold soba noodles, very rich
Portuguese Mussels - New dish in place of the Malaysian Black Pepper Clams, the mussels were delicious and the broth was something new. Chorizo, coconut milk, curry leaf and other ingredients combine as a great combination.
Black Kale with Refried White Beans - So full at this point, but this was also an interesting dish. Served crostini style with anchovey butter it was tasty.
With so many flavor profiles, I thought the biggest problems would be conflicting dishes. But that wasn't the case, instead I think the problems had to do with execution of some dishes. The service was great and we even got a visit from the restaurant manager and Chef Feniger herself. If you're looking for a place that has dishes that are out of the norm, Street is a good option.