Monterey Park: Lunar New Year Dinner at LYL Garden
Happy Year of the Horse! For this year’s Lunar New Year meal, I found myself in the San Gabriel Valley. My family and I decided to go to LYL Garden in Monterey Park. I hadn’t been before and was relieved it wasn’t too busy when we got there.
We ordered a few dishes and included seafood and tofu soup to start. Unfortunately this arrived after we had gotten 3 of our dishes so call it a mid-meal soup. I prefer the thicker seafood and tofu “chowders” at other Chinese restaurants but if you like a slight bitterness, get the soup with mustard greens. The soup had a couple of shrimp and pieces of fish but the main attraction was the tofu.
Because we ordered at least $30 worth of food, the server recommended we add the steamed chicken for a mere $2. Even with my small family, there wasn’t much chicken. But you could rightly point out it was $2. We also got fried fish though I secretly wanted steamed fish. It was mostly batter.
Our favorite dish of the night was the pea tendrils. We initially wanted another vegetable but they were out of morning glory aka hollow-stemmed veggies.
My brother has this habit of ordering pork with preserved vegetables anywhere he goes. This portion was also small. I felt the pork was really too tough and there wasn’t much of the preserved vegetables or sauce to spoon over rice.
Our server tried to up sell us on getting lobster with our vegetarian e-fu noodles but we wanted plain noodles since we thought we were getting a lot of protein. Sadly, maybe we should have gotten lobster.
Overall, I thought our meal was a just a sad and not really quite celebratory for the new year. Good thing there are really awesome Chinese restaurants to hit up again soon to make up for this meal.
LYL Garden500 W Garvey Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754 — (626) 289-8329
© The Minty 2014