First Impression: China Taste, maybe the San Gabriel Valley’s first Anhui-style restaurant

A restaurant review from Jonathan Gold of the LA Times

Egg dumplings at China Taste in San Gabriel.

When you read about Chinese cooking, you will sooner or later come across a reference to the Eight Great Cuisines, the traditional regions that are supposed to define all that is best about Chinese food. And if you’ve spent a certain amount of time eating in the San Gabriel Valley, you will have come across almost all of them: the spicy food of Hunan and Sichuan, of course; the eastern styles of Jiangsu and Zhejiang, often lumped under the heading of “Shanghai”; lush Cantonese seafood palaces and spare Fujian seafood dens; and the dumpling-noodle-pancake cooking of Shandong.

The one of the great eight we haven’t seen in Southern California is Anhui cuisine, from the landlocked, mountainous province east of Shanghai — Anhui restaurants are reportedly rare even in Shanghai and Beijing. The books talk about game and foraged greens, mushrooms and medicinal herbs, turtles and river fish, bamboo and frogs. And now, finally, there is what appears to be the SGV’s first Anhui-style restaurant: China Taste, in the barely renovated quarters of what used to be the splendidly named Morals Village hot pot restaurant.



Read the rest of the review on the LA Times.