When a new “coming soon” sign came up at the bad feng shui spot on the corner of Las Tunas and Mission, I thought nothing of it. When I learned it was going to have Shanghainese food, I became intrigued enough to go there for lunch today.
The appetizer of vegetarian chicken we ordered was tender, soft, and surprisingly flavorful. It even tasted a little bit like pork. But supposedly it’s vegetarian, amazing!
The Shanghai fried rice cake (sans pork) was typical. It had a good wok qi taste, but could have been a little more salty. Maybe because Will ordered it without chicken-msg, but it was a little bland.
The standout at lunch was the shen jian bao. These come four to an order, but don’t dispair because they’re not your typical bite-sized bao‘s. Judging from appearance, it gets a 10 because of the golden fried bottom adorned with white sesame seeds, and the pillowy white top decorated by a sprinkling of black sesame seeds and green onion. The texture of the bao was spot on: crispy and fried on the bottom, soft and airy at the top.
As for the filling, judge for yourself in this picture:
The lava-hot broth was plentiful and rich and the meat filling was flavorful and savory. I liked that the ground meat was more roughly chopped and still retained some texture instead of being like a smooth round ball of meat paste. Dipped in a little bit of vinegar, slurped up with some soup, and then chased by a bite of the bun, it was perfect.
The menu at Emperor Noodle contained a wide range of noodle soups that I didn’t get a chance to try, but next time, offal-filled noodle soups, you are mine! The neighboring table’s yellow fish noodles looked pretty good too.
800 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91775