Chang's Garden: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

Although the San Gabriel Valley abounds in Chinese restaurants of every description, they tend to lean more toward authenticity than toward polish — there are 250 noodle shops but nowhere to explore Chinese haute cuisine. Chang's Garden, although it occupies a strip-mall space that resembles a Chinese Denny's, is one of the few chef-driven restaurants, serving the elegant Hangzhou-style cooking of chef Henry Chang. It's probably the most interesting place to go in this part of the world for the cooking of Eastern China, including a renowned dish of pork ribs steamed in lotus leaves, and a first-rate version of dong po pork, a braised pork-belly dish beloved by Chinese poets. The crisp, rolled beef pancakes; the candied lotus root stuffed with sticky rice; the fresh bacon with chiles; and the whitefish fried into seaweed-enhanced beignets are worthy of further study. Looking for a place to arrange an elaborate Chinese banquet? This may be it. 627 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia. (626) 445-0606. Daily, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Beer and wine. Lot parking. MC, V. Chinese.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

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Anne Fishbein's Photos
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