I went with a group of 10 to try Hunan food at San Gabriel Valley. Hunan is a regional Chinese cuisine that’s signature for the dry hot kind of spicy flavor (as opposed to Szechuan’s numbing hot). And as the pictures show, the food has bold, vibrant colors. Everyone was gulping down bottles of beers to neutralize the flame. Two guys were sweating like a fountain (amazing sight)!
House Special Lamb Rib. This is stunning! Hot and crispy and very flavorful. It’s simply on fire. This plate was gone within seconds. We were temped to wrap the remaining chili pepper sauce home for cooking use.
Hunan Smoked Ham with Bamboo Shoot You have the choices to choose what to stir fried the smoked ham with: Leeks, Bitter Melon, turnip, etc. The smoked ham are very delicious with dense smoky flavor. The fat in ham are cured to the point of chewy and melty.
An intimidating Beef Hot Pot with peanuts and bean sprout. The red chili peppers are daunting, and the bean sprout underneath were thoroughly soaked with the chili oil and sauce. It’s irresistibly good.
Here’s one of their most famous dishes: Steamed Fish Head Casserole with Chopped Hot Pepper sauce. The fish head is humongous. The sauce is the best of the dinner: it’s a complicated multi-flavors chop of chili peppers, ginger, garlic, shallots and pickled vegetables.
Every plate is very spicy and strong flavors. But we simply couldn’t stop eating. This restaurant was burnt down awhile ago. It’s re-opened in the current new location. It’s a good place to bring in a huge dining group so you get to try a bit of everything. The price is mostly above $10 a plate.
Hunan Seafood Restaurant
8772 E. Valley Blvd.