It's the Year of the Tiger!
It has become a tradition for my former Chinese colleagues, Cathy, Leeanne and I to dine once a year in celebration for Chinese New Year (CNY). Well Leeanne isn't actually Chinese; she's a Pacific Islander although she doesn't prefer to be called that --she's Filipino. Unlike most holidays that happens on the same day every year, CNY follows the Lunar calendar--translation: every year is different and this year, CNY fell on February 14th. Yes...finally V-day does not exist. We decided to celebrate the Year of the Tiger a week earlier.
Cathy loves American style Chinese, so we opted for the Manderette Cafe. The last time I was there was years ago when it was a popular, busy restaurant, and now it is sadly a relatively empty place w/ much older Caucasian men w/ much younger Asian women..more entertainment for us as I updated Cathy w/ all the good gossip on everyone we used to work with since she refuses to be on Facebook.
The interior is spacious w/ high ceilings. I do feel like I'm at a nice restaurant in Taiwan when I'm at the Manderette. We started with the the scallion pancakes, which I failed to take photos as we were ravished. Their scallion pancakes were not oily but lacked taste; it was as if I was eating cardboard. I have yet to find a restaurant that can make scallion pancakes as good as my grandfather.
Thank goodness the green beans came out next because you really can't screw that dish up. My camera has been acting up a bit hence the extra shine....
The spare ribs were on the special menu but they weren't really special. The meat was a bit too chewy for my taste and could use less salt.
I was hoping that their pan fried chicken house noodles would be more like Hong Kong style but I forgot that the Mandarette is Shanghai style. The dish was at least better than the oh-so-special ribs.
I saved the best for last. I forgot what this tofu dish was called but it's fantastic and a must order. The tofu cubes are lightly fried and just melts in your mouth like cotton candy. I can't wait to eat this again.
If you want good Chinese food, you should go to San Gabriel Valley where there are plenty of good restaurants to choose from. If you are too lazy to drive to the East side, then Mandarette Cafe should suffice.
Address: 8386 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323) 655-6115