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Chung King

Map & Directions 1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
  • Chinese
  • Daily 11am-9:30pm
  • cash
  • Family Style, Takeout
  • Dinner, Lunch
  • Beer/Wine
  • Reservations Accepted
  • Parking Lot Available


LA Weekly's Description

On what must have been my thirtieth or fortieth visit to Chung King, the redoubt of ma po doufu, smoked chicken leg and house-smoked Chinese bacon stir-fried with fresh chiles, I was introduced to a new dish, beef in small pot. Or rather, the dish wasn't new - it had been on the menu since the restaurant opened at its original location in Monterey Park several years ago - but in the rush to eat as much water-boiled fish, bean curd sheet with pickle and salt-and-pepper pork chop as humanly possible, I had merely overlooked the thing, a dense, oily concoction of beef, garlic, and an ungodly quantity of heat-bearing plants, an alluring mess of purest umami. Chung King is still the best place in the San Gabriel Valley to taste Sichuan cooking: sizzling with four or five different kinds of chiles, vibrating with the flavors of extreme fermentation and smacked with the cooling, numbing sensation of Sichuan peppercorns, lies halfway between dentist's-chair Novocain and the last time you could afford a lot of blow, food that leaves you exhausted, narcotized and happy, drenched in foul, garlic-laced sweat. The deli case filled with chile-marinated pigs' ears and blisteringly hot tripe is worth a drive alone. If Chuck Jones had ever decided to draw something spicy for the coyote to injure himself with, it probably would have looked a lot like Chung King's fried chicken with hot peppers, a knoll of crunchy dark-meat cubes subsumed under a blizzard of dried chiles that are the red of silk pajamas, the red of firecrackers, the red of the Chinese flag.

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Tips from foursquare

  • LA Weekly on 12/29/10

    Featured on LA Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants!

  • The Feast on 06/09/11

    Mouth numbing Sichuan cuisine touts a menu that's 137-dishes deep, most of them involving mountains or rivers of flame-red bird's eye chilies.

  • Epicurious on 08/23/10

    Spicy Chinese fried chicken? At this local spot, it makes total sense: You keep eating more until you realize your mouth is on fire, you're full, and you really ought to leave some for the others.

  • Vinson M. on 04/03/10

    Fried chicken cubes were good. Sliced fish in picked veg is also very good.

  • i 💕 on 05/25/13

    we were disappointed. :( not spicy at all, dan dan noodles overcooked, and all the dishes we had were way too salty. :p

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