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Eating at SGV's Hottest Gastropub: Chang'an

Eating at SGV's Hottest Gastropub: Chang'an

IMG_2844The San Gabriel Valley is known for their authentic Chinese food. Make no mistake about it, there's no competing with Chinese restaurants in the SGV. At the same time, the SGV is also known unfortunately, for cheap food that sometimes compromises  service and quality ingredients because of all the competition. After all, there are approximately 200 restaurants on Valley Boulevard alone. That's why I was quite curious when Chang'an opened up right on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel. I had heard so many great things about them, but I have to admit I was a tad skeptical. How would a higher end gastropub that serves an Asian-fusion menu fare in such a competitive area? IMG_2588Chang'an is extremely modern-looking. It's across from the San Gabriel Hilton so it's central to all things 626. They even have a large, spacious patio area outside with these romantic lights.IMG_2576Chang'an also has some foodie-friendly menus and signs throughout the restaurant. "First, we rat. Then we do everything else." There's even a great quote from Juila Child that reads “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Ain't that the truth?

The menu is extensive. There's even an entire page dedicated to vegetarian dishes. The menu is best described as authentic Asian fusion. Think of it as Chinese-centric tapas. You won't find dishes that are too Americanized here like orange chicken and I really appreciate that! Chang'an is pouring over a dozen draft beers and two pages of white and red wines, as well as a list of cocktails! They also have Happy Hour everyday and all day Mondays!

Here are the SOHO Lychee and Red Berry (raspberry) cocktails. I really enjoyed the Red Berry! They also have a handful of fresh fruit juices and lemonades available too for those non-drinkers. IMG_2775

The Chang'an Salad with crown daisy topped with peanut & sesame dressing (left) and the Beef Tataki on the right. IMG_2791

The dish I was most excited to try was the Crispy Jidori Chicken.It did not disappoint. When a restaurant is willing to use free-range Jidori Chicken, you can expect some good tasting chicken. The batter was light and tasty. I would describe it as a high-end popcorn for those who have yet to try it! This is a must-order. It was served with ketchup and sweet & sour sauce although truthfully the chicken doesn't need a sauce. It's delicious in its own right. IMG_2797Sautéed Eggplant with shrimp.IMG_2820Chang'an is known for their skewers! I went with the chicken wing skewers topped with cumin. It had just the right amount of spiciness to it and the meat was soft and fell off the bone. I'm usually not a big bone person. I try to avoid ordering any dish that requires me to use my hands or to work at it when I'm out at a restaurant. These were easy to eat. IMG_2840Last dish of the night was the Prawn Tempura marinated and deep fried in their house special wasabi mayo and citrus juice topped with potato fries skin. If you've ever had walnut shrimp at a Chinese banquet, you'd love these. This tasted like a more modern, updated version of the traditional dish mayo, walnut, and shrimp dish.

I also live streamed my visit with my good friend Chef Jay on Nom so click here to check out of live, rare, unedited experience at Chang'an!

All in all, I was incredibly impressed. The Hilton Plaza is not a place where I would expect to have such a hip restaurant located in. And now that I can confirm that the food is amazing and they have great Happy Hour specials, you can be sure to find me there more often. Two thumbs up! Highly recommend!

 

Chang'an is located at 227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, (626) 872-0906. 

 

 

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