Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Fiery Feast at Szechuan Impression (Alhambra, CA)

OK, that's not actually quite true. Szechuan Impression, which serves more of a "modern" take of Szechuan food compared to Chengdu Taste, is actually not as spicy as Chengdu. The main question on everyone's tongue is: Is it better than Chengdu Taste? The short answer is that they are each better than the other on different dishes!

One of my favorite dishes at Szechuan Impression is the mung bean jelly noodles, which I think they do much better than Chengdu Taste. This restaurant sure uses the word "impressive" on the menu a lot, perhaps in relation to the restaurant's name, or perhaps just bragging. Anyway, this dish is called the Impressive Bean Jelly ($5.99)

Szechuan impression
I thought it had a lot more flavor than the one at Chengdu. It's also not overly spicy while still having that numbing effect and bold kick. The slippery noodles have a cooling effect that tempers the spiciness for me.

My other favorite dish there was the garlic pork ($8.99)
Szechuan impression
This spicy, garlicky slices of fatty pork were very addictive! I would come back for this dish and the jelly, for sure.

There are also quite a few non-spicy dishs, like the popular Tea smoked ribs
Szechuan impression
I think we should've eaten this before all the other dishes. The meat on the ribs were tender and while it still tasted wonderful, it felt underwhelmed by the spicier dishes.

Toothpick lamb ($15.99)
Szechuan impression
This cumin-crusted lamb cubes are one my favorites at Chengdu, but I think the ones here were equally good.

Boiled fish filet in chili sauce ($9.99)
Szechuan impression
This is a dish you'll see at most Szechuanese restaurants. It's good at Szechuan Impression, but I've had better versions of it.

Fuqi Feipian (beef lungs in chili sauce, $8.99). I don't think there's actually any lung in here though
Szechuan impression

A similar dish to the garlick pork, but with beef, tripe, and tendon. I enjoyed the tripe but the beef slices could be more tender.

Another great non-spicy option: Smoked pork ear ($8.99)
Szechuan impression

Steamed rice powder coated lamb ($9.99)
Szechuan impression
This dish took 20 minutes to prepare. I've never had it before anywhere else but the other people on the table said it's usually better (and better last time they were at Szehuan Impression). This one, though, had soggy and mushy coating that made me wonder why they even bothered to coat it in the first place. Luckily with so many other great dishes on the table, I can just move on to the next one.

We really wanted to try the Bobo Chicken, which are skewers of various chicken parts in a pot of spicy broth. Apparently this is one of more contemporary Szechuan dishes. Unfortunately, this dish is only available for dinner and we came at lunch! Just another excuse to come back to Szechuan Impression.

Read The Offalo's review of our same meal.

Szechuan Impression
1900 W Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91803
(626) 283-4622
Szechuan Impression on Urbanspoon


Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital