In perusing thousands of Chinese restaurant menus over the years, one word I had never seen was denitrified. In fact I had never seen that word, period. But on the menu of the newly opened Dragon Garden in Monterey Park there it is, Denitrified Pork Leg for $24.99. I suspect that description was spit out by one of those translation machines that sometimes plucks out English language words that nobody uses in real life. And that’s certainly not something I could consume by myself. But the rest of the menu is eclectically interesting with Shanghainese and Taiwanese dishes, along with skewers, lunch specials and boba. The black bean fish I had contained a unique flavor I had not encountered in the dish–maybe a touch of salted fish? This restaurant seems to be related to Dragon Garden in East LA based on some stuff I saw lying around on a previous visit, even though the menus are completely different.
Even though they replaced the highly regarded Xi’an Tasty, Dragon Garden deserves props for opening up in a very difficult situation. The restaurant space itself is upstairs from the former Hong Kong Supermarket on Garfield near Garvey. Once upon a time some 35 years ago, this was the home of Deli World Cafe, sort of a mini-food court where you could order your food at the counter and sit and eat by giant glass windows that overlooked the supermarket below. Over the years a motley gang of Chinese restaurants subsequently occupied the space. Anyway, Dragon Garden is currently operating in the foyer area at the bottom of the stairway at the front entrance, with a table for ordering take out and a boba operation, which I suspect is sustaining them at the moment.