another thing that makes yunnan cuisine difficult to quantify is the influence of so many different ethnic groups that identify as chinese yet have their own distinct cultures as well as influenced by the surrounding countries. so i’m not going to try, but i will say that i visited a newly opened place in san gabriel on las tunas that also calls themselves yunnan restaurant that replaced sichuan/szechuan chef in the plaza that houses the 168 supermarket and sam woo, among others. we tried to order what looked like yunnan (vs. sichuan) influenced dishes. besides the cold table selections which for us were: beef, pig ear & kidney;
we’d already chosen the beef & pig ear and the server behind the counter kept asking me REPEATEDLY if i really wanted the kidney on top of the beef & pig ear. for some perverse reason i persisted. it’s difficult to screw cold table items for the most part, but i was curious to see how the kidney would be; it’s easy to overcook. this kidney was not overcooked, though it probably suffered from being cooled off, it was still quite tasty.
the cured pork (ham) with mushrooms
would have been more accurately described as cured pork and peppers with the mushroom playing a very secondary role, however, the boiled fatty pork with garlic sauce was a winner, and something i don’t think i’ve seen in LA before.
it looked like uncooked bacon in terms of cut, described as boiled but probably more accurately described as blanched,mixed with thinly sliced blanched cucumber in a spicy sauce that complemented the slippery mouth feel, and topped with a healthy amount of garlic sauce that isn’t nearly as weapons grade as the garlic sauce at qing dao bread food, but was just right to complement the slippery/crunchy/spicy aspects of the dish.
speakng of bacon, the yunnan specialty dry fried beef (no pic, sorry) was essentially beef bacon, cooked to the texture that i prefer my bacon to be cooked, but not fatty. a little bit like the crust of the BBQ pork at monja taiker.
i don’t know enough about yunnan cuisine to rate its authencity, but i liked the dishes i ordered enough to want to go back and try some of the more expensive house and chef’s special dishes.
937B east las tunas