Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sam Woo Barbecue Restaurant

When I was in college, we used to call Sam Woo "Sam's". Back then, when we say, " let's go to Sam's", it's basically for a fast slurp of some wonton noodles or beef chow fun. Fast food. Things have since changed, and so has my taste buds. I still enjoy the traditional wonton soup/noodles, simple fried rice dishes and the chow funs from time to time. But I think with so many more variety of dishes at "Sam's" now, at various locations... I prefer the "real food". I'm really not a "Sam's" gal anymore, with the exception of this one when eating with the family.

It's located at the San Gabriel Focus Plaza (downstairs). Granted it's not the cleanest place in the world nor the friendliest, but the food is actually above average. The place is always packed! Prices are decent and they open till 1AM!

The Spicy Lobster Tofu Pot is full of flavor! You can ask for it to be less spicy if you cannot take it. The spiciness is not the kind that lingers in your throat, so the regular is just fine for me. I really like this dish... and I used to hate tofu when I was a little kid.

I also like the French Style Filet Mignon with Pepper sauce. The stir-fried filet mignon cubes are placed on some semi-grilled onion pieces. Very tasty. Too many Chinese restaurants offer this dish on their menu. However, only a handful can make the dish stand out. The quality of the meat is usually very tender here. The flavor is actually perfect, just enough pepper seasonings.

Although Mom and Sis don't eat a whole lot of shrimp anymore (due to fear of high cholesterol), they'll always order with the spoiled picky eater (me) in mind. And I always enjoy the Walnut Shrimp with Mayo. At this Sam Woo, they make a very thick batter to fry the shrimp with. If I had a preference, I'd go with the lighter batter or none at all. The flavor is alright, not too greasy. But if you have leftovers, I'd suggest you to heat it up in the toaster oven versus the microwave. If you toast it, the batter will still remain crunchy. If you microwave it, the batter will be limp, greasy and soft. The shrimp might also explode in the microwave! (From first hand experience.) This really isn't the dish you want to have leftovers though... with the mayo and all...

The veggies here are usually pretty fresh. I need to get some kind of veggies to go with my dinner... most of time, that is. This Abalone Mushroom w/ Baby Bak Choy is cooked very nicely. Not too soft, but just tender enough. The proportion of the mushrooms to Bak Choy is just right. This is a refreshing dish to go with the rest of dinner.

Dinner time is usually busy, so expect to wait about 30 mins or so for a table. Enjoy!

Address: 140 W. Valley Blvd., Suite 107, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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