Friday, January 27, 2012
Hunan Home's--Los Altos, CA
To celebrate Chinese New Year my dad treated us to dinner at Hunan Home's for dinner Monday night. Things got off to a good start with a plate of complimentary fried tofu. The exterior was crisp and the inside super-soft. Jenny and I really liked it, but it's really for tofu lovers. If you don't like tofu, you probably won't like this appetizer.
I wanted the crab and corn soup for a little crunch in a hot broth on a cold night and it hit the spot. The soup had real crab, which I don't take for granted. The last of our appetizers, the fried dumplings, wasn't authentic. The skin was thin and hard, rather than elastic and chewy. With the skin playing such an important role in dumplings, I can't recommend this dish.
What I do strongly recommend, though, is the Fujian fried rice. It was perhaps the best dish of the night. The rice was soft and the hot, savory, gooey topping was rich with eggs, shrimp and asparagus. Also a keeper were the green beans with garlic. The beans were firm and crisp.
The lettuce wraps were notable for the hot shrimp filling, which was wildly popular at our table. The kids also enjoyed the shrimp chow mein, but I didn't like that the noodles drowned out by onions and sprouts.
Our steamed flounder, as with most white fish, tasted much like the sauce it came with. Unfortunately, our sauce was a bit on the salty side. Also, the fish was a bit scaly so one had to be careful to avoid the skin. The meat was tender, though.
Though not entirely consistent, Hunan Home's has enough aces up its sleeve to keep 'em coming back. The thing is, it's within their control to bump itself up to the next tier of restaurants simply by improving its ambiance. The dining area is dark, the dirty carpet is beyond the point of no return and the color scheme is outdated. A clean, well lighted place this isn't. But then, with its loyal following standing by it, Hunan Home's can simply settle for success.
4880 El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA 94022