Green Garden, Pleasant Hill CA
It’s sad when you go to a place that you know is good, but there aren’t many other patrons. We’re hoping that this review will drum up some interest in Green Garden, because it’s definitely worth checking out. They used to have delivery service (which we made a habit of calling years ago when we lived nearby), but now it’s just dine-in or take-out.
We have our favorites when it comes to Chinese cuisine, but we thought we’d try something we had not before. Fuk-jin style fried rice is served with a light seafood gravy of shrimp, scallops, and squid. Its smell is a little off-putting and we weren’t so sure about it when the waiter brought it out, but the taste surprised us – in a good way. It’s plain fried rice with all the standard vegetables, and the seafood gravy adds another layer of flavor and texture. It helps that the seafood was succulent, juicy, and not overcooked.
Egg foo young is half-way between an American omelet and a Spanish tortilla. Loaded with fresh bean sprouts, carrots, onions, savory barbeque pork, and smothered in a rich brown gravy, the egg cake itself was crispy on the outside and multitextured throughout. Zach personally recommends it if you haven’t tried egg foo young before.
Hands-down August’s favorite Chinese dish since discovering it, honey walnut prawns is a marvelous entree. Candied walnuts, sesame seeds, and an orange-honey-mayonnaise sauce make this almost a dessert. The balance is phenomenal: walnuts’ firm crunch; the creamy, sweet tanginess from the sauce; the light crispiness of the tempura batter; and the tender juicy perfectly cooked shrimp.
Green Garden is somewhat hidden in a shopping center, but it’s not exactly a hole in the wall. The layout of the place is good for groups and families, too, with Lazy Susans at many tables. With a varied menu, there’s something for everyone here.