Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Best Chinese Restaurant In Los Angeles You Probably Never Heard Of

People have always been on the lookout for those hole-in-the-wall, under the radar dining gems.  But these kinds of restaurants seldom exist these days with every millennial being a foodie, and food discoveries instantaneously disseminated on social media, Yelp reviews and message boards.  Having said that, one of the best Cantonese restaurants (and probably the one with the most different array of dishes) in Los Angeles is one that most people haven't heard of, Embassy Kitchen in San Gabriel.

Everybody knows the top tier Hong Kong style restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley--Sea Harbour, King Hua, Elite and Lunasia top most lists, with China Red, Happy Harbor, Grand Harbor and Shi Hai mentioned in the next tier.  Embassy Kitchen is different because it is not a giant seafood palace with conspicuous tanks of live seafood.  Indeed, it was probably an afterthought when it opened up in 1999 as Embassy Billiard, reflecting the fact that it was in front of, and adjunct to the pool hall of the same name.  And seventeen years later, while "insiders" know about the gems served here, it's still under the radar.

It's hard to describe what makes Embassy Kitchen so good, aside from the fact that the food tastes good and there are many seldom seen Hong Kong style dishes served here.  And the different dishes here are hard to categorize, as they range from homestyle to the upscale, some of which need to be ordered a day or two in advance.  But perhaps what obscures the food here is the fact that there is an extensive Chinese language only menu supplement, not translated into English as the owner admits because he doesn't know how to correctly describe the dishes.  These dishes are listed on the inside front and back covers of the menu, and I think the best thing to do is just to list them here.

Inside front cover:
Tilapia rolls with picked vegetables and whole bone carcass
Boneless chicken stuffed with shrimp paste
Boneless chicken stuffed with sticky rice
Pan fried tilapia
Pumpkin with burdock
Spare ribs in vinegar
Bitter million crab meat omelet
Mustard green with chicken and sausage
Spare rib hot pot
 Celery with pork and peppers
Pan fried chicken/sausage/chestnut patty
Vegetable goji berry soup
Clear rice noodles with cabbage, egg and dried scallop
Pork and Japanese yam in X.O. sauce
Beef with string beans in Maggi sauce
Steamed eggplant with dry scallop and ground pork
Fatty beef with mixed mushrooms in Korean bbq sauce
French style tenderloin

Inside back cover:
Baked crab in clay pot
Melon with fresh bean curd skin
 Ground pork/bok choy/dried bean curd skin soup
Pork neck with celery
Spare rib with preserved mustard greens and dried shrimp soup
3 ingredients chicken with chestnuts
Japanese style sea bass
Sea bass with tofu with shrimp paste
Sea bass mustard green soup
 Steamed eggs with tofu and mixed seafood
Abalone mushroom with spinach
 Garlic spare ribs
Chinese sausage with napa
Stuffed chicken wings
Sea bass with mushroom and tofu
Steamed tilapia with sliced pork and lemon
Lamb with two mushrooms

 English menu highlights:
Crab fried rice
Imitation shark fin with egg white
House special chicken
Stuffed duck
French style beef stew
Fried pork leg
Boneless stuffed tilipia

Reviving Windows XP Mode and Recovering My Two Years Lost Address List

When I upgraded computers several years ago from Windows XP to Windows 7, I found to my horror that a number of my computer programs would no longer run on the Windows 7 upgrade.  Fortunately the nice people at Alice Computer in San Marino told me that if I upgraded to the professional version of Windows 7 for something under $100, part of the package was a Windows XP emulator mode, which made me a happy camper.

But then a couple of years ago things started to fall apart.  I was still using a DOS based address list, and one day it became inoperable.  Then a year ago all of the icons on my Windows XP virtual computer screen went similarly inoperable, only making a clanging sound when I clicked on the icon. Given that the Windows XP virtual mode itself wasn't widely well known, attempts to look for a fix were fruitless.  But my XP mode start menu was still operating, so running programs off of that was a satisfactory workaround.

But then the other shoe dropped the other day, when I tried running the Windows XP virtual computer, and while it launched, everything was dead as a doornail.  I decided to take one last search on the internet, and found a discussion which seemed to say that a single file deletion could get Windows XP up and running again.  Breathlessly I looked for the file as directed and found it and deleted it.  Then running the Windows XP virtual machine, while having to clear a dialog box which indicated not everything was perfect, it ran beautifully--my Key Mailer DOS program was running again as was my Microsoft Access.  So if it happens again, here is the magic file:  Windows XP Mode.vsv in the folder C:\users\...\appdata\local\microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines.  (This also works for the failure to integrate message.)