I’ve been getting a little homesick being in San Jose now, and one of the things I miss the most is the food. I’v been meaning to post this piece on Mama’s Lu for a while, and better late than never, I believe.
My parents always order a lot of food. Partly it is because they always take it back – food is never wasted in my house, but also due to how they grew up. They were less affluent then, and food was harder to come by. In a sense, this splurge on food is to show that they’ve made it in America. The aspect of never wasting food also stems from that beginning, but I digress.
These things are the best way to start a meal – sweet and sour soup, roasted peanuts, and cucumbers. Oolong tea, of course.
Sautead leafy seasonal vegetables. I believe the direct translation is “common vegetable” though I’m not quite sure what vegetable this is. It’s like spinach, but with a heartier stalk. This is actually one of my favorite dishes, though my mom tends to not order vegetables at restaurants, as she wonders what the point is since she could make it at home. I persist, and it makes me feel less guilty with the following dishes to come.
Stir fried thick noodles with beef, bean sprouts, and green onions. I don’t usually like fried noodles unless it’s the wider variety. I remember eating this dish constantly as a kid. I was also a fat kid.
I don’t even know the name of this thing, but it’s kind of like a burrito and an egg roll put together. The wrap is fluffy, the insides stuffed with beef and cilantro, all fried and delicious. Two words that always work together.
Xiao long bao - the king of dumplings. I would eat these steamed pork buns until I get sick or explode. Since it’s impossible to get sick on these, explosion is the only option. Burst of glory, juicy steamy, dipped in ginger and vinegar glory.
Even more dumplings (yes, we got two orders of the steamed pork buns, along with other dumplings. We order a lot of food.
When this came out, we were kind of surprised we got it. Another dish with beef and green onions. Delicious? Yes. Would go great with rice, but I was bursting at this point, riding the bliss.
153 E Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91755