Southern Mini Town (San Gabriel, CA)

With Golden Deli and Newport Seafood in the same strip mall, life can be tough for another restaurant. Yet, here sits Southern Mini Town (Xiao Nan Gou), a Szechwan restaurant with excellent prices, in its own right well-regarded.

Lunch menu items start at $4.95. A week ago, we ordered beef with green onions, preserved vegetable noodle soup, and fried pork chops. I think there might’ve been a mistake with the beef and green onions because there were no green onions (only onions) and it wasn’t spicy at all, though coded that way on the menu. The waitresses hardly speak any English, so it didn’t seem worth the effort to complain. This was the weakest dish, albeit tasty enough. The fried pork chops were thinly sliced with a taste of Szechwan peppercorns and sauteed with small pieces of chiles and green onions. A very good dish. The broth in the soup noodles was quite good and the pork slivers very tender, but the noodles came from packages. The minced preserved mustard greens seemed freshly made.

Today, I ordered takeout.

Sweet and sour fish fillets were very good. Oftentimes, sweet-and-sour sauce is cloyingly sweet, but not Southern’s version. And although the kitchen uses frozen peas and carrots, the dish stood out anyway. Unfortunately, the fish steamed in the takeout styrofoam box on the way to the house and consequently the fried batter was sodden by the time we ate it.

Sweet and sour fish fillets
Sweet and sour fish fillets

Shredded pork with bamboo shoots is a combination of tender pork strips, shredded young bamboo shoots, burdock, and sliced chiles in a very savory sauce. Another winner.

Shredded Pork with Bamboo Shoots
Shredded Pork with Bamboo Shoots

Preserved vegetable and bean curd sheets also has edamame and green onions. The tofu skins were sliced to mimic noodles. This was a tasty dish.

Preserved Vegetables and Bean Curd Sheets
Preserved Vegetables and Bean Curd Sheets

If you’re willing to look past the super-stardom of Newport Seafood and Golden Deli, you would do quite well at Southern Mini Town, and save some money at the same time.

Southern Mini Town
833 W Las Tunas Dr
San Gabriel, CA 91776

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