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Asian Eats: Seafood Village
I don't know about you, but I like my seafood fresh, cheap, and in big hearty portions. So when I heard about Seafood VIllage and their crab special, I had to drive over and see for myself.
Seafood Village dominates a small plaza on Garvey just a block east of Atlantic in Monterey Park. Park spaces could be a little hard to find in the small lot during dinner rush hour, but street parking is readily available, we walked in at around 7 and had to wait a few minutes for a table for two.
The House Special Crab, pictured above, was our superstar of the evening. Big fresh dungeness crabs pre-cracked and chopped, coated with spices, pepper, flour and egg and stir fried. I saw this at pretty much every table as we walked in, and at $5.99 a pound, the 2.75lb per order translates to about $17 per big plate of golden goodness. The meat is fresh and plentiful, the flavor is wonderful with generous amounts of diced garlic and chilis. Don't worry, it's not particularly spicy.
This is the Cantonese Beef Stew with Turnip, it comes to your table with its own pot and flame to keep it hot. We've found that the turnips were a little undercooked and stiff, so let it sit a little while and eat the beef first. The beef is a bit on the fatty side, but it's incredibly tender. The flavor is on the light and subtle side, so if you're not into the natural flavor of turnips, this might not be for you. For a big meal with a big plate of fried crabs, though, this is a great dish to have to reset your palate.
Well, we wouldn't want to just be carnivores, what if my doctor was reading this and saw I didn't order any veggies? I'll be good... okay, not really. This is the very simple and popular Pan Fried String Beans with minced meat. Big shiny string beans stir fried with some pork over very high heat -- you can almost taste the fire. It's a little on the greasy side, but the beans are fresh and tasty and the flavors jump out at you.
This is a pretty authentic Cantonese place with some very high-end seafood just jumping off the menu for me. There's abalone, clams, oysters, scallops, squid, a whole section of the menu dedicated to shark fin, and a half dozen variations on rock cod. I say skip the "kung pao" and the "sweet and sour" here, and go for some hard core chinese seafood.
684 W Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Photos by Kevin Cheng for LAist