Steppin’ Out – Grand China

Grand ChinaIn November of 2006 I first had the opportunity to visit this restaurant which is located at 4340 Golden Center Drive, #D, across from WalMart and behind McDonald’s. It had been open less than a month at that time and already had quite a following.

The 3500 square foot restaurant is beautiful and wonderfully decorated, with both booths and open table seating. Last year they were closed for several months, so they took the opportunity to upgrade and replace the carpet. The place is as beautiful and clean as it was when it first opened.

What I noticed this time and seven years ago were the two huge crystal chandeliers, one over the main dining room and one in the banquet room. They told me than it was good luck to have a crystal chandelier, so I looked it up and found this interesting information: “A faceted crystal ball or crystal chandelier over the center of the dining table will help to balance chi in the room, and also helps people with eating disorders embrace healthier habits.”

This time I went and took with me one of my neighbors, Larry Stiles. He and I had planned on grabbing a sandwich for lunch, but when I received a phone call from Vince Hoang  the manager at Grand China, asking me to come by, we decided to go there instead.

When we arrived, Hoang, who with the owner’s son, Chris Liang, make sure everything runs smoothly, immediately seated the two of us at a booth in the middle of the restaurant. He then gave us menus and asked what we would like. I asked him what the most popular dish was and he immediately answered, “Sesame Chicken, would you like that?” I said, “Yes, and then surprise us.”

The first dish to arrive was Happy Family, which consisted of stir fried scallops, shrimp, beef, chicken and lots of vegetables (I think we counted 10 different kinds). It was very delicious, The seafood tasted fresh and the vegetables were crisp and nicely cooked. This dish, like all of those that followed, was not overpowering so you could taste each ingredient. That is important.

Next came Garlic Green Beans. This was an immediate hit with both of us. Lightly cooked, still crisp green beans with a delicious garlic sauce.

That was followed by another delicious dish, Chicken Chow Mein. The noodles were not overcooked and everything in that dish was also delicious (three for three so far). Then came the Sesame Chicken.

This dish was superb. Lightly breaded pieces of white meat chicken with a light, sweet sauce.  Larry later told me that when he was dividing up the leftovers he thought about keeping all of what was left.

Vince Hoang stopped by our table several times while we were there to deliver dishes and talk with us. He always poured me more tea and said, “It is the custom for the younger people to make sure that the older ones always have tea in their cup. I learned that from my mother.”

He also explained the dishes he had chosen for us. “You have a meat dish, a vegetable dish, a noodle dish and a deep fried dish,” he said, “A nice variety of dishes to try.”

I was delighted with the menu at Grand China, which is several pages long. There are dishes from numerous parts of China, with origins in Hunan, Szechuan, Peking, Canton and other places. There has to be something there for everyone.

Although the place is a delight for dining, and very popular with the seniors who live nearby, many people order the food for take-out.

They prepare everything when the order is called in but don’t start cooking it until you arrive. It only takes a few minutes and then, if you happen to be delayed, you still get it fresh and it is fresh when you get home. And, if you are eating in, they ring a bell for the server just before your food is done, so that it doesn’t sit at all.

“During the winter months,” added Hoang, produce is very expensive, but we still buy it to make sure that all of our ingredients are the freshest they can be.”

Grand China is open daily from 11 a.m until 9 p.m., with a luncheon special every day from 11 until 3, featuring lunch combinations of Wonton soup, egg roll, steamed or fried rice and your choice from 29 different reasonably priced entrees. Several people ordered the luncheon special when we were there and it was a very full plate of food,

Stop by and give them a try. I am sure you will like the food and service.

For more information or to call in a take-out order, call (530) 621-1882.

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