Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ning Jie - Wonderful lamb dishes, minus the service (San Gabriel) *CLOSED*

Front EntranceEntrance
Dining RoomDining Room

After reading the recent LA Times article and hearing recommendation from my friend, I was fairly anxious in trying out Ning Jie, especially being a fan of lamb meat.

Lamb Leg (small)

Roasted Lamb Leg (small order) - $25

Upon our arrival, our friend already has the first dish ordered for us, the roasted lamb leg. The flavors of the lamb were accentuated by the use of various spices (ie: cumin), but yet, the great flavors of the lamb meat remained. A solid lamb dish, very nice.

Chicken Frames
Skewers of chicken heart and gizzard

(Top: Chicken frames - $5, Bottom: Chicken Heart & gizzard $1/skewer)

The chicken frames, heart, and gizzard were all very nice, and the price for each dish/skewer was amazing. The frame, were fairly meaty, and similar to the chicken wing had excellent flavor and juicy at the same time. I found no issues with the heart and gizzard skewers and could probably have ate 2 of each myself. Both were excellent dishes that would go great with beer. (Ning Jie does not have liquor license however, but YMMV with BYOB!)

Lamb skin jelly

Lamb Skin Jelly (羊皮凍) - $5.99

I've had similar dishes in the past made with other animal meat (chicken, I believe), but it's the first time I had the lamb jelly. On a hot summer day in the SGV, this dish was welcomed by our group. Flavorful, with bits of lamb meat, along with the jelly, it was quite enjoyable.

"Special Lamb Bones"
Egg & Spinach Dish

Top: " Special Lamb Bones" - $5.99, Bottom: Egg & Spinach - $4.99

The "special lamb bones" dish was simply lamb pieces in a meat broth. Simple, no frill dish that was quickly gobbled up by the group. In addition, we were recommended to order the Egg & Spinach dish. It was a simple dish, and although tasty, it's not worth getting it on a repeat visit.

Beef Stuffed buns

Beef "Pancakes" (牛肉餡餅) - $5.99/3pcs

THE must order item here and it didn't disappoint. The meat within the "pancake" was juicy and flavorful and the item was easily shareable amongst the group. Although I've had this dish in the past at places like A&J, this was one of the better ones I've had. Delicious!

Sadly, although the food we consumed were quite good, the service here was pretty atrocious. Although the aforementioned LA Times article was the likely culprit, to not get any service for the first 20mins and lacking any water for the first 30-40mins was pretty bad, and we did, half of our group received warm water. On a summer day in SGV, are you kidding me?? To add insult to injury, one of the lady (not sure if she was an employee) came in and read newspaper behind the counter while the other lone waitress were running in and out without catching a breath. Although the chances are I will return to Ning Jie for the quality lamb dishes and the beef pancakes, I think I'll avoid this place for the time being as the meal was not worth the horrible wait times. This is something that could be fixed pretty easily, let's hope they'll improve as time goes along, as I guessed at least half of the patrons came due to the LA Times article.

*Note* Cash Only

Ning Jie
413 S. Mission Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 576-2588

Ning Jie in Los Angeles