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

32 comments:

Pepsi Monster said...

Dude, you just finished 9 minutes ago after I asked about it in Tweets?

I think they were bum rushed because of the LA Times articles too, but the place was still very small and manageable if they could settle down in handling 8 tables.

Oh well, I think I'll wait until Citynitz's review. Too much backlogged.

PK said...

Sounds like a "F" grade in service.. mmmm.. not sure if I'll go for it tho for the food.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Most restaurants falter in either the area of quality, cleanliness, or service.

Any restaurant recommendations in your neighborhood?

I've been thinkin about this since the LATies post. Looks like I'll bee thinkin bout it longer.

Gastronomer said...

Whooaa! Lamb jelly? Sounds awesome! And so do the beef pancakes. Lamb is Vern's favorite meat of all meats. I will take him here for his birthday ;-)

Kung Food Panda said...

Mike: I was slacking on this review all day, so I guess you got me on a good time! LOL I'd go back again though, but not on a weekend, and not during a peak time slot...

PK: Let's go! At ummmm, at a non-peak time :P

Cafe Pasadena: I'd give this place a shot, but like I mentioned on the previous comments, if you avoid the major peak hours, I think you'll be OK!

Cathy: The food was good and cheap, I hope you'll get better service than us! :P

weezermonkey said...

You know what? I don't think I've ever had lamb at a Chinese restaurant. Interesting!

Anonymous said...

the lamb looks like labasan but I bet it was good

good post naggy

Kung Food Panda said...

Weezermonkey: Really?? O.O But you've had lamb before in general right?? Do you like the taste??

David: The service was damn labasan!

burumun said...

I need your flavor/service/ambiance score breakdown to know whether or not I should go :P

Or take me there during non-peak times. I want lamb. I miss lamb. I miss Asian food.

cocochanelella said...

Finally a new post! That looks like a lot of lamb as I'm not a big fan but the stew looks like the gamey-ness would be cooked away.

As for service, that's pretty bad even for chinese restaurant standards.

Kung Food Panda said...

GP: Too many people started to use that rating, so I'll stick with FD score unless I'm doing an out of region review.

Let's go next week!

Bonnie: You know, that stew wasn't that gamey, surprisingly. Other than the horrible service, the food was quite good.

Exile Kiss said...

Hi Kung Food Panda,

Nice review. :) Wow, you got the horrible service, too?! :( When we went last month or so, it was about the same (horrible).

I'll have to try the Beef Pancakes you're raving about if I find myself in the area again (and if I can stomach the service).

Aaron said...

This isn't a Chinese Islamic restaurant is it? Those places really know how to cook lamb since pork is taboo

Kung Food Panda said...

Exile Kiss: The service was bad pre- LA times?? Wow...this makes me wonder if I'd ever want to return again, even during non-peak hours. There are just too many places in SGV worth eating at...

Aaron: I'm not sure if this was an Islamic place, I didn't think so as I was told this was Northern Chinese, but it's mainly lamb and beef dishes here from what I remember, and chicken based skewers.....

mattatouille said...

I'm sure it was because of the LAT article, but someone reading the newspaper while people are waiting for food is just ridiculous. Let's go to this place some time!

cheesywee said...

i've been looking for an amazing food blog around the San Gabriel area!! your blog did not disappoint!! amazing pictures and those beef pancakes!! i'll have to stop by this place sometime!

Lina said...

looks yummy!!!

Kung Food Panda said...

Matt: Ya, but let's go at some non-peak hour plz :P Lamb + cheap skewers are OK in my book!

Cheesywee: Thanks! Although there were bad service, the beef pancakes were quite good!

Lina: Food was pretty solid!

joanh said...

wow.. that's a lot of lamb! my favorite lamb is probably still the lamb chops at Sumie in Taipei. mmmm.

Kung Food Panda said...

Joanh: Where Sumie?? I'm interested! :D

Diana said...

Yikes. I think I'll avoid this place for now. This girl needs her water!

Hope the move goes well this weekend!

Kung Food Panda said...

Seriously! LOL

Thanks, it's gonna be a busy weekend, see you tomorrow!

Protocol Snow said...

BREAKING NEWS: I wanted try Ning Jie for the first time so I headed there for lunch today. When we got there, it was mysteriously closed. As we were sitting in the parking space debating where else to go for lunch, the owner came by to open up the place. We flagged him down and asked why the restaurant was closed today. Turns out that Ning Jie has closed permanently! The building space was sold to somebody else yesterday, and the owner stopped by to move everything out. I was really disappointed as the reviews were fantastic.

Food, she thought. said...

The lamb bones, skewers & jelly look like so much fun!!!

Ravenous Couple said...

thanks for ordering all that great food at Indian!

Kung Food Panda said...

Protocol Snow: Seriously?? Now that's surprising, especially with the recent LA Times article too....but honestly, I don't think that's a great place to have a Chinese restaurant.

Food, she thought: It was good, but too bad the place is closed, I was actually thinking of going back after all the "hype" dies down....

Ravenous Couple: NP! I'm glad you enjoyed dinner and nice meeting you!

Misterbuff said...

http://degenerasian.blogspot.com/2009/07/memphis-gas-station-sushi-in-gourmet.html

THE ACTORS DIET said...

egg and spinach looks amazing....and about the only thing my vegetarian husband could eat....

Kung Food Panda said...

Van: Wow, that's pretty intersting. Sushi at strange places!

The Actors Diet: It was actually quite good, but I'm slightly sad the restaurant closed (according to the comment above). I need to verify that myself.

Judi Bola said...

Great blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the information are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day!

Agen Ibcbet said...

Hello, i am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited and happy to say that the webmaster has done a very good job here to put all the information content and information at one place.

Judi Online said...

This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea.