Monday, September 10, 2007

Restaurant Review: Lee's Garden Restaurant, Marina, California

I have to say, it has been 4+ years since I have had decent (and good) Chinese food. Up here the Chinese food is a lot different and so far I have not been impressed. I have been to the Kowloon Inn in Ferndale (which was a joke in itself), the Kowloon Garden in Bellingham (I do not know if they are related, but I was just not very impressed with their dishes), have had Lucky Panda in the past (which is the equivalent of Chinese Fast Food), Haggen's Chinese food (aka "Haggenese" and again, the equivalent of Chinese Fast Food, but will do if you are in a hurry). We were supposed to go to Oriento on the Guide Meridian in Bellingham this past weekend, however, my daughter ended up sick and we had to cancel date night on Saturday (I still was able to go watch Rob Zombie's Halloween (which I may or may not review later, we'll see) though, as my husband took care of her for me and we had already purchased tickets on Fandango). We're going to try to get out to Oriento next month instead.

Anyhow, while in California, I really wanted some Chinese food, and had planned a get together with some old friends and my mom and sister, but both friends were unable to make it, so after we went to the reunion picnic (we didn't eat at it, but I was glad I was able to stop by, even if it was for a little while), we went to Lee's Garden Restaurant in Marina. Marina is about 10-15 minutes north of Monterey and is the town next door to the former Fort Ord which now houses California State University of Monterey Bay (CSUMB). I haven't been to Lee's in years, and I was excited about going back.

We started off with my sister's order of Sizzling Rice Soup (something I have not noticed on the menu at the Chinese restaurants I have been to up here!):

I loved it. It was delicious and they had big shrimp in the soup. My favorite part was the water chestnuts though. I don't quite know why I love them so much, but water chestnuts are one of my favorites.

Then I ordered what I had been craving: Pork Fried Rice, Chicken Chow Mein (and Chow Mein in California you do not have differentiate between "soft" and "crispy" noodles- they are always soft!!! Unlike up here!), and Ginger Beef, which I haven't had in years. It was a delicious feast and the service was wonderful.

Pork Fried Rice:

Chicken Chow Mein:

Ginger Beef:

While I was there, I bumped into a classmate and her husband and baby boy. It turned out that there were a few of our classmates who were coming to Lee's Garden for lunch that day! As my friend Christina put it, "I gotta have a little Lee's in my life!" (Amen to that, sistah!) It was fun seeing my friend and her family (we had seen each other the night before at the reunion at Montrio's). When I go to visit home again, I will definitely stop by Lee's Garden for lunch!

Lee's Garden Restaurant is located at:

215 Reservation Road in Marina, California
(831) 384-6888

Stop by sometime and enjoy it! :)



At 10:23 PM, Anonymous sher said...

Wow! Now I'm really, really craving Chinese food! That looks wonderful!


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