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Nov 22nd
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

fodfile yanYan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

GT: How did you and Raymond meet?
YAN BELLEVILLE: We met in China. He liked the Chinese girl. And it was interesting to me—not the Chinese guy. I was in my hometown. Then I came here.

Why did you open the restaurant?
I was a server for a long time. His company moved to China. For a long time, he drove every day over the hill … My family didn’t know English, so we made the business as a way to help the family.

How do you keep your food so cheap?
It’s a family business. Lots of things I do myself. We didn’t need to hire people. Me and Raymond—if we need it, we come early, and we do it.

What’s your spicy sauce?
I made it. I’m the only one that cooks it. My son likes the hot sauce. For everything, he has to add some in there.

How do you make your tasty soups?
[Raymond] did it. I’m Chinese, so I cook my way, and his is the American way. He said, “maybe this ingredient will taste better.” His idea.

Egg flower or hot and sour soup?
Hot and sour. I add a little rice and a little bit of peanuts.

How much do you work, and how do you relax?
We come early after we drop off the kid and do some, and then sometimes we go for a walk by the ocean. Sometimes we go for a walk at Costco when Costco opens. We do it almost for fun. Come early, and get started.

Comments (1)Add Comment
long time customer
written by Jan Neal, April 17, 2014
This is the most delicious food I have ever eaten. They buy every thing fresh from farmers, and drive the distance to get eggs fresh. There is no making the night before at this restaurant. They own it, make it and serve it. The prices are very very cheap for such high quality.
I live in Northern Calif and on every trip I eat a couple times at Yan Flower,

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Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

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