Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 19th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Let's Do Lunch

dining abcchineseExtensive lunch menu at ABC Chinese fills you up without emptying your wallet  

Business is brisk during the lunch hour at ABC Chinese Restaurant in a tidy Scotts Valley business park. More than 40 lunch specials include huge bowls of soup ($5.25) and main courses ($5.45 to $6.45) which are served with the appetizer and soup of the day, and fried or steamed rice.

The entire regular menu is also available during the four-hour luncheon, which assured us of adequate leftovers.

Wor Wonton Soup ($6.25), about four servings, included strips of red-tinged barbecue pork, crunchy water chestnuts, chunks of chicken, large shrimp, broccoli and scallions with seasoned ground pork-filled wontons in a perfectly salted broth.

Highly recommended was the chicken salad on the appetizer list. The half-size plate ($5.25) could feed three nicely as a starter. Much different from the recipe in the 1970s, which featured sesame oil and five-spice dressing, this one was simple and fresh. Chilled iceberg lettuce was tossed with bits of thin, puffed rice noodles, cilantro, sesame seeds, and ground peanuts. The chicken had been coated in tasty seasoned batter and coarsely diced.

Yu Shiang Beef ($8.45) featured thin tender slices of meat in a dark, tart and sweet sauce flecked with bits of chili, with slivers of onion, bamboo shoots, tree fungus mushrooms, bell peppers. Green onion gave it an earthy lift.

A loud cracking noise filled the restaurant when the kitchen door opened, announcing the arrival of the House Special Hot Pan Service. The waiter poured House Teppan Chicken Black Bean Sauce ($11.50) onto an oval cast iron griddle and poured the contents of the stir-fried dish onto the surface, not entirely avoiding the scalding spatter. In the dark sauce which bubbled fiercely, salted by tiny black beans with a strong fermented flavor, were cubes of white chicken, green bell peppers and squares of onion.
dining abcchinesel
The Orange Chicken ($8.50) is worth a return visit. Chunks of battered and fried chicken were served in a dark, viscous sauce flavored with chili, green onion and orange zest.

The chewy Szechuan Beef ($8.45) was also starched and deep-fried, served on a bed of puffed rice noodles and coated with a tart, sweet chili sauce which was thick and sticky, but not overly piquant.

Savory Ginger Scallion Beef ($7.95) also included crisp and spicy white onions. The mildly spiced Kung Pao Chicken ($7.25) was topped with peanuts and featured bell peppers and crunchy water chestnuts with bits of ginger and red chilies.

ABC Chinese Restaurant, 219 Mount Hermon Rd # A2, Scotts Valley, 438-3406. Beer and wine. Open daily for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.

♛ ♛ ♛

Thanks to a reader's comment, I realized that the subtitle of the May 31 review of Haute Enchilada was extraordinarily misleading. While a great chef created the worldly recipes, which we all very much enjoyed, the reference to Spain's great Chef Ferran Adrià in the article should have referred only to a beer. Estrella Damm Inedit, created by the el Bulli team to pair well with food, is served by the restaurant ($18 for 750 ml). My sincere apologies to both chefs.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >


Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management


Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.


Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?