Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Apr 18th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Spring Flower

Dining_YanFlowerYan Flower dishes up a fresh assortment of unique Chinese delicacies at the southern end of Pacific Avenue

I don't often find myself in the South of Laurel section of Pacific Avenue, but when a friend described Hong Kong Noodles at Yan Flower I just had to try them. After all, the man is of Korean and Chinese heritage, and speaks with a New York accent.

In the back of the restaurant the owners converse in Cantonese. Yan Flower's well-kept yellow and green tiled building is roomy, clean, and simply decorated. Comfortable orange booths surround glass-topped tables, the windows are treated with pretty flowered valances, and the walls are papered with tasteful, contemporary swooshes in soft earth tones.

Nicely priced lunch specials ($3.95 to $5.95) include soup, a spring roll and steamed rice, but the full and lengthy MSG-free menu is always available. Specialties include a Half Roast Duck, Beef with Black Pepper Pots and Egg Foo Young. Daily specials might include Mongolian Lamb, and there is a large selection of tofu and vegetable entrées.

Twelve soups are served including Yanflower Spicy Won Ton, Egg Flower, and sizzling rice. I started with a cup of Hot and Sour ($1.50) soup. Served in a rather large clear glass bowl, the thickened chili-flecked broth contained slivers of bamboo shoots, threads of seaweed, and tofu.

The mix of appetizers includes Crab Cream Won Tons, Chinese Chicken Salad, Sliced BBQ pork, and Dumplings. The Sesame Balls ($2.95) are beautiful. Six perfect spheres the size of ping pong balls were deep fried until the neat coating of sesame seeds just began to tan and emit a nutty aroma. Biting into the thin, chewy dough revealed a center of sweet and savory Chinese red bean paste.

Hong Kong Noodles ($7.50) arrived on two plates; one holding thin, crisply fried noodles, and the other, stir-fried chicken with broccoli, bok choy, miniature corn cobs, crunchy water chestnuts, halved cloves of garlic and carrots in a rich, brown sauce that was not overly salty with soy sauce. When the stir-fry was poured over the noodles, some became chewy, and others remained crisp, offering a satisfying mix of textures.

Spicy dishes are highlighted on the menu in red ink, and the kitchen will adjust the heat to your specifications. One of these is Garlic Chicken ($6.95). Like the noodles, it was loaded with tender strips of white chicken breast. The spicy sauce had a unique sweet and sour flavor, and also included bamboo shoots, shredded carrot, green bell peppers and chili flakes.

I requested the extra-spicy treatment for Hunan Beef ($6.95). A halo of al dente broccoli surrounded a layer of bright white rice sticks; fried until airy and curly, and topped with pinkie-sized strips of deep-fried beef which was sprinkled with additional dried red chili. Although I had feared that I was full after soup, I couldn't stop savoring these chewy morsels coated in syrupy, sweet, and sour sauce.


Yan Flower, 617 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-2574. Beer and wine. Open daily 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Takeout available.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

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?