PLEASE NOTE: This event is cross-posted with Gay Foodies. Be mindful of Pleasure Palate's 24-Hour Cancellation/Attendance Policy applies to this event. Any cancellations with less than 24 hour notice or any No Shows will result in a strike against you for each person in your party. 3-Strikes and you will be removed from the group. At this time I have a private room for 12 booked. If there is enough interest in this event, then I will open it up to a 2nd table and see about getting the larger private room for us. The restaurant is located next to the Arco gas station near the northwest corner of the intersection of Azusa Avenue and Colima Road, just off Azusa Avenue.
We will be dining "Family Style." The food bill will be split evenly amongst all attendees. Attendees will be responsible for paying for their own beverages. Please note that flexibility is an important part of family-style dining, and if you want to take a chance on attending, you have to be amenable to what the group will order. You don't have to eat everything that is ordered, but everyone pays equally, whether you eat everything or not. The goal for family-style dining is to allow for the entire group to sample as wide a variety of dishes as possible. If one or more attendees choose to order on their own, that limits the group's choices, which defeats the purpose of what Family-Style Dining is all about. If this definition of Family-Style Dining doesn't feel comfortable, this may not be the right type of event for you.
Here is a true adventure in dining: A brand new Shanghai-ese restaurant recently opened up in the Hacienda Center at the northwest corner of Azusa Avenue and Colima Road, the very same center where a 99 Ranch Market and Boston Cafe are located. Monterey Park insurance agent, Charles Lu, took over the space that was previously a Coco's Restaurant. After a year of renovations, which included importing in decor, custom ceramics and furniture that were in Shanghai, Shanghailander finally had its soft opening on September 21st. Right now, the restaurant is only open for dinner, but it will soon be open for lunch as well, offering up Shanghai style dim sum such as Xiao Long Baos (soup dumplings) and Sheng Jian Baos (pan fried pork buns), as well as dinner entrees such as Shanghai Style Braised Pork in Brown Sauce, Shanghai Curry Crab, and Braised Seafood with Harsmar and Egg.
Prices of dishes range from $5.00 to $40.00. The anticipated cost per person here is $40.00 to $50.00, depending on how much food we will order (and in some cases, we may have to get 2 orders of a particular dish, as the portion sizes vary from dish to dish), any beverages (including hot tea, which is $5.50 per pot), plus tax and gratuity. You should consider bringing at least $80.00 in CASH to settle your portion of the bill. You can check out Shanghailander's menu of offerings here, which include family style dining set menus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/foodiepanda/sets/72157631688505090/
Jenny K. wrote on Yelp about her visit on the night of the soft opening:
"they are currently ONLY OPEN FOR DINNER. the menu is extensive. they made the sweet sticky rice lotus, xiao long baos, etc. they have several options for banquet dinners also.
so far we've tried the juicy crab meat XLB. made well with the juice inside. the sweet sticky rice lotus was a red color with the little yellow flower (kuai hwa). delicious flavors but the portion size was small. i would have expected twice the portion for the price. shanghai tamale was good but kinda pricey too. we wanted to order a couple of things first instead be overly disappointed as guinea pigs. haha...
overall, the flavors are authentic shanghainese. love their accent too. that's how you know they are from shanghai. for now, they will open just for dinner but in another month, they will be offering lunch.
i'll be back!! =) *actually thinking about going again in the next couple days* it's a strange feeling when i want to go back to a chinese restaurant so soon. excited about my future trips!! =)"
Parking is free in the Hacienda Center's parking lot. We will meet inside the lobby of the restaurant. I will send out my cell phone number to attendees the morning of the event so that you can call or text me if you arrive before I do, or are running late, or are lost. Reservations are under my last name (Choy or Tsai). After dinner, if anyone's up for it and for fighting the crowds, we can head over to 85*C Bakery & Cafe that's located in the center just south of Colima Road, off Azusa Avenue, for dessert and/or Green Tea with Sea Salt.
(Photo by lifeintheheights.com)