Eggplant, chicken, sole, scallops, carrots, onions, and other things
The place is Mei Long, at 867 E. El Camino Real in Mountain View -- almost in Sunnyvale. I think someone mentioned it in a comment in either hopeforyou or sinboy's journal, although I don't remember the details, and said it was better than anything on Castro street. So, here we were, wondering what to do for dinner, and I remember the recommendation, and the fact that the name started with an "m", and that it was described as being within a few blocks of hopeforyou and sinboy's soon-to-be-former (yay!) apartment. Guessing that everything near there was likely to be on El Camino, we went looking to see if we could find a place that fit that description and had a familiar-sounding name, and there it was.
So, to start out with, the "crispy eggplant" appetizer. A dinner-sized plate full of chunks of Chinese eggplant, dipped in a basic tempura batter flavored with a touch of salt, green onion, and red pepper, and deep-fried until about the consistency and creaminess of soft butter. A small dish of sweet-and-sour sauce -- very red, but clearly real sauce and not red goo. Delicious.
For the main course, we ordered sweet-and-sour chicken, and the "Three Ocean" seafood combination. The sweet-and-sour chicken was fried in a somewhat thicker batter than the eggplant, and came with carrots and sweet onion pieces, covered in a fairly standard -- but again, very definitely not "red goo" -- sweet and sour sauce. Nothing particularly remarkable in the ingredient list, perhaps, but it all worked together and was quite well executed.
The "Three Ocean" combination was scallops, shrimp, and sole, along with bits of water chestnut and green pepper, in a soy-based sauce with garlic and a bit of hot pepper. Again, very well made; the fish in particular was delicious, which was a nice surprise since I've usually been disappointed with fish in Chinese restaurants. And the sauce was a good complement to the ingredients; flavorful but not overpowering.
All in all, it was some of the best Chinese food that I've had. And, while it was a bit pricier than most (averaging $11 per plate rather than $8), it was still fairly inexpensive for good food. To whomever made the recommendation: if you happen to be reading this, thank you!
Oh, and they had real fortune cookies. Not platitude cookies, like most places seem to have, but real fortune cookies. "Happy things will happen at your house tomorrow," it said.