Gonsea Restaurant Closed- Now Reopened

The Gonsea, that place on the way out of town at 2335 4th Street, has been closed by the County for health violations.

The Times-Standard’s account is HERE.

Personally, I wont miss the place.  We only ate there half a dozen times, were never impressed.  They were expensive and uninspired. I usually avoid restaurants that try to be both Chinese and Japanese at once. The Gonsea had a sign in front offering “Japanese sushi”.  Is there any other kind???  German sushi??? Polish sushi??

I also hated the name.  “Gonsea”,   it turns out  IS a legit Chinese name  meaning celebration or holiday.  But its a dumb name for a restaurant.  Invokes no food images or suggestions of deliciousness.  l say they might as well stay closed, although I hate to see folks losing their jobs.

May I suggest as alternatives the always -reliable Hunan in Henderson Center,  the Szechuan Village in Arcata or the good old China Buffet just down the street from the Gonsea in Eureka.  We’ve used the CB for parties.  Check out their catering menu! And if you have any other recommendations for Chinese, send them our way. We’d love to hear them.

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The Quest For Soup Dumplings- Szechuan Garden

You may recall that when I put out a call for info on soup dumping in Humboldt, one of our wonderful readers posted that we should check out the Szechuan Garden in Arcata, so we did.  The obsession with soup dumplings started lsat October where we were traveling in NYC and visited  the fabled Joe’s Shanghai in Flushing, home and ground zero  to the to the soup dumpling movement  in the US.

What is a soup dumpling? A little bit of heaven.  At Joe’s they’re BIG and it takes two or three bites to devour one.  They’re made by taking broth and refrigerating it till it’s more or less a gel, then constructing the dumpling , which looks kind of like a shu mai around  the broth with innumerable tiny folds in a circle.  If I had to make one you’d be waiting for years.

I’m not going to pretend that the Szechuan Gardens will put Joe’s out of business but they ARE soup dumplings and well worth the drive to Arcata.  They’re about half the size of the Joe’s version but very pleasantly flavored.  They don’t show up on the menu- they’re listed as “A6- Juicy Pork Dumplings (6) $6.95” .  So now you know.

The rest of the menu is pretty conventional.  I tried the chicken curry and didn’t  think  it had much  flavor.  I took the fried rice home and found that by dinner time it had developed a lot more flavor than at lunch. It happens. My friend, who is not an adventurous eater,  had the chicken teriyaki.  I didn’t try it.  I took home an order of the  Black Pepper Beef (($10.50) and I really liked it. Although it had a little black chili pepper next to it on the menu, I wouldn’t describe it as spicy.  Good flavor, though.

The restaurant is on that little spur of 18th Street  that veers off  left from the freeway ramp.  Parking is somewhat difficult but the good news is that you can drive behind the building and go around for a second shot. The menu is HERE. Give them a try.

And thanks, Glenn, for the tip!

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