Gu Yi - Darn Good Szechuan at Brentwood prices - Gu Ahead and try it!

Tried it tonight.
No booze - license coming but not anytime soon.
New Menu coming next week with “a lot of new dishes” - we did not ask what they might be but we’ll be back.
We had:
Mouth Watering Chicken - cold, tangy, tasty with a little heat
Green Pepper Boiled Fish (plenty of numbing Sichuan flowers). Sole maybe? Was good.
Stir Fried Lamb with Cumin - simple but good with plenty of lamb
Hot and Sour Soup - tasty, peppery


Good to hear @CiaoBob. On one hand, I’m still shaking my head in disbelief that a place like this has opened in the heart of Brentwood. On the other, it seems the entrepreneurs are taking notice that this kind of more focused cuisine can work around the Westside. Your stamp of approval means a lot on this board, so we will try it soon as well.

For some reason, this OP isn’t showing up on the LA board. In fact, I can’t find it with any categorization.

Weird. I’ll write the Web-sitters. I prob screwed something up.

You didn’t post it to a category, so it was in the Uncategorized uncategory.

Sorry - thanks for fixing! I posted after dinner - one can only imagine where I would have put it if Gu Yi had booze :slight_smile:

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PULEZZZZE! Went there about 1 week ago for lunch. Service was terrible, but more importantly the food is dumbed down for west siders. I asked for my kung pao chicken (a good test, because if you can’t make that, you can’t make more complex dishes) extra spicy; it had no spice at all!

I haven’t been to Guyi yet, and I love a good Kung Pao chicken too, but I’m not sure that’s the best test of an authentic SIchuan place. It’s certainly not the first dish I would try for that purpose.



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Well, I have had some delicious and authentic Kung Pao chicken at places such as Chengdu Taste and Sichuan Impression and Guyi’s was more like it would be in many WLA or SFV places. It is a good test because it is not like fried chicken bits buried in peppers where you can hid a lot of mistakes, that is all I am saying. Even though some folks think Kung Pao chicken is a westerners dish, it really can be authentic if made correctly.

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Thanks @CiaoBob for scoping this place out. I’m excited to at least give it a go!

Why not?

It’d certainly be on the top of my list.

Kung Pao Chicken is most definitely an authentic dish and a good litmus test. I put it up there with mapo tofu, and fish fragrant pork/eggplant as part of the holy trio

Yes, but there’s Kung Pao chicken and there’s Kung Pao chicken. Yes you can get great authentic Kung Pao chicken at Chengdu Taste, Szechuan Impression or any of a number of places in the SGV. But if you open a Chinese restaurant in Brentwood, at best you’re going to have a mixed audience, and for an old Chinese-American favorite like Kung Pao chicken I think you need to tilt that dish towards the non-Chinese side. I had lunch today at Chengdu House in Valley Village, the first restaurant serving true Sichuan style food in that part of the world. But every other diner in the place when I was there was lo wai. (And the hostess was Latina.) And despite the separate Sichuan menu, I don’t think the real Kung Pao chicken would go over too well there.


Yes, but if we’re going to judge Gu Yi in terms of an authentic Sichuan restaurant, then the Kun Pao Chicken needs to be the real deal (or as you say “great authentic Kung Pao Chicken”). Otherwise, we’re just wasting oxygen discussing this.

Either that, or this was throwing back-handed shade at CiaoBob.

Authentic is a pretty vague and flexible term. Didn’t we all discuss this with a lot of other Chowhound folks? I just want to see if this place is good. Having preconceived expectations is a fail at most places IMHO.


You can make an absolute statement like that about authenticity if you’re in the San Gabriel Valley and have a reasonably homogenous clientele (with apologies to the non-Chinese on this board who know their Chinese food, but in recognition of the fact that if you walk into a Sichuan restaurant in the San Gabriel Valley at any point in time, the percentage of non-Asian diners is in the low single digits). As I believe you pointed out several decades ago on the predecessor board, back then opening up something like Din Tai Fung on the Westside would have been foolhardy despite a similar corps of Chinese-knowledgeable Westsiders posting on that board, as that category of such diners were not numerous enough to keep a restaurant in business. Well things have changed, with Mainlander students and other Chinese moving to the Westside, plus the increased sophistication of non-Asian millennials paving the way for the Westside opening of places like Din Tai Fung, Tasty Noodle, Popcorn Chicken and so on. However, the Westside is still the Westside, and while we’ve persuaded native Westsiders to enjoy dumplings, noodles, beef rolls and other modern non-Cantonese dishes, a Sichuan restaurant opening up in Brentwood will still have to rely on a substantial non-Chinese clientele to stay in business. And I don’t think you want to chase them away by turning one of their comfort foods like Kung Pao chicken into an unexpected total numbness.


I hear you. I’m not saying it’s inauthentic or you can’t get a good version at a real Sichuan place. But I’ve definitely had meh Kung Pao from places that served great Sichuan food otherwise and great Kung Pao at places that were not particularly authentic. For me personally, mapo tofu is the test of a Sichuan place. YMMV.

It just seems like an afterthought at real Sichuan places. My understanding was the dish doesn’t have the same popularity for Chinese peeps. For example:

I can’t ever recall your posting about Kung Pao chicken before. What are some of your favorites?

And that is why I would not order it on my first visit.
I think - without them knowing me - they would sweeten it up and spice it down (unless I spefically asked them to make it otherwise, which I did not want to do first outing). For me (other than the hot and sour soup) the dishes we got reflect (a small portion) of what we like in good Sichuan and Gu Yi passed the test admirably.
FWIW, the specialty of the night was a whole fish (not on menu) that sunded like the traditional whole fried sweet and sour fish for about 25 bucks. This too may be great, or terrible, there but not something I would want to try on a first visit sussing out “authentic” Sichuan near me. The menu is definately a hodgepodge and, as I said, about to change.

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And Brentwood along San Vicente is still Brentwood on San Vicente. Which is to say, even the westside is not monothilic and completely homogenous in terms of taste and preference.

BTW, has anyone been to California Wok recently? I’d kill for something like Tasty Noodle in that location b/c it’s w/i super easy walking distance…

How funny. Mapo tofu, for me, is mom opening a package of spices from 99 Ranch and making a very watery dish (which I still liked). :slight_smile:

Sichuan Boiled Beef (水煮牛肉)
Beer Braised Duck (啤酒鴨)
Ants climbing a tree (蚂蚁上树)
Saliva chicken (四川口水雞)
Sour and spicy potato noodles ( 酸辣粉)

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