270 Bristol St Ste 110,
Costa Mesa, CA
Tel: (714) 549-0653
There is already a review on this site for Al Palace, but since it is hands down my favorite Chinese place, I thought it deserved one more.
Al Palace is a small family run Chinese restaurant that shares a strip mall with a Denny’s and a Wienerschnitzel. The restaurant is fairly small with about a dozen tables, but the tables are almost always full. This is because the Chinese food that comes out of the kitchen here is some of the best you will ever have.
I recently visited Al Palace for dinner with a party of four. We are all big fans of Al Palace so there was a bit of arguing when we first sat down. Everyone seems to have their favorite dishes from here, and everyone knows that whatever we order, it will be good. “I don’t understand why you think 10 dishes is too much for 4 people!” I said to my wife. She finally convinces me that I was being unreasonable and we settled on getting five dishes.
We placed our order and got ready to feast. One of the best things about Al Palace is how lightning fast their kitchen is. Everything is made fresh and to order, but it is not uncommon for you to get all of your food 5 minutes after placing your order. They cook with such high heat though, that your food is often the temperature of the sun. Be careful.
The first dish to arrive was the Sweet and Sour Pork. This might be my favorite dish here. Big chunks of pork are battered and fried until they are perfectly crispy. The pork is then covered in a bright red sauce that is the perfect balance of sour and sweet.
The second dish to arrive was the Spicy Tofu, extra spicy. This might be my favorite dish here. Silky pieces of tofu are sautéed in a gravy-like hot sauce. Even though we ordered it extra spicy, it still wasn’t that spicy for me. You can ask for some hot sauce if you’d like to crank it up a little more. This dish is perfect over some steamed or fried rice.
The third dish that arrived was the Mandarin Chicken. To be quite honest, Isabel ordered this and I didn’t try it. I really wanted to, but I was too busy pigging out on everything else. She seemed to really enjoy it though.
The fourth dish to land on our table was the Beef Chow Fun. This might be my favorite dish here. Long flat ribbons of slightly chewy noodles are stir fried with green onion, beef and a delicious brown sauce. Once you eat these noodles, you’ll never want Chow Mein again. These noodles are fantastic with a little bit of hot mustard. Be careful though. The hot mustard here is hot enough to singe your nose hairs.
The fifth and final dish of the evening was the BBQ Pork Fried Rice. This might be my favorite dish here. The fried rice here is full of flavor, not bland like a lot of other places. This is the perfect side dish for every food item here.
I have never been disappointed with my food here. The prices can’t be beat either. I don’t remember the exact prices of everything because I don’t even look at the menu when I go here anymore. The items are all around $7.00. These 5 dishes (including free steamed rice and hot tea) came out to around $38.00 with tax. We also had plenty of food leftover. I guess my wife was right. A delicious Chinese dinner for less than $10 a person though, you can’t beat that!
7/2/2008 I've never been a really big fan of egg rolls. After "peekpoke" left a comment on this article telling me that Al Palace's were especially good though, I had to try them. I went down to Al Palace last night to get some. What arrived before me was a plate with 4 freshly battered and fried egg rolls sliced into pieces (Order of four for $5.55). These looked like no egg rolls I have ever seen. I picked up a piece and put it in my mouth. It was piping hot but amazing. This might just be the best egg roll I have ever had. There was no overly dry wrapper, just a perfectly crispy fried batter shell filled with cabbage and a little bit of pork. If you normally like egg rolls, you're gonna love these! Thanks for the recommendation peekpoke!