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Saucy splendor

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STOCKTON – In a way, I feel like I am spoiling a neighborhood secret. Between Acacia and Poplar streets, Yosemite is a neighborhood block of eateries and shops. It’s not the busy caliber of the Miracle Mile, but I’m sure the residents of that area don’t mind at all. The block’s quaintness makes for a great hidden hangout for the friendly villagers surrounding Yosemite Street, whose belly-filling gem is China Village restaurant.

China Village specializes in Mandarin and Szechuan cuisines, which tend to be spicier and offer a palate of bold flavors from specific oils and spices. We looked at the restaurant’s menu on, which we learned later was not current or in its entirety. The woman who took our phone order was pleasant. She repeated the order and said it would be ready in about 20 minutes. Not bad for 5:30 p.m. on a Saturday.

The scent of wheat noodles and flavored oils sizzling in a pan greeted us as we walked in to pick up our to-go order. The restaurant seemed moderately busy. There were several groups of diners at tables and another to go ahead of us was just finishing up. Our food was ready and the final white box packed as we paid.

China Village


Where: 935 N. Yosemite St., Stockton

Information: (209) 465-2323

Type of food: Mandarin and Szechuan

Parking: Street

Price: Value

Hours: 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

At home, opening each box was like a surprise – and not in just gluttonous anticipation – but because two of the items we ordered had another meaty, deep-fried and deliciously looking item in their place. What was ordered as crispy eggplant (no longer on the menu, but the order taker didn’t say that) instead was a large, beautiful dish of steamy, saucy General Tso’s shrimp ($7.50). What was supposed to be chicken chow mein ($5.25) was chunks of white meat and thick, saucy lo mein. That might be just the way they make their chow mein though, which seems to be common in this area. (We love Hong Kong-style noodles, so please let us know where to get them in Stockton.)

The large shrimp were deep-fried, moist, not too chewy or gamey. It was fresh and cooked well. The sweet and spicy sauce was thick, dark and well portioned over the shrimp, not weighing it down or making the batter soggy.

Although we are not fans of lo mein, the long, fat, soft noodles were cooked firm – not overboiled and breaking – and were flavorful from liberal use of garlic, pepper and perhaps a chili oil. Bits of chopped cabbage and julienned carrots were minimal.

Our egg rolls ($5) were a nice size, with the flaky, browned wraps holding in a delicious moist stuffing of chicken and vegetables seasoned with garlic and pepper.

The fried rice ($5) tasted fresh and had flecks of carrots, a few peas and green onion. The sauce for the sweet and sour chicken ($6.25) was not too sweet and had a small amount of onion, pineapple and chipped carrots. The sweetness was welcome after the saltiness of the General Tso’s sauce, which had pieces of broccoli mixed in. The base flavors of these two dishes seemed similar. We would have loved more vegetables in each dish, which would have brought more of a freshness to the tastes and lessen the heaviness of the generous chunks of meat.

Probably the best dish of our meal was the Mongolian beef ($6.95). Before we ordered, we looked at reviews on websites Yelp, Urban Spoon and Google, and the advice seemed the same “order the Mongolian beef.” It didn’t disappoint. The beef was tender, juicy and spicy. You could see large flakes of pepper and chili seeds, and there was a lot of steamed broccoli mixed in. It tasted fresh and hit the taste-bud spot.

For all we ordered, the portions and the price it was a good buy. And, although we didn’t get what we set out to eat, what we had was delicious and satisfying. If anything, it made us want to try other items outside our normal Chinese-food staples and beyond our own neighborhood Chinese joint, as well as hang out on Yosemite Street a bit more.

Questions? Comments? Contact LENS Editor Christine Teldeschi at (209) 546-8274 or

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Mystic Maggie

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