It’s hard to believe that chef Yujean Kang has been cooking his elegant brand of Chinese food in Southern California for 20 years, but it’s true. He started his career as a restaurateur in the Bay Area, then moved to L.A., and finally found his real home in Old Pasadena. Kang’s sophisticated dishes, prepared with a French chef’s elegance and a Chinese gourmand’s sense of robust flavor, attract food lovers from all over. Don’t miss the wonton soup, the tea-smoked duck salad with black-bean sauce, the Chinese “polenta” with shrimp, mushrooms and scallions, and the stir-fried Blue Lake green beans. Kang is also an oenophile, and the wine list complements the menu, but it ain’t cheap. The prix-fixe lunch menus, however, are a great bargain at $8 to $10 for soup, Kang’s chicken salad and an entree. The good service, the quiet, white-tablecloth setting and the great lunch prices make it an excellent choice for a business meeting over tasty food that’s not like anything else in Pasadena.
67 N. Raymond Ave., Old Pasadena, 626.585.0855, yujeankangs.com. Chinese. L & D daily. Beer & wine. $$ – $$$