I met my friend Gloria for lunch in Anaheim because she is one of those unfortunates who is pretty much chained to her desk job in a Monday through Friday 9-5 Inferno. Her favorite lunch spot is Mandarin Taste in Anaheim, and even though I have met her there countless times, I got lost and ended up (literally) at the exit for Disneyland before realizing the newly repaved 5 Freeway has a hypnotic effect.

Mandarin Taste is well known in the area, with newspaper article reviews of the place (you know the paper stuff before blogs) framed on the wall of the entrance. As picky as I am about Chinese food, I would agree with the kudos for this Hunan-Szechuan style semi-formal restaurant. It is rare to see waiters in tuxedos at a Chinese restaurant, but you will see it here, along with trained service and a beautiful tropical fish aquarium on the wall by the booths.

We chose the crispy shrimp $13.99 which were lightly coated and fried before being tossed in a sweet sour sauce,


and the three flavor kung-pao $12.99 which had nicely spiced beef slices, juicy chicken, tender shrimp with peanuts, and scallions for our entrees.


Both entrees came with a very nice spicy hot and sour soup, white rice and a pot of black tea. All the choices here are typically basic American-Chinese food, but it is done well and in a very nice setting with a full bar (and yes, they serve drinkable wines here). Sometimes it’s better to be safely familiar than to be unpleasantly shocked, so if you are going to Disneyland (on purpose), Mandarin Taste is a great place to stop by for better Chinese food than you’ll find anywhere in the Magic Kingdom.

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