30001 Town Center Dr.
Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
We have not had Chinese food in awhile. In fact the last time we have done a review of a Chinese restaurant was just over a year ago. Katie did not want to drive far from home for dinner, so we checked her phone for a place to eat. That is when China Moon popped up. After reading the reviews we decided to head on over.
China Moon has been in business here for the past nineteen years. Operated by Vanissa and Jackson Chan, this restaurant has become a local institution in south OC. We could tell from the interactions with the wait staff that most of the customers come here very frequently.
We arrived at 7 on a recent Friday night and had about a ten minute wait. This restaurant appears small on the outside, but they probably have close to 25 tables. The decor was a lot nicer than I expected as well. Pretty much on par with a PF Chang's vibe here. The menu is pretty straight forward, standard fair for a Chinese restaurant. Let's hope the food is far above standard Chinese food.
For an appetizer we chose the Fried Crabmeat Wontons. Our waiter Andy offered to split this order with their special of the day, Duck Wontons. I always enjoy duck, so this was a no brainer. The duck wontons were a little on the greasy side, as you would expect, but the flavor was really good. The crabmeat wontons were filled cream cheese, as well as crab. I am not usually a big fan of cream cheese, but the cream cheese here was not so bad. I did not get a lot of crab taste out of these though. Oh yeah, Andy gets credit for the artwork on our appetizer plates. Very well done Andy.
The first of our three selections was the Chef's Special Beef. Crispy fried beef sauteed with onions and peppers, with a very sweet sauce over it. Quite simply, I loved this dish. The sweet, thick sauce was as sweet as candy, and the beef was fried to perfection. The beef had a good chew to it, so it might not have been the best beef, but the sauce hid it well.
We had wanted to order orange chicken, but our waiter informed us that it was too much like the chef's special beef, so he suggested another dish. We went with the Cashew Nut Chicken. This dish contained lots of nuts, which contributed to its earthy flavor. The chicken was cooked well, but there could have been more of it. Solid dish of food here.
Katie and I differed greatly on this next dish. She loved the Taiwanese Rice Noodle with Shrimp added, I was not as big a fan as she was. Katie called this, "addictive", and she liked the thin noodle. I felt the noodle was too thin for my taste, and it did not hold onto the flavor well enough. It made the dish bland in my mind. The shrimp was cooked well, but again there could have been more shrimp on this plate.
I really enjoyed this Chinese restaurant. The neighborhood aspect of this place was very comforting. The service was very professional and welcoming at the same time. The entrees were in the $9 to $15 range. Be aware that China Moon is closed on Tuesdays, and weekends can be very busy, according to our waiter Andy. They also close between lunch and dinner. Lunch is served until 2:30, and they open again at 4:30. Eating at China Moon has awoken my taste buds to try more Chinese restaurants, so it probably will not be a year before our next Chinese restaurant review.
Out of five palm trees, (because the 1994 movie, China Moon starring Ed Harris, was set in Florida, and there are lots of palm trees there), five being best to zero being worst, China Moon get 3 solid palm trees.
For more information on China Moon, click here: http://www.chinamoonrestaurant.com/