"Well I I have to say I was decently impressed. I've tried just about every Chinese joint in San Carlos and with the exception of China Chef (which was also a surprise), everything had proven mediocre, especially along the Laurel St "Chinatown" as my co-worker and I refer to it. Tucked into the many retail establishments along the downtown portion of Laurel St, this place is much nicer in decor than all the surrounding Chinese restaurants. It's very bright and clean although some of the art work and furniture are 80's-ish, it's well up kept.

We asked for the full menus as we always do and the first thing I noticed was the presence of a won ton noodle soup section. A heavy Cantonese influence I have not felt since.....anyways, I saw a lot of classic Cantonese dishes and opted for the Ginger and Onion Beef while my co-worker went for the more Americanized Orange Chicken. We also started with some potstickers to see how Cantonese trained this chef really was going to be The last place i had this beef dish, they had put bamboo shoots in which altered the classic taste. It was dead on here however. Excellent in fact. The orange chicken wasn't so inspiring but with the ability to create classic Cantonese flavors this way, I know better next time. The potstickers were also really good although they didn't do the crust in the classic way, but it was still tasty. Surprisingly Szechuan Cuisine in San Mateo is the only place in the area that I know that does. After speaking to the waitress, she confirmed the chef was Cantonese but does northern Chinese dishes as well.

Glad to see that besides China Village in Belmont, I have another option for my Cantonese fix nearby work. 4.5 stars." ~ KQN


"My boyfriend and I are on a mission to find the best Chinese food in the Peninsula; preferably within a 5 minute drive of our offices with expedient lunch service. This is attempt #4, I believe.

So far, this is our favorite.

The food is good. Not too greasy or generic and it's all reasonably priced. I especially found the servers to be very polite and responsive, which is a nice change of pace from a lot of eateries in the area. We'll definitely go back.

My only complaint is that parking can be a bit of a challenge during peak hours. If you don't find any spots on the street on your first pass and are entering from Laurel Street, drive through the Washington Mutual lot, to the backstreet that connects to a small lot directly behind the restaurant." ~ melissa t.


"Five stars for a great value. The atmosphere is not a "fancy-bring-a-girl-to-impress-her" type, but it's perfect for almost everything else! It used to be called Dragon's Gate... the owners changed, the food is a bit different, but otherwise it's pretty much the same. We ordered the mandarin dinner (10.95 each), we got a TON of food (I'm still living off leftovers 2 days later) Cashew Chicken is my Fav. Their egg rolls are not good though.

One of the best things, is that the business is SOOOO nice. Both the ladies that helped us were super friendly and other times I've been there they've stayed late just for us (without that awkward feeling)

As much as I like the place, I have to mention the lipstick on both the water glass and soup-spoon. Pretty weird, because otherwise the place really is amazingly clean. Almost makes me wonder if it was me and I was clueless? Weird." ~ katrina q

  "Came here today for a quick lunch and tried several dishes. we ordered over the phone and had the meal arrive just minutes after we did...almost perfect timing. i ordered the crispy chicken w/sesame and shared the ma po tofu and Shanghai beef chow mein with friends...pretty much standard westernized Chinese fare, sans the MSG. the food came in large plates which made it easy to share food among the 3 of us and we dug in. the dishes were as good as we hoped, not too greasy and very satisfying. the service was surprisingly friendly and they even didn't mind us asking for extra plates." ~ c.c.  
  "Great atmosphere, happy, pleasant cheerful owners. Everytime I go, I notice everyone is greeted with a genuine smile and hello... which alone for me grants them 4 stars. I can only say I've had their soups. Won ton, Wor Won ton, and special request of BBQ Pork Won Ton with Egg Noodles. Each time I'm done, I'm yearning for more. They are fairly new (Grand Opening Sign is still up on their green awning), but it's getting more crowded each time I pass by to pick up my weekly soup addiction. I promise to try more dishes, I just wanted to see this great new establishment on the map." ~ r.g.  

"Yan's Garden moved to San Carlos recently, and its food is fantastic! With hundreds of Chinese restaurants on the peninsula, we're all used to greasy, soy-saucey, vinegary, sugary Chinese cooking. This restaurant really does it right! Flavors are subtle and complex, and the service is perfect. The restaurant is not fancy, but it's clean and beautifully lit. The prices are low (most lunch specials are just $5.75!), they do not use M.S.G., and they deliver! (Orders must be over $20.)

Yan's Garden is a great addition to the neighborhood. Please visit--I want them to stay here a long time!!" ~ l.h.


There are hundreds of Chinese restaurants on the peninsula, but only a handful that fall into the "truly excellent" category. So often, these places serve food that's greasy, overcooked, over-soy-sauced, over-vinegared, and over-sugared. Yan's Garden at 885 Laurel Street in San Carlos is a wonderful exception to that rule, and a great find.

I stopped by recently to grab a quick lunch special. It's been another mediocre Chinese restaurant for years. When I saw the new sign, I thought, "Oh well, another bland Chinese lunch." Man, was I wrong. The restaurant has a long list of lunch specials, most going for $5.75. Being a beef fan, I opted for broccoli beef. When they brought out the hot and sour soup, and I had my first taste, I realized I was in for a treat. The flavors in this soup are complex, and it has just the right zing of spices in it. The perfect way to start a meal.

The broccoli beef was a delight. The beef came in small, tender slices, and was lightly coated with a smooth, tasty sauce. If I knew more about Chinese cooking I'd be able to identify the flavors, but instead I just have to say it was great. Not at all greasy either. And the steamed white rice that came with it was perfectly cooked. Not clumpy overcooked blobs, and not dried out rice (leftover from the night before).

The service was excellent--my waitress seemed truly interested in my happiness. I was so impressed that last night my husband and I went back for dinner. And the food was even better! He and I had the vegetarian egg rolls, which were made from fresh vegetables that were lightly seasoned. They were the perfect way to start our meal. And at $4.50, a bargain! Everything on the dinner menu was reasonably priced.

He had the Mongolian Beef, which he went crazy over. "Omigod, this is the best Mongolian Beef I have ever had!" etc. etc. I had a bite or two of his dish, and I agreed. It was fantastic. I had Hong Kong Style Pan Fried Noodles, and they were yummy. The noodles were cooked perfectly too, which always makes a big difference. The flavors are subtle and complex, and nothing is overpowering.

I could go on and on, but trust me--this place is a winner. No M.S.G. either. Even better, they deliver (orders of $20 or more). The prices are low, and the people who work there are really nice. I want them to succeed in San Carlos, so please give them your business! You'll be thrilled you did.

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