CVIndependent

Mon09252017

Last updateFri, 16 Sep 2016 12pm

What: The shredded pork with garlic sauce

Where: Cie Sichuan Cuisine, 45682 Towne St., Indio

How much: $8.50 as a lunch special; $9.50 as an entrée

Contact: 760-342-9888; ciesichuancuisine.com

Why: It was worth the wait.

I’ve been hearing raves about Cie Sichuan Cuisine for months now. Some friends have even gone so far as to say that Cie serves some of the best—if not the best—Chinese cuisine in the Coachella Valley. Seeing as I love good Chinese food, and am generally unimpressed with the Chinese restaurants ’round these parts, I looked forward to dining at Cie Sichuan.

One problem: Cie Sichuan is a 28-mile drive from both my home and my office. While I do get to the East Valley often, my schedule is usually slammed, so I don’t often have time to go explore new restaurants and such. Ugh.

However, on one recent weekday, I turned lemons into lemonade: A client was a no-show for a meeting in Indio. I suddenly had an open hour around lunch time—so off to Cie Sichuan I went.

I would have loved to try Cie for the first time with several other people, so we could have sampled a variety of dishes. However, it was just me. Hmm … should I try something rather unique-sounding like the cold dressing beef slice and lung ($9.50)? Or the ribs-with-radish soup ($7.95)? The divine-sounding stir-fried pork belly ($10.50)?

I couldn’t decide, so I asked the server for advice; he recommended the shredded pork with garlic sauce lunch special. I took his advice—and was glad I did.

After a lovely cup of egg drop soup, the entrée arrived. The pork was not shredded like you’d find in a burrito at a Mexican joint; instead, it was sliced into thin strips and coated with a splendid garlic sauce that included sprouts, carrots, green onions and peppers. While my breath after lunch was probably dreadful, my taste buds were enthralled.

I’m looking forward to trying more of Cie Sichuan’s cuisine … and with the rise of all the new delivery services here locally (Yelp’s Eat24, UberEATS, etc.), it looks like I may be able to get Cie’s food delivered to my home soon, if not already. Awesome.

Published in The Indy Endorsement

What: The Szechwan beef lunch special

Where: China Bistro, 45765 Towne St., Indio

How much: $7.50 (lunch special)

Contact: 760-342-7288; chinabistroindio.com

Why: Good flavor—and they deliver the spice, if you ask.

Let’s say you’re an east valley resident craving good Chinese food for lunch. Or maybe you’re from the west valley, and you’ve been called to do your civic duty at the Larson Justice Center—and you want a quick, delicious lunch (preferably at a spot within walking distance). In either case, it’d be smart to head to China Bistro.

Just a block north of the Larson Justice Center, China Bistro offers great Chinese food at reasonable prices—especially at lunch. The menu includes the standards one would expect, and I was fortunate enough to select the Szechwan beef.

The dish featured a reasonable amount of tender, tasty beef (you can get this preparation with shrimp or chicken, if you prefer), as well as a variety of crisp vegetables, including green and red bell peppers, mushrooms, celery, water chestnuts, carrots and onions. It was all covered in a tasty sauce, and served alongside some decent, if unremarkable fried rice (regular rice is also an option) and a fried wonton wrapper, as well as the soup of the day (which was egg drop soup when I was there).

One other detail worth noting: I like my food very spicy, and far too often, restaurants fail to make food spicy enough for my tastes. Well, the good folks at China Bistro adequately heeded my request for spicy Szechuan beef, and left my taste buds happy.

The next time I find myself in Indio, you can bet that if I’m in the mood for some delicious, inexpensive Chinese food (and I am pretty much always in such a mood), I’ll be stopping by China Bistro.

Published in The Indy Endorsement