Grand Garden (Westminster)
Since the grandparents are in Orange County, we typically drive up from San Diego to visit. And of course for Mother's Day, the whole family got together! Grand Garden was the chosen destination, the same place where we have celebrated a few birthdays, weddings, and other big events. With a huge family like ours (20+), a banquet restaurant like this accommodates everyone quite easily. The restaurant is a bit hidden away in the corner of the plaza and has their own dedicated parking lot in the back.
The restaurant is always elegantly decorated. Crystal chandeliers hang from the ceiling and blooming bouquets adorn the room. It just *feels* special.
To the right was a huge video screen for sharing pictures, videos or messages. That day, "Happy Mother's Day" was splashed across the screen.
The siblings, cousins and their kids were seated at the "kids" table while the parents and grandparents sat at the "adults" table. Someone from our table looked over the menu, eventually picking one dish from several categories.
Beef With Assorted Vegetables and Stir Fried Egg Noodle
I'm not sure what the exact name is but it was similar to a bird's nest with noodles underneath a mild gravy sauce. The noodles are served soft and wet. The cut of beef is typically lower grade but I was relieved that it was neither chewy or overly fatty like some places. The bok choy and mustrooms were generously sized and plentiful. I kept reaching for these while waiting for the next dish to arrive... gotta get veggies in my system one way or another!
Tender Cubic Steak
Also known as bò lúc lắc (Vietnamese), we were looking forward to its tasty tender morsels of beef. I was quite satisfied by the black pepper seasoning and medium rare grilled meat. Dennis said it was too saucy for his taste. The huge wall of steamed broccoli made this course feel super healthy and there was no icky layer of oil left at the bottom of the dish! I'd order this version again!
Honey Walnut Shrimp
This dish is a family favorite to order at Chinese restaurants. The shrimp are jumbo size and were cooked properly without going rubbery. Each piece had a thin crunchy breading rolled in a minimal mayo-like sauce. The walnuts were extra crunchy. One sis-in-law/spouse pair didn't quite make it to lunch and Dennis and I finished off the last two pieces... no leftovers for the slackers haha! I think I ate 5-6 shrimp just by myself!
Kung Pao Chicken
This version was totally modified so was not a true representation of the dish... peanuts were on the side (due to a family member's allergies) and it was ordered non-spicy. The chicken thighs pieces were decent, slightly fried on the outside yet moist inside. The dish was simple and clean but I wish there were vegetables other than celery. Maybe the non-spicy mod cut out more than we anticipated... I'd want to try it full scale before making any recommendations.
Fried Fish Filet in Special Sauce
I heard someone mention that we were eating sweet & sour fried fish. The fried breading had a fishstick crunch for about 1 mintue, then softened quickly from the overabundant sauce. At least the portions of fish were very generous plus the meat (white cod?) inside was flakey soft. Personally, I'm not a fan of sweet & sour so the fish pieces drowning in sauce didn't float my boat.
Shrimp Fried Rice
The family likes to order fried rice at these larger family gatherings (such as Mother's Day last year at Ly's Garden). This portion was MASSIVE enough to share with the whole table. I enjoyed that it wasn't oily, and the chinese sausage, huge chunks of shrimp and vegetables were dispersed evenly. The meats were slightly salty though so I was definitely wanting steamed rice to mix with the other entrees.
The staff passed out a small bowl of tapioca pudding for dessert. This version was standard fare.
All the food came out fast, within a few minutes of each other. Thank goodness too because we were STARVING. We were eyeing the adult table with their goods of lobster and roast duck but we can't complain since we didn't pay. The banquet meal is probably one of the best deals/combos to get here. Our prior celebrations here had plenty of deliciousnesss with those. At the end of the meal, we were stuffed plus had some leftovers to take home.
Afterwards, everyone posed for family pictures by this gorgeous flower tree display in the front.
Even the outside was a scenic view... with a lovely waterfall and pond outside the restaurant. Kid brother is not included. Btw, we didn't tell him to pose at all... he just did it himself haha!
After all was said and done, we walked ourselves out along this lovely pathway back to our regular lives.. enriched with new family bonding times. Hope everyone had a wonderful mother's day!
8894 Bolsa Ave
Westminster CA 92683