Tucked away in the Ralph’s shopping center is this little Chinese place called Golden State Seafood, though the name isn’t obvious. When you go by it, the sign says “Seafood Restaurant” and if you’re observant, you’ll notice the little outline of the state of California in the middle of the name, surrounded by Chinese characters.
The restaurant itself isn’t much to look at once you step inside. Very basic decor, the tables all have the usual “Chinese New Year” placemats and big round tables all around the restaurant. If you ever come here in the evening for dinner, you’ll see the big round tables filled up with Asian patrons and their families. Lunch time though is relatively relaxed and not so crowded if you stop by at the right time for their $3.95 lunch specials. Did you hear me right? Yes. $3.95 lunch special. Hell yeah.
My basic reason for coming here was that I had a hankering for some food that wasn’t already in my kitchen, so I stopped in here for a cheap lunch. With tax and tip this will cost you about $5. That’s less than a value meal at McDonald’s these days and if you play your cards right it’s healthier for you, too.
On this trip in, I decided to try the Garlic Chicken (on the menu it says “Carlic Chicken”). I’m not really a big fan of spicy things, so I asked them to pretty please make it not spicy for me, which was not a problem.
I haven’t been here in a while but they used to serve this awful soup that I hated along with the lunch special (I think it was Hot & Sour, but I wasn’t really sure since one bite of it made me cringe and not want to eat the soup anymore) so I was pleasantly surprised to find they had changed to an egg drop soup. I love egg drop soup and this was a good version of it for my Americanized taste buds.
My garlic “carlic” chicken came out of the kitchen fast and furious and I dived right in. You get a good amount of food for your $3.95 and they don’t try to gyp you on that front. The garlic chicken was okay – I had never had it before so I didn’t have anything to compare it to. Though I will say that it didn’t really strike me as especially garlicky. I was expecting a garlic punchout, which I sadly did not get. But the flavor was decent enough and the vegetables and chicken were cooked right. I got bored of eating it though near the end and it’s probably not a dish I would try again simply because I’d rather have something else that I like more. The fried rice was good – not a lot of “stuff” in it, but it was good and tasted fine.
Golden State Seafood has a variety of $3.95 lunch specials and a few that cost $4.25 or $4.95, depending on what it is (mostly the specials that have seafood cost a little more, though it really depends). Dinner here is good – they have a good corn chowder type soup and I also particularly like the clams with basil sauce here. But, maybe I’ll talk about that another time on a revisit for dinner. But in the meantime, come in for cheap lunch! Woo!
Golden State Seafood
9460 Mira Mesa Blvd., Suite E
San Diego, CA 92126