I’m surprised Uncle Yu’s Indian Restaurant has retained its name for so long. But part of its charm is its political incorrectness. Everything about it screams “this is so wrong.” The Native-American bust on the rear wall, the scantily clad women with feathers in their hair, Uncle Yu’s creepy (but endearing?) smile.
Prior research and literature on the restaurant did it no justice. I was imagining a dirty ol’ dive bar atmosphere: cramped quarters, sketchy atmosphere, and waitresses with horribly broken English.
I’m happy to report: none of the above.
Uncle Yu’s is surprisingly family-friendly and all things considering, the decor is rather tasteful. It’s cabin lodge meets Native-American hut. It’s clean, thick, dark wooden tables and flat screen plasmas on the wall for the sports fans (and there are a lot of them in the SGV). Bring your boyfriend here during game time and his eyes will light up at the sight of the hi-def television screens on the walls. Buy him a large Taiwan beer and I assure you he will stop complaining that you dragged him out for a night out in the town.
Now, service was annoyingly slow. And the menus sucked. There were too many selections and unless you were familiar with Taiwanese staples, the translations were awkward. In fact, they were so spot on, they were confusing. Odorous tofu? Salted egg with loofah? A couple of photographs on the menus would’ve remedied the minor annoyance. (Note that the waitresses do carry iPad with photographs of each dish)
As for the food, know what to order, and be mindful. Don’t do what we did and pile on the meats (unless your into that stuff).
Solid selections: the deep-fried “odorous” tofu ($8.39), three-flavor chicken ($10.90), fried mushroom ($8.99), grilled beef and lamb kabobs ($3.50), and the grilled squid ($8.30). The stinky tofu wasn’t stinky at all. For a while, we were debating whether or not they got our order wrong. Even the most Americanized member of our party couldn’t tell the tofu was stinky.
But the chicken, mushroom and skewers were amazing. Perfectly cooked and goes great with the tub of white rice ($2.50). I would go back just for those selections. Uncle Yu’s is a great place for a group of friends and I can see it becoming a regular hangout place amongst my circle. Solid Taiwanese food.
Major regrets: stir fried pork intestines, pictured above, ($10.99) and the horrible salted egg with loofah, pictured below ($10.99). Sadly, our most expensive dishes of the bunch.
633 S San Gabriel Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776