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Shanghai Pine Garden, Balboa Island, Newport Beach, CA



Balboa Island, Calif.-- Shanghai Pine Garden Restaurant, 300 Marine Ave., Balboa, California. The bright building on the corner of Marine Avenue across from Starbucks is one of the best, reliable friends diners can have when seeking tasty Chinese food. We eat at the likes of Gong's Chinese in Huntington Beach, and sometimes need a break at the Balboa restaurant that offers inside sit down dining overlooking the busy shopping district, or you can take-out like the locals do.


Shanghai Pine Garden's menu is a delight, as are the fresh ingredients. Chinese pea pods are hard to come by in meals for under $10 when they sell for $3 / pound or higher. But the sweet, crispy pea pods are worth the trip alone. Braising your green beans is also an art I've not accomplished, but they sure know how to do it right at Shanghai Pine.


The luncheon menu is my favorite because there's a long list of specials you can purchase for under $8. It gives me time to digest a meal while walking my route back to the Balboa Ferry to the Balboa Peninsula where I usually park my car.


The garlic chicken is slightly sweet with those tiny, fine bits of garlic you only notice on occasion. Light on the oils, fresh on ingredients, generous on portions, and decent on prices make this a shopper's delight...but I recommend you go to the island just to sample the food.



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