Dining on a budget: Walnut Tree Chinese in Walnut

By Claudia S. Palma

Walnut Tree Chinese Restaurant in Walnut offers your typical Chinese dishes.

But on my recent trip to this little spot, hidden in an industrial strip off Valley Boulevard, my visit was not very typical.

With my past experiences with Chinese food establishments, I know it’s a hit and miss to get good quality food.

In Walnut Tree’s case, it was a total miss. Not even some re-cooking the next day with more spices helped these dishes much.

I knew I had to try staples like fried rice, some type of noodles and orange chicken to get a good comparison with other Chinese restaurants.

I ordered a small plain fried rice for $1, vegetable pan-fried noodles for $8.50 and orange chicken ( $5.50 for lunch and $6.95 for dinner). 

I also wanted to try some spicy dishes like garlic shrimp at $9.95 and steak with black pepper at $9.95.

The fried rice was definitely plain, no vegetables or egg, and it also had no flavor.

The pan-fried noodles were not much better. The noodles that were not in the sauce were hard and chewy. Covering them all in sauce only helped slightly.

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The orange chicken was OK – it was nothing special either. It wasn’t spicy like the menu said it would be, but the pieces of chicken were slightly bigger than other orange chicken I’ve had.

The pieces of meat in the steak with black pepper were also bigger than usual but this “spicy” dish was also dissapointing in the heat factor.

The only dish that had some heat to it was the garlic shrimp. This dish did have a nice amount of shrimp and vegetables and the spicy sauce was decent enough. 

The garlic shrimp was the only dish I finished.  

I even tried re-frying the rice, noodles and steak the next day and added some more spices, but it was no use, these dishes were hopeless.

I’ve read from other online user reviews that this location has changed owners many times, changing the quality of the food.

Maybe they should try changing their menu or chefs, not just owners.

If you want to take your chances at Walnut Tree, they offer daily lunch and dinner specials starting at $4.50.

The combos include the soup of the day, egg roll, fried wonton, and fried or steamed rice. For dinner, the combo changes the fried wonton for fried shrimp.

Walnut Tree is at 382-A S. Lemon Ave. in Walnut, (909) 595-6026. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, closed on Sunday. 

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