At M.B. Post in Manhattan Beach, chef David LeFevre and team members regularly showcase creative Asian dishes. In the past, I’ve enjoyed house-made pork and shrimp dumplings and Vietnamese caramelized pork jowl. Earlier in May, they featured Song Family kimchi fried rice, named for a chef’s recipe. Now, the former post office is producing what may be their best Asian dish yet: General Tso’s Sweetbreads.
General Tso’s, the popular Chinese-American dish that first debuted in Taipei and inspired a documentary, The Search For General Tso, typically stars chicken. Versions vary, but you’ll often find battered and fried chunks of dark meat swimming in sweet soy-based sauce with a hint of heat and the frequent addition of broccoli. LeFevre and his crew applied the same principles to veal sweetbreads, but dialed back the breading and increased crispness.
General Tso’s Sweetbreads ($14) features tender chunks of thymus gland that are blanched in milk before getting fried. Their sauce is crafted by sweating garlic, ginger, and chile flake in sesame oil. M.B. Post chefs add brown sugar to spur caramelization and deglaze with rice wine vinegar and orange juice. Lacquered sweetbreads arrive in a bowl of bamboo rice with several welcome additions arrayed on top: flowering broccoli, red Fresno chilies, scallions, peanuts, orange zest, and toasted sesame seeds. This would make a great one dish meal, but M.B. Post serves too many other tantalizing menu items to stay so limited.