Since first opening its doors in 1977, famous chefs and tastemakers have been raving about Yuet Lee’s legendary food. You can count Emeril, Anthony Bourdain, Jacque Pepin, Jackie Chan, Saveur Magazine and the New York Times among its satisfied customers.
Owner Sam Yu’s father spotted Yuet Lee’s corner location two years before they immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong. “You have to do it,” his father urged him. Sam was 18 years old at the time. Sam combined his parent’s surnames in order to name his new restaurant: Yuet after his father and Lee after his mother.
Yuet Lee’s standout dishes include Fried Salt & Pepper Squid, lightly battered squid -- think Cantonese calamari. The dish has the Cantonese culinary tradition of wok hei — “breath of the wok” -- a distinctive taste and flavor the wok imparts due to the high heat. “Our squid is the most popular,” said owner Sam Yu. “It’s because of the wok hei. There’s a particular taste and smell that you can only get from the wok.”