Passing by Woodlake Plaza on Turner Road, one is likely to miss it. Huddled among the various other businesses in the business complex is a jewel of a Chinese restaurant elegantly named Jade Fountain.
But, enough people have noticed the place since Mother's Day of 1991 to stop by … and keep coming back.
In October the business was sold to Jessica Yee, who bought it from Kitty Auyeung. Auyeung stayed on to manage the business and take on the role of hostess.
One of the first things to stand out upon entering Jade Fountain is Auyeung's. The aromas of fried rice and other dishes roam about the room, but they don't overwhelm the customer.
Adorning the walls are pieces of Chinese artwork. Hanging from the ceiling are large red and gold paper lanterns. A fountain on the main counter trickles, calming the hungry patron.
Dining out is a sensory experience, and the folks at Jade Fountain have all the bases covered.
The establishment is roomy and seating is plenty while not being cramped. The menu, though packed with everything a Chinese food lover could want, is not cluttered and is easy to read.
Items are broken down by category - from combination plates and dinners to meats and low cal dishes - and hot and spicy dishes are denoted with a chili pepper graphic. Combination plates range from $6 to $7.25 and include items like succulent shrimp chow and almond chicken.
Deluxe dinners start at $11.75 and serve anywhere from two to six people. Pot stickers, won ton soup and Mongolian beef are among the dishes that come with the deluxe dinners.
Lunchtime patrons don't have to worry about slow service, as meals are served up quickly and piping hot.
Those who love soup will have to try the hot and sour soup. The blend of spiciness and creamy texture are sure to delight. Soups come in a huge variety and cost anywhere from $3.95 to $7.50.
If the chance is available, one should try the crab won ton, a pastry stuffed with crab and cream cheese and deep fried. As decadent as it is delicious, it's worth it to savor every bite. $5.50.
Restaurant at a glanceWhat: Jade Fountain
Where: 2401 W. Turner Road, Lodi.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Prices: $4.50 through $30.
Fried rice of any variety (beef, pork or chicken) is a fantastic side dish to any plate offered by Jade Fountain. The deep rich flavor lingers in the mouth and leaves the diner wanting more. Rice dishes (steamed and fried) range from $1.25 to $7.
Those looking for something different in their Chinese cuisine need look no further. Jade Fountain strives to give their customers a unique experience.
"Our sauce is what makes it different," Yee said in a phone interview. "The orders are fresh; cooked the right way. You walk in, and we cook it." She also said their food contains no MSG, and customers can make special requests.
Yee knows the customers will be satisfied with the food. After all, her husband, Kenvey Yee - an expert Chinese food chef of 18 years - has been the cook at Jade Fountain for the past six.