It's springtime, and peas--English peas, sugar snap peas, snow peas--are fresh and being consumed at various stages of growth: as sprouts or tendrils, as shoots, as young pods and fully mature.
* Tung Lai Shun: This Chinese Islamic restaurant serves lightly sauteed pea sprouts with plump, sweet, barely braised shrimp. It's light and fresh, and an inspired combination. Snow peas are served with stir-fried beef or chicken, and with snow cabbage and bean sheets, a noodle made from tofu. Don't forget to order the sesame bread with green onion! (Dishes with peas and pea sprouts, $7.95 to $12.95.) Tung Lai Shun, 140 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel, (626) 288-6588.
* Yujean Kang's: Try fresh sugar pea sprouts sauteed with fried tofu and Japanese shaved bonito dressing. Snow peas can be ordered steamed or sauteed with ginger, rice wine and sesame oil. Seasonal fresh fish is served with snow peas, as are fresh sea scallops in a chile sauce, Mandarin style. (Dishes with peas and pea sprouts, $6.95 to $16.95.) Yujean Kang's, 67 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 585-0855; 8826 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, (310) 288-0806.
* Chu's Mandarin: Pea sprouts are not on the menu here, but you only have to ask for them. Fresh, quickly sauteed so they're just wilted, they're delicate and delicious. (Pea sprouts, $7.95.) Chu's Mandarin, 1140 W. Valley Blvd., #207, San Gabriel, (626) 572-6574.