Eileen Eats wrote about this joint years ago, as far back as ’06, in Chinese no less. This barren strip mall store front is a few hundred yards south of Las Tunas, on the East side of the street. Blink and you’ll end up spending 200% more on lunch. OE is like Shau May of San Gabriel Blvd, except with less seats and even a lesser menu.

Don’t worry about any of that tho. Everyone stuffs their face for less than $5.00 here. That’s why Oriental Express rules the Broke Ass Dining roost. For $4.60 (including tax), you get 3 items, including whole grilled mackerel, sometimes a whole fried pomfret, or one may chose salt/pepper shrimp, cold cut wine scallion chicken, seaweed, or hell, if you please, sliced pig ear or beef stomach. There are nearly 30 items for you to chose from. Now you may retort with: “Shau May” has offered this for years! But “Shau May” doesn’t stuff the styrofoam bento to the brim with the 3 items, nor do they have as much seafood, nor, simply put, does it taste as good. From the Szechuan fried chicken, to the stewed pork spare ribs, Oriental Express just does it better. The only thing which is more appealing at Shau May is their lion’s head. Oriental Express’ lion head looks like lion gonads. Sometimes, size does matter.

Just ask all the Chinese construction/autobody shop workers who order the lunch boxes in multiples of 4s during lunch time.

A huge caveat emptor on the horrendous milk tea tho. Don’t even bother taking it home. If there’s tea to go with that milk, I ain’t never tasted it.

Oriental Express Cafe‎
158 S San Gabriel Blvd
San Gabriel, CA‎
(626) 292-1868‎
Oriental Express Cafe on Urbanspoon

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