roaster family

The mini Taiwanese coffee chain Roaster Family grand opened May 20th.

First branch was opened in Arcadia in Spring of ’09, and the Alhambra branch promises more of the same: syphoned coffee with big cushy seats, and sub $8 Taiwanese fare all served with coffee and dessert. Some reviews of their Taiwan branches can be found below:

In which the Taiwan blogger says the coffee drink was up to standards

In which the Taiwan blogger says drinking coffee after chowing on eggs wrapped onion pancake is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

What should interest everyone is the big ass syphon column they use ala Funnel Mill. Coffee brewing is painfully slow (and priced accordingly) due to said apparatus. But the use of beans roasted 7000 miles away seem to negate any positive effects of the syphon column. Caveat emptor here, though the shop is very clean, quaint, with free hifi, and great hours (until 11pm daily).

Roaster Family double espressoRoaster Family syphon

Menu attached

Roaster Family
521 W Main Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
T: 626-282-8879
F: 626-282-0618


This is relatively a limited time offer, but it’s a bit of a gem.

Noodle Island

After rousing praise by LA Weekly Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold a year and a half ago, The Noodle Island chainlet has since crashed and burned. Fall of ’09 brought about a new Noodle Island shop on Valley Blvd in San Gabriel. Spring of ’10 saw the move of said Valley Blvd store down to Monterey Park. Less than 3 months later, the 3rd branch of Noodle Island was promptly replaced by a indescript Hong Kong style cafe. Come May, the original HQ started running $2.99 specials, and news of Rowland Height closure, nay, substitute, spread.

Noodle Island Pork Chop Rice

All I wanted though, is a plate of Taiwanese style comfort food simply called: fried pork chop rice. Here, it’s a strips of chopped thinly-pounded rice set aside a bowl of rice. Some veggies dot the plate, but it’s really not the point. Noodle Island doesn’t coat their pork chop with sweet potato flour ala Old Country Cafe (still the Taiwanesey fave), but it’s a easy to love this dish at $3.

Also available on the $3 menu are chicken noodle soup and a dime worth of dumplings. Both are substantive but trivial. Of course, if you want, there is always the glorious Hainan chicken over rice, cooked just enough to satisfy Department of Public Health’s guidelines.

Noodle Island
800 W Las Tunas Dr Ste 300
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Phone: (626) 293-8839
Noodle Island in Los Angeles on Fooddigger



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  • At least the prices are still substantially cheaper than Funnel Mill? That type of ambiance is a nice change from the usual asian cafe styles, too. Wondering if I can bring my own roasted beans from Intelli and have them syphon it …

    I’m definitely enticed by the $2.99 pork chop rice.
    .-= gourmetpigs´s last blog ..Preview: Upcoming Nameless Restaurant in Downtown LA =-.

  • $3?! That alone is yummy.
    .-= weezermonkey´s last blog ..Quick and Quite Good: Quan Hy =-.

  • I am so going to Rooster! How does it compare with 85 C Salted Coffee? 🙂

  • Ooops I mean Roaster. I got a little too excited and thought the place was named ‘Rooster” which would make an appropriate name for a coffee house.

  • coffee in the sgv? sounds like a good spot to hit the books.

  • amy

    $3? gotta love cheap TW eats!!! looks tasty.
    .-= amy´s last blog ..Drago Centro =-.

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