So many restaurant openings (and closings), so little time:
1) Rowland Heights:
Taiwan SAN BA Taiwan Sausage Bei (Taiwan sausage “uncle”) food truck has quietly started opertaions on a street next to a busy Rowland Heights strip mall. That said strip mall happens to contain a Taiwanese powerhouse of a restaurant (Sinbala) seems of little matter to the TWSB team. I know cheap ethnic food is racist, dehumanizing, blah blah blah, but this place is killer: they’re quick, they don’t pour sriracha if you don’t want them to, and they offer 東泉 hot sauce from Taichung city, which is, to many Taiwanese, the only “right” sweet chili sauce kinda like Hellmanns is the only mayo. The structure of the menu is simple: you get a carb main (Taiwanese stewed pork rice, or stir fried rice stick, or noodles; I only mess with the rice out of the 3), then you pick 2 “sides” (tian bu la, Taiwanese sausage, etc.) to accompany the carb main. Add a drink for a bento to-go meal of giant calorific proportions for only $7 total.
Right now, the team is kicking it in middle of Taiwan, apparently singing and eating to their hearts content, so they won’t be reopening on March
6 7. In the meantime, folks who want to follow their adventure (or email them Q&A for pieces or whatnot), can hit them up on fb. The youngish team is ridiculously social media savvy, and answers both iM and fb messages within minutes (assuming they’re on the same time zone and not napping). 1580 Jellick Ave
2) Alhambra: Per the chef, Ritters SKC is targeting a Mid-March opening; they are currently still in hiring and training mode.
3) San Gabriel: Dong Lai Shun, a branch of Beijing’s mutton Islamic hot pot is set to open at the first floor of a mixed-use building. The first branch in America, opened by a fanchisee, is getting rather horrible Yelp reviews. 402 S San Gabriel
4) Rosemead: Ah May Burmese restaurant lands with a bang in February, immediately mired in parking woes. The Burmese community knows Ah-May is the long standing backyard pop-up which ran for almost a decade in San Gabriel City. It decided to go legit this year, and picked the most ridiculous parking lot (triangular, with only 1 direct in n out route) which also has to serve the insanely popular Bay Island Cantonese cafe, Sam Woo Cantonese BBQ, as well as the only branch of Chengdu Taste between Hacienda Heights and Alhambra. The current prices at Ah May are way too low, with the kitchen unable to keep up production and staff unable to meet service demands (it’s previous backyard location held 3-ish tables, par for the SGV Burmese pop-up genre). Including Daw Yee and Yoma, West SGV now has a whopping 4 Burmese restaurant, not including the final surviving weekend pop-up. 8526 Valley Blvd Ste 106
5) Hacienda Heights: Northern Cuisine, a Chinese restaurant doing Beijing inspired dishes, opened in January. At $55, it is also serving the most expensive Peking Duck outside of WP24 at the moment. The squirrel fish seems to be a hit, and there’s a beer and wine license. Can’t wait to try this out. 17515 Colima Rd Ste A
6) Temple City: HJH Simmer Huang is finally open! Second branch of Chinese outfit doing giant Chinese casseroles on (inductive) flames. This seems to be the final piece to the Camelia Square puzzle as Bistro Na’s also online now. Simmer Huang is really meant for sharing, as the price for the base stock starts at $10 with additional add-ins ranging from $8-12. Signature pots start at $35 and goes up to $55. It’s exciting to see a Chinese franchise doing something other than Sichuan food, and equally exciting to see the first branch opening in East SGV and still able to successfully negotiate the stingier West SGV crowd. 5728 Rosemead Blvd Unit 107
7) Alhambra: Baja Cali Fish & Tacos gets a new gas main, but is waiting for health inspection. SO CLOSE! 2001 W Valley Blvd Alhambra
8) El Monte: Pho Ly Thuong Kiet, which was obliterated by last year’s huge fire in Monterey Park, has reopened as Pho LTK in El Monte. Write off 2016 losses, cash out on insurance policy; good for you guys! It’s located next to Yang’s Dining Room, which during last visit was closed due to “patio remodeling”. Maybe? 10512 Lower Azusa Rd
9) San Gabriel: China Taste, which is not the same as China Tasty in Alhambra, as opened at the old Dezhuan Hot Pot place, which 2 years ago was 2188 Spicy Shrimp. I think. I couldn’t be bothered to even pull into the parking lot to take a picture. That said, the Anhui menu seems interesting enough, and is the only one of the few restaurant this year to not focus spicy food. 529 E Valley Blvd #108A
10) Baldwin Park: Jumpton 1 Ton (get it? GET IT?) quietly opened 3 months ago on the most random corner of Baldwin Park, down the street from Meizhou Express (which, btw, was so slammed recently it couldn’t get 2 simple bowls of Sichuan noodles out in 30 minutes). This place is so hipster chic I almost fainted when I crossed the threshold. Verdict: great, great fried wontons, not at all like your disgusting cab rangoon. Great, thoughtful fillings and super charming owners. Passion fruit tea also not gross. 4021 Maine Ave
11) Alhambra: Dickey’s, a Texas BBQ franchise, is opening at the extremely busy corner of Garfield and Main. While La Barbecue is coming to LA sometime in the future , Belles Belles has been the best BBQ restaurant (with brisket) to open so far this year. Dickey’s, on the other hand, is really hit and miss from location to location. With often teens manning the cutting board, Dickey’s also suffers from typical franchise woes. Let us see how this actually goes. 8 West Main Street.
12) Temple City: House of Mandarin Noodle (which is not the same Mandarin Noodle House) has has been flipped into a Sichuanese restaurant. The English name is the same, but the menu and ownership are completely different. The loud exterior banner screams: We are now spicy, come by! 4819A Temple City Blvd
13) Monterey Park: H&H has closed as of early February. I literally do not know how they stayed open for the last six freaking years. Hopefully someone got his/her greencard out of losing $500K. 429 W Garvey Ave
14) Alhambra: The Poke Joint just opened on Main St on Presidents Day(?)ish. That’s great. 6 W Main, Alhambra
15) Alhambra: one of the oldest Boiling Crab, on Valley Blvd, has closed. Obviously the location is so prime, but the interior needs complete rehab. With the Rosemead location in full swing and at least twice as large, it seems the corporation decided to give up on the older and grimey location. 742 W Valley.
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