There have been a ridiculous amount of restaurant openings and closings in SGV since December:

xiang cuisine monterey park

Monterey Park: Xiang’s Cuisine opened last week in a massive 5000-sqft space across the hallway from Ocean Star seafood. This is a Hunanese restaurant that specializes in all things spicy and does not seem to be a homegrown Chinese brand. G’luck with that giant space, folks. 141 N Atlantic

kungfu chef san gabriel

San Gabriel: While in Chengdu, some folks who dabble in the restaurant industry kept telling me Sichuan enterprises (especially Chengdu brands) will continue to aggressively open restaurants in LA despite the slowdown in the EB5 spigot. And they weren’t joking. Let’s start with “Kungfu Chef”, which grand opened on Jan 24, and is a franchise of the Sichuan brand apparently considered “Top 20 Sichuan specialty foods”. The “specialty” referenced here is charcoal fired dry pot, which obviously isn’t happening at this small space, but there are a well sorted list of known Sichuan dishes. A rather unremarkable Thai restaurant used to be here, and now the plaza is finally 100% Chinese. 227 W Valley Blvd 108B. Two more Chengdu brands follow below:

wu ming hot pot san gabriel

San Gabriel: Wu Ming hot pot, yet another rather massive Chengdu hot pot chain with 100+ branches, opened its first US outlet this month after 15 years of developing its domestic brand. Look for decor that rivals Meizhou Dongpo, and tableware that competes with Haidilao for fancifulness. The restaurant group is apparently rather proud of its LA development, which was in the works since last summer. Do not forget your Alipay account as this is not hotpot for the thrifty: expect about a $40+ per person spend level . 529 W Valley #168.

sheraton san gabriel

San Gabriel: Sheraton is open(!!!) which means the 2 associated restaurants should be open as well. EST steakhouse is indeed open, but Ba Shu Feng, another Sichuan restaurant juggernaut, is set to open shortly. The Chinese tuhao will be very glad they finally have a SPG category-5 (though priced more like a 4) to stay at with their U.S. mistress instead of the old “shithole” of a Hilton in San Gabriel. This will be the nicest of the 4 new hotels to open up in San Gabriel and Monterey Park in the next couple of years. Next up: the race between Monterey Park’s Courtyard by Marriot and San Gabriel’s Hyatt Place is on, with Hyatt Place a couple of floors taller right now. 303 W Valley

ba shu feng san gabriel

Of note, there was a Sichuan restaurant in San Jose that the Chinese characters for Ba Shu Feng as its Chinese name, but changed names recently (probably after they got a cease and desist?). Szechuan Chili is in no way related to the upcoming OG Ba Shu feng in San Gabriel, which looks to be of flagship-store quality based on the rendering. The official opening date has yet to be announced, but hotel clerk has given the time to be “about two more months”, thereby missing the crucial Chinese New  Year banquet bookings.

lao tie alhambra

Alhambra: Yu Ming is no more. Lao Tie, per its Chinese want ad, is a “music, beer” pub that specializes in shaokao, aka meats on a stick. The soft opening was last week, and the restaurant is offering 15% off until end of February through dealmoon. This opening is important because the beer license has been in place since Cha Cha Chili opened, and Cha Cha has always ordered somewhat interesting kegs. i.e. Lao Tie is the ONLY Chinese shaokao joint serving Stone IPA and other non-INBEV beers. Chinese beer heads rejoice! 640 W Valley Blvd Ste A

ah may RIP rosemead

Rosemead: Ah May was sold as well and the closure hit me pretty hard. Next up: yet another nondescript Vietnamese restaurant. This is really tragic, by the way, as the Burmese scene really struggled to stay relevant in 2017. The food was bordering on great, and was an important injection to the WSGV culinary scene. I regret not giving it the coverage it needed. Sorry Ah May. For those looking for OG Burmese food, you still have Yoma in Monterey Park, the El Monte place, and the backyard place in WSGV.  8526 W Valley #106, Rosemead

Alhambra: Honey Badger Noodles has been rebranded into California Hot Pot. Alhambra planning commission really needs to get its shit together. This is only 3 blocks away from Earth Kitchen which is struggling to gain traction despite being a great concept. Honey Badger Noodles opened well with “artisanal” house made noodles swimming in thoughtful, Asiany stock that wasn’t swamped with MSG. But last year, it deteriorated into a hot mess with sloppy noodles, bland stock and slow service. 555 West Main Street, #A

 

new century lobster rosemead

Rosemead: Chiu-Chau-y Newport Seafood/Boston Lobster knock off New Century Lobster has replaced the once lauded Shaanxi Gourmet. This is the plaza helmed by Tip Top Vietnamese sandwich up front. Those looking for killer hand made noodles along the 10 freeway can switch straight to China Tasty next to the bowling alley. 8518 Valley

San Gabriel: Amour shuttered last year and now a “Legendary KBBQ” restaurant is taking over. 250 W Valley

new happy family monterey park

Monterey Park: Happy Family apparently has a new owner. Reopening date was listed as 1/20. 171 S Atlantic

Of note: A Korean restaurant opened in Chinatown last week. Mr. Chang is really smart and has been pandering to those LA folks in love with NYC star chefs. #SoLA.

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