So many restaurant openings, so little time. And, happy Chinese New Year!

bonchon alhambra

Alhambra: Big news, Bonchon is coming back to LA (county). Yes, that’s right, as part of the weak attempt at Koreans to battle for SGV land grab (as they’ve done from Hacienda Heights to Diamond Bar), the Koren fried chicken chain is opening next to Vietnam House. Things look pretty close to completion, and this place actually has a beer license unlike the original Bonchon. Seriously, you can’t be a chimac without beer. It’d just be “chi”, you know, how the Koreans abbreviate “chi”cken. 710 W Las Tunas Dr Ste 2

chibiscus ramen alhambra

Alhambra: Chibiscus is opening ramen / fusion shop number three inside the 99 Ranch on Main St. This is, of course, great news as the relatively new 99 Ranch is the cleanest and its deli counter sells Taiwanesey railroad biandan in actual wooden vessels. No clue how good/bad this ramen chainlet is though. 345 E Main St

qiwei kitchen alhambra

Alhambra: Qiwei Kitchen is opening to the left of Chibiscus in the same supermarket mentioned above. This is the second outlet of Qiwei (though in reality, third “attempt” since there was previously a Qiwei in San Gabriel). It’s safe to assume the food will be mostly the same, which is to say: Wuhan dry pots of sorts. I have no idea how they’ll serve dry pots from such a small space in front of the 99 Ranch, but rest assured the Chinese will make space out of nothing. 345 E Main St

urban seafood and bar

Alhambra: In February’s edition of “What was Alhambra City Council Thinking”: Urban Seafood and Bar will open at the old Tasty Dumpling House space shortly. Type 47 has already been approved which means Main Street will get yet another full bar with hard liquor (I can’t believe I’m actually complaining about this). Yup, this spot is only 0.5 mile away from Big Catch Seafood, a part of M2K’s seafood efforts which also includes EMC — ugh, so gross by the way. How will they even begin to make back their hard liquor license they purchased when there are three (or more) type 47 liquor licensed restaurants within half a mile? 621 W Main

scala alhambra

Alhambra: Scala Stonegrill, a Chinese -owned “Japanese” beef and seafood BBQ restaurant, is set to open this year? Maybe? The restaurant received a batch of stones from Australia last month and is currently hiring. 1411 Garfield #104

sanpangzi rice kitchen alhambra

Alhambra: Sanpangzi is goners after about 7 months. It’d just installed actual signage less than 6 weeks ago. It’s too bad this malatang — apparently all the rage in Sichuan last year — joint took so darn long to open (kinda like Cook’s Tortas) and the spicy Sichuan casserole never caught on (unlike Cook’s Tortas). 1402 W Valley Blvd.

pho orchid alhambra

Alhambra: New Noodle Guy has died and Pho Orchid is the new guy. By the way, that’s 7 Alhambra listings in Feb. Last month was all about San Gabriel, this month is all about Alhambra. Next month, when Ba Shu Feng and Lameizi #2 open, it’ll be all about Sichuan in San Gabriel, again. 1411 S. GARFIELD AVE 104

Pasadena: Ding’s Garden opening it’s sixth? Eighth? Bajillionth? outlet in Pasadena, across the PCC, at a building that used to be a book store, next to a Korean owned taco shop that’s supposedly turning into a ramen shop?  Ding’s Garden and Tasty Noodle House are currently in a heated battle for Chinese carb supremacy in LA. I like Ding’s Garden, a lot, thought it’s understandable Tasty Noodle House, with its Beverly Grove location, is making Westside wannabe Chinese food lovers wet themselves. h/t wandering chopsticks. 1535 E Colorado


lai's ramen monterey park

Monterey Park: Lai’s Taiwanese ramen opened in the Southern edge of the city in November. This was really curious as ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of la mian, and Taiwan is well known for beef noodles soups, a beef “ramen”, if you will, but Lai’s decided to name itself a “ramen” shop instead la mian / noodle soup. Often in Japan, ramen shops self-advertise as “Chinese” noodle restaurants. See signage at Kotyo’s Shinpuku Saitan, one of the originators of the Kyoto-style ramen. Ramen is Chinese food:

Shinpuku Saitan Kyoto


Anyway, I haven’t tried this place yet because a member of the family was obsessed with the Chinese “ramen” at MF Noodles, which, by the way, was really tremendous, possibly the “b”est ramen in all of WSGV while it existed. Now that MF Noodles is closed, we would’ve switched noodle shops except Lai’s Taiwanese ramen has flipped to Ruihua Pho after only 2 months. I don’t even know what’s going on any more. MF Noodles took forever to open, and lasted all of 5 months; Lai’s was flipped in less than 3 months. Lai’s signature dishes, per above, were Taiwanese “ramen” and soy milk. WHAT. IN. THE. ACTUAL. F**K?

See what I did there? Tied together the opening and closing of 2 Monterey Park noodle shops? Both owned by Chinese! Anyone? Hello? 2099 S Atlantic Blvd Ste A

tasty dining el monte

El Monte: the second Tasty Dining, which opened in the El Monte Holiday Inn in November, is running a peculiar promotion. Spend $300 on your dining bill and receive 1-night free stay at the Holiday Inn. I’m assuming because there is karaoke services and beer and wine, Tasty Dining is expecting some niubi groups to host a Chinese New Year party so ridiculous the partygoers all end up beyond drunk therefore opting to sleep upstairs in the Holiday Inn. Or something. Also, do you earn IHG points when you get that free room? If you spend $600 do you get 2 rooms or 2 nights? This is cray, I hope someone redeems this offer and reports back. 9920 Valley Blvd



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