Archive for the 'Chinese' Category

Boston Lobster – San Gabriel

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, than the folks at Newport Tan Cang Seafood must be absolutely tickled about the opening of Boston Lobster.

While the restaurant’s name might lead one to expect lobster rolls served on split top buns and towers of gloriously fresh oysters, the focus here is seafood prepared with a Vietnamese-Chinese bent. From what I hear through the grapevine, a former cook from Newport opened the restaurant, hence the similar bill of fare.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

The Astronomer and I, along with the Astronomer’s fabulous sister Rosalind, dropped in for dinner on a recent Friday night. While the wait at nearby Newport would’ve been painfully long, we were seated straightaway at the peak of dinner hour. Score one for Boston Lobster.

Boston Lobster - San Gabriel

To compare apples to apples, we selected a slew of dishes that we would normally order at Newport. The clams with Thai basil ($11.95) were just as good as their Newport counterparts, brilliantly briny and fragrant from plenty of fresh herbs and garlic.

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Lu’s Garden – San Gabriel

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

With the holidays officially in full swing, chances are you’re going to need a breather from stuffing your face. Rather than skip a meal, or even worse, embark on a juice cleanse, I’d recommend heading to Lu’s Garden for a virtuous bowl of porridge with all the fixings. You’ll feel positively rejuvenated afterward. Promise.

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

A colleague introduced me to Lu’s a few weeks back for lunch; she’s been dining here for as long as she can remember. I enjoyed our outing so much that I returned the following day with my girl Shay in tow.

For first-timers, it can be a little confusing how the place works. Upon entering the restaurant, you’ll be greeted by a tremendous steam table brimming with all manner of vegetables and proteins.

Lu's Garden - San Gabriel

Select three items from the steam table for $8.25 or four items for $10.75. The cost is the same for vegetarian and meaty dishes.  At dinner, diners are required to order a la carte from a menu.

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Szechuan Impression – Alhambra

Szechuan Impression - Alhambra

There’s a lot to love about my new job. Somewhere near the top of the list, along with benefits and stock options, is its location in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley—home to some of the finest Chinese food outside of China. Every lunchtime excursion is an event, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Szechuan Impression - Alhambra

Alhambra’s Szechuan Impression has been the talk of the foodie town these past couple of weeks. Upon reading Tony’s initial “Dining On A Dime” write up on Eater, followed by Jonathan’s “First Look” for the Times, the restaurant quickly shot up my To Eat List. As you know, I simply adore Sichuanese cuisine.

Szechuan Impression - Alhambra

Since Szechuan Impression’s dinnertime waits are rivaling those of rival Sichuan restaurant Chengdu Taste, I took advantage of my new employment situation and made my way here for lunch… on back-to-back days!  On both visits I was able to snag a table for two without any trouble.

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China Poblano – Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan)

China Poblano - Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan)

The Astronomer was itchin’ to hit the road following our pizza and pasta party at FIVE50, but I wasn’t quite ready to head home just yet.

Chef José Andrés’ China Poblano has been on my radar since it debuted in 2010, but lukewarm reports kept my interest in check over the years. However, the allure of noodles and tacos available under one glitzy roof proved too intriguing to resist on this trip. And thus, a second lunch was born.

China Poblano - Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan)

“The restaurant’s name is a play on China Poblana, the legendary slave woman of Asian descent whose arrival in Mexico is supposed to have inspired the stereotypical ‘china dress‘ of the 19th century,” according to New York Times write up. “But in Mr. Andrés’s universe, the second ‘a’ in poblana has segued to an ‘o’ in homage to the mild Puebla chili pepper.”

In the same article, Chef Andrés was quoted saying, “I am afraid of Chinese cooking, doing it authentically, that is… So before I did a full Chinese restaurant, I thought I’d do one that is half and half.”

China Poblano - Las Vegas (The Cosmopolitan)

Upon entering the restaurant, The Astronomer and I grabbed two seats on the Chinese side, a “steamer-rich kitchen” where cooks were filling and folding dumplings. Across the room was a separate squad making fresh tortillas on griddles.

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