Archive for the 'Chinese' Category

Happy Tasty – San Gabriel

Happy Tasty - San Gabriel

Do you remember those Hair Club for Men commercials from the 80s? The ones that end with: “I’m not just the president of Hair Club for Men, I’m also a client.” Well, I’m not just a Scout for the Los Angeles Times, I’m also a Scout Report reader. A powerful testimonial and roaring endorsement all at once, right?

Happy Tasty - San Gabriel

After reading Louise’s Scout Report for Happy Tasty, I immediately made a date with The Astronomer and Mike, our friend and constant Chinese food companion, to check it out.

Wuhan cuisine, which is influenced by the spicy traditions of neighboring Sichuan and Hunan, is a region we’ve yet to experience on our San Gabriel Valley explorations.

Happy Tasty - San Gabriel

I was most excited to try the quintessential Wuhan-style dry hot pot. Happy Tasty refers to it as a “Spicy Hot Pot” on their menu. Every pot includes potatoes, cauliflower, celery, tiger lily buds, black fungus, and lotus root ($8.99) and a choice of two proteins. We selected lamb ($7.99) and beef tripe ($7.99).

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Kang Kang Food Court – Alhambra

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

Lucky Peach recently launched an online edition, and I’ve been following along as the merry band of writers explores essential topics in food, like dumplings, pizza, and obsession. It’s good reading, all of it.

A charming piece by Chef David Chang (See: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssam Bar, Momofuku Milk Bar) led me to Alhambra’s Kang Kang Food Court. An expertly curated one stop shop for China’s greatest culinary hits? Yes, please.

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

While neighboring Chinese restaurants specialize in region-specific cooking, the thrill of Kang Kang lies in the diversity of its offerings. In addition to breakfast staples like soy milk and deep-fried crullers, the expansive menu includes “Taiwanese Food,” “Food in Northern China,” “Food in Eastern China,” and “Food in Southern China, Hong Kong & Asia.”

Per Mr. Chang’s recommendations, my lunch date and I stuck to Taiwanese and Shanghainese dishes on this visit.

Kang Kang Food Court - Alhambra

After placing our orders at the front counter, we grabbed a seat in the large dining room. Soon enough, food began to hit the table…

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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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