Archive for the 'Monterey Park' Category

Daw Yee Myanmar Café – Monterey Park

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

Instead of grilling in the backyard or heading to the beach to celebrate the Fourth of July, The Astronomer and I spent our random Thursday off from work lunching at Monterey Park’s Daw Yee Myanmar Café. It somehow seemed fitting to celebrate America’s birthday over Burmese food. Mmm, freedom.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

We first encountered Daw Yee Myanmar Café’s impressive cooking at the 626 Night Market and were stoked to finally visit the brick and mortar location. The restaurant, which is named after its owner Daw Yee, specializes in homey Burmese fare served in a bright and modern setting.

To start, we shared the lahpet thohk ($6.95). The beautifully plated Tea Leaf Salad was comprised of sesame seeds, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chilies, crispy lentils, fried garlic, roasted peanuts, and of course, fermented tea leaves.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

The salad was a veritable cornucopia of textures, flavors, and freshness. The fermented tea leaves brought a distinct funkiness to the table, while the legumes offered a punch of crunch. The salad was a touch too stinky for The Astronomer, but I wholly embraced it.

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{swoon} Peking Duck at Duck House

Duck House - Monterey Park

Before dropping in at Duck House for lunch or dinner, it is essential to reserve your bird at least an hour beforehand. While this might seem like a fussy thing to do in a thoroughly unfussy neighborhood, it really is very little work to guarantee a pristine Peking-style duck served in a timely fashion. Life offers few promises as satisfying as this one.

If you’ve done your proper due diligence, a generous platter framed with crispy skin shards surrounding a heap of shredded duck meat will arrive at the table soon after you are seated.

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Hot Pot, Hot Pot – Monterey Park

Hot Pot, Hot Pot - Monterey Park

While it’s usually best to leave the cooking to trained professionals when dining out, Mongolian hot pot is so drop dead easy that even a careful, chopstick-wielding toddler could handle it. Hot Pot, Hot Pot, a brightly-lit and well-serviced communal soup hall in Monterey Park, is the kind of place that’s perfect for small and large groups in the mood for a tummy-warming and interactive feast. The Astronomer and I headed here late one Friday night with our friends Diep and Alice.

Hot Pot, Hot Pot - Monterey Park

We began by selecting a broth. Hot Pot, Hot Pot offers three bases including a mildly flavored “House Original,” a sweat-inducing “House Spicy,” and a medicinally tinged “Rejuvenation Broth.”

We chose the “Half & Half” option that allowed for two different varieties—on the left is the “House Spicy” dialed up to a seven and on the right is the “House Original.”

Hot Pot, Hot Pot - Monterey Park

Once the broths were settled on, we were provided with a form listing all manner of proteins, vegetables, dumplings, and noodles to jazz up our hot pots. We may have gone overboard with over a dozen tick marks, but it was all in the name of research (and gluttony). We chose a mix of hearty ingredients that were suited for the spicy broth, as well as more delicate ones that benefited from the milder broth.

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{swoon} Fan Tuan at Huge Tree Pastry

Huge Tree Pastry - Monterey Park

There are a handful of restaurants serving traditional Taiwanese breakfast in the San Gabriel Valley, but my favorite is the one operated by the Liu family in Monterey Park. Tucked behind a grocery store on the far end of a strip mall, Huge Tree Pastry is the place to get your you tiao on. Deep-fried to order, these twisted, golden crullers shatter at first bite and are just as good dipped in a bowl of steaming soy milk. Scallion pancakes, which come with or without an eggy coating, benefit from a drizzle of soy sauce. Chili oil is nowhere to be found here.

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