Archive for the 'San Gabriel' 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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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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{swoon} Vietnamese Chè at Bambu

Chè sương sáo hạt lựu - Bambu - San Gabriel

I admit that chè, a genre of Vietnamese desserts that brings together an unlikely collection of ingredients including legumes, jellies, tapioca, and coconut milk, isn’t for everyone, but if you believe in the power of seaweed in your sweets, you’re really gonna dig Bambu.

After getting a tip from my food-savvy NorCal cousins (Thanks, M&M!) about this San Jose-based chain, I had to check it out for myself. Chè for the people? Sign me up!

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