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Dec 12, 2006 06:40 PM

Anybody been to "Triumphal Palace" in Alhambra?

Went last week and thought the food was SUPER!! - they were aware of the recent NY times article -- the Duck and the Bok Choy soup was fantastical!! -- any chowhounds been there rercently? (ps the health rating was a B)

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    1. Yes, and I think it is delicious.
      However, many chow-types believe there is better to be had in the San Gabriel Valley at places such as Mission 261, New Concept, Mei Long Village, Tung Lai Shun, Little Sheep, Chung King, 888 and the list goes on and on.

      2 Replies
      1. re: bodie

        Well, Triumphal Palace is Cantonese, as is generally Mission 261 and New Concept. Mei Long, Chung King, and especially Little Sheep are other styles of Chinese cooking and are not comparable in an apples oranges kind of way.

        1. re: bodie

          Well, as cfylong said, you can compare Triumphal Palace with Mission 261 and New Concept (and 888, sort of), because they're all Cantonese-style places, but Mei Long Village is Shanghainese, Tung Lai Shun WAS Chinese Islamic but seems to have morphed into yet another Taiwanese place, Little Sheep is Mongolian hotpot, and Chung King is Sichuan.

        2. how much is the roast duck, and is this too much for one person? i'm not really interested in the other dishes. just the duck, the review did make it sound very good.

          is it also served at lunch or just at dinnner/

          1 Reply
          1. re: kevin

            I think half a duck is about $10, so a whole one probably less than $20. They serve it all day until they run out, I believe.

          2. Went for Christmas dinner after hearing all the praises on CH. Since there were only two of us, we only ordered four dishes, pork belly and chicken feet for appetizers, homestyle tofu hot pot and basil clams. The pork was very good. The basil clams were also good though a little on the skimpy side. I think we picked the wrong hot pot dish as it was pretty bland. My mom loved the chicken feet, I thought it was a also pretty bland. Their blend of chrysanthemum and regular tea leaves was excellent, would be terrific for dim sum I suspect. Overall, it was a good meal but nothing that blew me away. However I'm not going to pass culinary judgment based on four dishes.

            On the other hand I won't be back to find out otherwise. I had heard some murmurs of bad service and sadly, I have to agree. The waiter and busboys were fine themselves, but it's the attitude from the top down that I found pretty intolerable, especially if you're going to have higher end and prices pretensions. It started off right at the minute we walked, which was well before 6pm and the room was almost empty. I've never felt less welcomed at a restaurant. The hostess relunctantly led us to a table and barely made eye contact with us. Strange. A little later, I overhead a couple having a hard time also getting a table (room was still empty). And it wasn't a matter of reservations as the couple explained that they tried to make reservations but were told no reservations were being taken. The only thing I can figure is that TP prefers to serve larger parties to rake in the big bucks. The head waiter/manager? and waitress/manager? both looked as they just missed winning the lotto. One of them came by and took away a menu without a single word. We had to ask for the menu again (we had it sitting there b/c we were trying to decide on another appetizer or dessert). When we left, my mom talked to the hostess about the dim sum service and again, she talked to us with what I think was contempt, except she looked so dour, maybe contempt is crediting her with too much effort. She refused to make any eye or facial contact with my mom. She finally looked up for a second, only to ignore us again to pick up the phone. We left. From the time we left the table, there was never any acknowledgement from the stuff that we had paid, any thanks, that we were walking out, nothing.

            I expect service like this at a joint where I can get a $5 bowl of noodles but a restaurant trying to pass itself as a high class restaurant? I suspect TP won't much care about customers like me or my complaints as long as it has glowing reviews from the NYT and LAT. For discerning chowhounders, this is for those that want to weigh service as part of their culinary experience. For me, there are way too many options in SGV to give TP another shot.

            1. I have to agree with TD. The service there is pretty spotty. I've been there with non-Mardarin speaking parties and Mandarin-speaking groups. I haven't encountered any thing that I would interpret as rudeness, but certainly something more like indifference or perhaps incompetence.