SGV - Good, Inexpensive Eats
Or, for that matter, good value (such as a more expensive meal that'll yield a round of leftovers).
Interested in everything from sandwich shops to noodle places to taco trucks to diners, etc., and anything that's open late is an added bonus.
Would love restaurant names and what you'd recommend trying.
(My New Year's resolution [at least the only one that I have any hope of keeping] is to eat my way through the SGV. And the limited budget just adds to the fun and adventure, right?)
Well I just wrote/blog about J&J in San Gabriel -- good Shanghainese cuisine and decent value (I ordered about $15 worth of food for myself, and had enough leftovers for two more meals!) I got the scallion pancakes, stir fried nian gao (rice cakes) & xiaolongbao (soup dumplings).
For places opened fairly late, there's been rave reviews about Macau Street in MPK (known for serving a lot of unusual grub such as frog, turtles, "chicken knees") My experience with them has been a hit and miss, though.
But you're in no shortage of good valued Asian eats in the SGV. I'm curious to hear what recs the other 'hounds come up with as well.
re: Rocket fiend
I'm not sure if Din Tai Fung qualifies as being inexpensive. I think the poster is looking more for something like Yum Cha Cafe in the San Gabriel Superstore (1635 S. San Gabriel Bl.) that has below market price dim sum that you order at the counter. Very cheap and very good. Also, virtually every non-dim sum Cantonese style restaurant in the area has lunch specials starting at around $5 that are very good. For example, just on a three block stretch of Garvey Ave. in Monterey Park you have Lucky City, New Hope City, Seafood Village and NYC Seafood with these specials.
Banh Mi Che Cali, next to 888 Seafood at Valley and Delta in Rosemead. $3 gets you 3 Vietnamese sandwiches. Faaaaaaaaaaaantastic. Another $1.25 gets you ca phe sua da (Viet iced coffee), and desserts (che) are $1.
El Taco Nazo, which has another name now (sorry!) at 9611 E. Garvey in South El Monte, just east of Rosemead a couple of blocks, has a fantastic fish taco combo -- 2 insanely tasty fish tacos, rice, beans, hot peppers, and a drink for $5.
In the same plaza is My Hanh restaurant, where $5 gets you the most perfect bowl of bun thit nuong (cold rice vermicelli, warm grilled meat, and vegetables both fresh and pickled) that ever was. Add chilies in oil to it to take it right over the top.
Finally (and there's more, I'm just in a hurry) there's the Dim Sum Express stand on the east side of Garfield two blocks south of the 10. It's takeaway only but the dim sum is extremely tasty and very good... and they sell by the piece, so you can get one of each kind instead of a "dish" of three or four.