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Customer lunch in Alhambra tomorrow-one vegetarian

I'm taking a couple of customers out to lunch tomorrow in Alhambra and I know there's good food up there so what can you recommend? The meeting location is on Mission at Fremont.

Can anyone help me pare down the copious references posted on chowhound for San Gabriel Valley eats?

One customer is a vegetarian so there must be good no-meat options. Time will be a consideration as they won't have hours and hours but I'd prefer to sit down and talk.

Triumphal Palace?

I've seen some references to bahn mi places (which I've never tried and would like to) but I know they are generally pretty inexpensive and I don't want to come off as cheap. Plus I don't know if there such a thing as vegetarian bahn mi.

I've found some chowhound sites that talk about good Cantonese, Muslim, Sichuan, etc. but I don't really know the differences between them and I don't know the area well enough to know how much time it would take to drive from Alhambra to San Gabriel or Rosemead, Temple City, etc.

There are so many. I'd like to find a place that we won't have to wait, is obviously open for lunch, can be downscale but not a dump, no slurping so no pho. Speaks some english so my customers aren't too intimidated.

I really appreciate your help. My customers have come to rely on me for good food.

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  1. Triumphal Palace is a good choice, esp. with dim sum there will be vegetarian options available.

    Also, since you are close to South Pasadena (Mission/Fremont), might want to consider Briganti (www.brigantirestaurant.com ) and Mike and Anne's (www.mikeandannes.com ). The former is Italian, the latter is updated American. Both very good and offer a nice, relaxing atmosphere.

    1. Here I am replying to my own post. Firstly, THANK YOU for your quick reply ipsedixit. You must have been waiting for my post:-)

      Secondly, as soon as I posted it I thought about Mission 261. It's on Mission in SG. Kinda nice place I think.

      I'm going to look at the Briganti and Mike and Anne's websites right now. Maybe I'll just print off some info and give my customers a choice. That way if they don't like it they can't balme me!

      1. Happy Family in nearby Monterey Park is good for tasty vegetarian Chinese and mock meats. Try their green beans (in XO if available), mushrooms, "chicken," etc. Reasonable and I think they also have lunch specials

        1. I haven't been to Green Papaya in Alhambra yet, but it has had some good comments on this board. Looks as though there are a number of vegetarian choices. Here is the website:

          1 Reply
          1. re: Babette

            Green Papaya is great for Thai. I like their pad kee mao (spicy noodles)

          2. These all look great, I'm sure one of them will do. Thank you.

            1. I'm assuming you don't want to go to an all-veg place, but I put a list of most of hte ones I know about at:

              Don't know if it's too far east, but Mei Long has some good veg stuff, including some veg dumplings that are pretty good. I recommend the rice cakes (rice ovals) (don't know the Chinese name) and the eggplant... make sure you make it understood that you want it 100% vegetarian, though.

              1. My customers chose Green Papaya. We had 2 yellow curry dishes, one with tofu, one with chicken, beef pad se ew, green papaya salad, and their appetizer assortment tray. Everything was pretty decent. Nice portion size for the price. The place was more pedestrian looking than their website would suggest but certainly not atypical for a Thai place. I think they'd go back as it was convenient to their offices and the food and service were good enough.

                Thanks for the receommendations all.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Pate

                  Thanks for reporting back--doesn't sound as though you were blown away but it's good that your customers were satisfied--would you go back?

                  1. re: Babette

                    Yeah, I'd go back if I was in the area. I wouldn't make a special drive to go there but if I was hungry for Thai and in town I'd drop by.

                  2. re: Pate

                    I don't know if you're going to go with a vegetarian again, but I would just urge caution - make sure you check that there is no fish sauce / oyster sauce / shrimp paste etc. in whatever you order. Most Thai curries have some sort of fish sauce or shrimp paste in the curry, and Thai restaurants often have "vegetarian" selections, usually used in a way different from the way we mean it.

                    Curry pastes are almost pre-made, so curries are usually hard to do without fish sauce unless the curry paste really doesn't contain it. A lot of places also premix the sauce for stuff like Pad Thai (which often contains shrimp paste).