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Run, don't walk, to PA PA WALK

ipsedixit Jul 25, 2007 12:06 PM

And, when you get there, get the Cream Soup in Fried Toast.

Why? Because it's the next evolutionary step for the famed, but tired, Clam Chowder Sourdough Bowl.

So, what's so special about this soup thing and fried toast, you ask? Well ...

The Cream Soup in Fried Toast (pretty sure that's the English translation on the menu) comes in a rectangular shaped box made from fried toast (approx. 4x4x3). It's sort of like stacking up gigantic melba toasts (but fried, not baked) to make a big jewelry box.

And the box is filled with Taiwanese "chowder" -- i.e., veggies, chicken, shrimp and ham in a cream based broth. It's the kind of soup that most HK-style cafes give you as an appetizer when you order one of their "specials".

The soup is a bit salty on its own, but mixed with the fried toast, it's like Ginger and Fred Astaire, Gilligan and the Skipper, Starsky and Hutch ....

There's other stuff on Pa Pa Walk's menu, from the ordinary and always popular Taiwanese treats (like fried oyster, sausages, oyster omelets, stinky tofu, etc.) to dumplings and xlb (which are rather pedestrian, if not down right awful) to lots and lots of dessert choices.

And as to dessert, you HAVE to get the mango shaved ice. You only live once, and you don't want die without having experienced this shaved ice. It's large enough on its own to stem global warming me thinks.

Cheers.

-----
PA PA Walk
227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

  1. Mr Taster Jun 20, 2008 01:40 PM

    Is this an LA interpretation of Tainan's "coffin bread"?

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_SumureOQ7xQ/Rzs...

    My Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) and I had some from a street vendor in Tainan and found the stuff to occupy its own little microverse of Taiwan's culinary world insofar as it's not apparently made with meat or tofu-related products, not is it sweetened up with a stew of star anise and pepper.

    Interesting that LA would have their own version of coffin bread. Now if only we actually enjoyed eating it.... :

    )

    Mr Taster

    20 Replies
    1. re: Mr Taster
      ipsedixit Jun 20, 2008 02:11 PM

      Picture no work ...

      1. re: ipsedixit
        Dommy Jun 20, 2008 02:18 PM

        *points above*

        Pei blogged about this place late last year and has a picture of the dish... I remember SWOONING over it myself... thanks for the reminder ipse!

        http://www.chezpei.com/2007/12/pa-pa-...

      2. re: Mr Taster
        Mr Taster Jun 20, 2008 04:53 PM

        Hmm, it worked for me....

        Dommy's link shows pretty much the same thing. It's Tainan coffin bread (or board). The version we ate at a market in central Tainan was pretty bad... as its the only time either my wife or I had eaten it, we've taken that experience as representational.

        Mr Taster

         
        1. re: Mr Taster
          g
          Galen Jun 20, 2008 05:18 PM

          Weather's too hot for coffin bread soup for me but i love their mango shaved ice. They have an amazing sauteed spinich and garlic. Like their porkchop rice too. Next time I wanna try their popcorn chicken rice. Didn't care for their Hainam chicken rice (I love chicken skin: No skin on the chicken).

          1. re: Galen
            Dommy Jun 21, 2008 09:04 PM

            Okay... we actually were a little crazy and went on an afternoon when San Gabriel was enjoying 110 degree heat. . Upon the discussion of the cream soup, I thought P. would love it. He goes nuts over the thinner RI style Clam Chowders. He was so excited about it that we were able to walk in and out of Mission 261 without even a nibble of their Dim Sum (aside: Hurrah! I'm having my Dim Sum Wedding! ;DDD)

            He ordered the Cream Soup and we both were pleasantly surprised. Although it wasn't nearly chowdery in taste as he would like(he actually perfers a more seafood based taste) he still loved it because it reminded him of Pot Pie Filling (One of the few things he loves more than Chowder... I took him to the Grill in the Alley for his Birthday for their famous pot pie.) The fried bread was a lot thinner than we though it would be, but really excellent. Overall, the flavors were buttery, smooth and actually rather fresh.

            We also ordered the lamb and scallion dumplings (Hey... we were left with a Dim Sum jones) and were suprised at how rustic and flavorful they were. The lamb flavor was not hidden and went perfect with the scallion. The skins were a bit rustic, but not overly heavy or doughy. I liked these better than the Lamb dumplings at China Islamic.

            And thanks to Galen's post, I ordered the Hainan Chicken (I'm actually not a huge Chicken skin fan... LOL! ). This dish has been a minor obession of mine lately, so I knew I should have known better... but I really should have known better. No way as flavorful and succulent as several of the other places I've tried it in San Gabriel. Next time I'll order something else...

            But for sure, we'll be back for the Cream Soup!!!

            Best!!

            --Dommy!

            1. re: Dommy
              Mr Taster Jun 22, 2008 12:10 AM

              Interesting.... maybe we'll have to give in and give it a shot.

              Congrats on the nuptials... my Lovely Tasting Assistant (LTA) and I were married at Mission 261 as well. Robert took care of us.

              Mr Taster

              1. re: Mr Taster
                Mattapoisett in LA Jun 22, 2008 12:32 AM

                BTW, as decent as it was it is probably not a good idea to eat it on a 109 degree day in the SGV.

                Take Care,

                - P.

                1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                  e
                  exilekiss Jun 22, 2008 07:35 AM

                  Mattapoisett,

                  Now if you could've survived eating Chinese Hot Pot in the 109 degree weather yesterday... that would've been impressive (^_~)...

                2. re: Mr Taster
                  n
                  nosh Jun 22, 2008 01:47 AM

                  I have a memory of a wonderful thread on a SGV Chinese banquet wedding that was preceded by a Langer's starter... Was that you? I recall it being more a seafood feast than dim sum...

                  1. re: nosh
                    Mattapoisett in LA Jun 22, 2008 07:59 AM

                    That was Mr. Taster which is one of the reasons Mission 261 was on the list for us. It was Plan B. Plan A it turned out could not hold the number of guests we were looking to have.

                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                      n
                      nosh Jun 22, 2008 08:19 AM

                      Congrats again. So is this an early reception with dim sum, or a Chinese feast at dinner? Or are they willing to serve dim sum for your party later in the day? Did you get your family style service? Are you doing the Langer's pastrami thing too? Finally, need someone to accompany you for the menu planning tasting meal?

                      1. re: nosh
                        Mattapoisett in LA Jun 22, 2008 08:39 AM

                        We did the Planing meal about a month ago. it will be a Dim sum luncheon. This is one of 2 "celebrations" we are having, since my mother would not be able to make it to the west coast. The Family style issue is with the East coast place and discussions are still in progress unfortunately. We'd like to finish those up so we can get the invites out soon. We're probably not doing Langers since we are having among other things Corned Beef in Massachusetts.

                        1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                          n
                          nosh Jun 22, 2008 08:47 AM

                          Just one suggestion for a dim sum banquet: Have the restaurant lay out little saucers of some dipping sauces at each table -- hot chili oil, grated ginger, oyster, hoison or even sweet 'n sour sauces (especially for kids). Personally, I really like to have some hot chili oil to spice up some of my dim sum, and I'd be reluctant to be the only one asking a waiter during the hubbub of a wedding banquet.

                          1. re: nosh
                            Mattapoisett in LA Jun 22, 2008 08:58 AM

                            Thanks! The guys at Mission were really great about even wanting to know the little details even four months before the wedding. We'll be back in September to straighten things out and with over half of the guests being Mexican, hot Chiili Oil on the is a must!

                            --Dommy!

                    2. re: nosh
                      Mr Taster Jun 22, 2008 10:29 PM

                      Yes it was my wedding with the Langer's starter. Our banquet at Mission 261 was a traditional seafood banquet, but they certainly will accommodate you with dim sum if you choose, even if the Chinese staff looks at you funny for asking for it ;)

                      Mr Taster

                  2. re: Dommy
                    g
                    Galen Jun 22, 2008 12:24 PM

                    Hi Dommy,

                    Sorry to hear about your chicken experience. Kinda dry huh? I also have an obsession with Chicken Rice. I heard Savoy is the place to go for Chicken Rice. I have to get out there to try it. The pictures of their Chicken Rice look real juicy on Yelp.

                    1. re: Galen
                      Dommy Jun 22, 2008 10:47 PM

                      Thanks! Savoy has been on the list for a while! :) And the chicken wasn't dry, it was just a bit more toothsome than I would like. I've had Hainan Chicken that was almost MELTY.

                      The other big disapointments was that the rice was just plain, no chicken fat... And the dipping sauced they gave, were pretty weak...

                      --Dommy!

                      1. re: Dommy
                        ipsedixit Jun 23, 2008 10:01 AM

                        Dommy!,

                        You should've gotten the mango shaved ice. It's like the size of my butt, maybe bigger. Would've been great when you were still in your early stages of scabbing from losing your wisdoms ...

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          Dommy Jun 23, 2008 10:48 AM

                          Oh we saw it... and we were tempted... but sadly I tried to be somewhat good and not eat sweets durring the day. But we will be back for sure to try it (With at least one more person... it's so HUGE!)

                          --Dommy!

                3. re: Mr Taster
                  ipsedixit Jun 20, 2008 10:14 PM

                  Well, the soup is really like a bastardized version of New England Clam Chowder, maybe a bit saltier.

                  It's definitely not haute cuisine.

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