REVIEW w/pics: President Square Food Court
- pleasurepalate Oct 4, 2007 11:17 PM
Do you ever have that hankering for a Chinese meal, but for the life of you, you have no idea what it is exactly you're craving? Maybe, pork stuffed bitter melon is tugging at your hunger pangs. Perhaps, you're hot for black mushroom and bamboo noodle soup? Whatever it is, you just know you want it.
Well, if you happen to be in the Eastside, I suggest you check out the President Square Food Court in Arcadia. Inside, there are 7 different food stalls to choose from. If all you're looking for is dessert, check out the beautiful tasty creations of RJ Patisserie. If you're on a mission in search of tea and/or boba drinks, be sure to visit Cloud 9 Station, whose owner was in an LA times article, proudly displayed at the counter.
But if that hungry beast inside of you can't wait any longer, get on over and take a look at the scrumptious offerings of the other 5 food stands, which are all Chinese, except for one stall that is Vietnamese. All of them have hot food all ready to go into the combination of your choice - a combo that will usually include rice and/or soup. However, the stalls also offer menu options that are cooked to order.
The photos, as seen in the link below, show two visits I made there. For the first visit, I had lunch at Zilin Noodle House where I ordered a black mushroom and bamboo noodle soup and what was referred to on the menu as a Leek Vege Box. Both were cooked to order and in fact, I had actually had to wait 20 minutes for the leek dish.
I'm still dreaming about that soup. The mushrooms were thick and meaty. They were generous with their bamboo and while the noodles could have been firmer, that was my only minor complaint about that soup. As for the leek dish, it was like an omelet, but firmer. The filling consisted of leeks, glass noodles, tofu and bean sprouts. I really wanted to like it, but it was greasy plus even the use of the spicy red sauce didn't really disguise its strange after taste.
My second meal was at Hsin Hsin Shau May Deli where I ordered a 3 combo plate that comes with soup and rice. I have to tell you that there were so many choices of hot items that I got almost dizzy. I had a hard time deciding. I finally settled on the tofu skin wrapped pork, the fried tofu and a green veggie.
The soup was a simple cabbage soup - nothing too exciting there. I tried the tofu skin wrapped pork first. The pork was more like a "meatloaf" or "meatball" and it was delicious. I found the texture to be light and the meat to be moist. The fried tofu was cooked in a soup of onions, bell peppers and possible with a little bit of chili because it had a nice kick to it. One thing I found interesting was that the vegetables were served cold, which I didn't find too appealing.
On my way out, I couldn't resist going to Full House BBQ and after seeing that whole roasted pig hanging in the display with its deliciously crispy skin, I ordered some to take home. Even hours later, that skin was still crispy and how can you go wrong with roasted pork? Yum!
What I really like about this food court is that you're not going to get Americanized Chinese dishes like you would get from a Panda Express where the food tends to be drowned in overly sweet sauces. Instead, when you walk inside the President Square Food Court, you'll see a lot of Asian customers which bodes well for the food that's sold there.
Still looking for other options? Next door, you can find the Full House Seafood Restaurant and a Ten Ren's Tea Time House. On the other side of this food court, there's a large 99 Ranch Market that also has a section where you can order hot food to go.
So if you're not exactly sure what you want for lunch or dinner, than stop by the President Square Food Court and maybe, you'll just find something that will hit the spot.
To see pics, go to:
President Square Food Court
next door to 99 Ranch Market and Full House
1220 S Golden West Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91066
Southwest corner of Garvey and San Gabriel. Don't know if it carries the 'President' moniker per se (doubtful), but it is definitely a 99 Ranch indoor food court located within a mini mall.
Vendors in the mall tend to be seasonal or at least fly-by-night. Clothes, kitchen supplies, etc. Some run 'sunglasses' barrows in the main hall, selling funeral/New Year/wedding junk (joss sticks, paper money, scrolls). One shop sells legit region 3/6 DVDs. They had the Golden Curse movie a few months before its US premiere.
As for the court: dumpling, noodle, BBQ stalls for sure. Maybe a heat lamp joint and a pho deal. Lots of kids during the day, from what I can remember. I don't know... haven't been in a while... worth checking out, though.