help!! san gabriel valley's Best Chinese
urgent: my task is to impress an old friend from new york (born in china, raised in ny's chinatown) where's the best place for a) dinner, and b) dim sum? I'm trying to convince him to move to LA (he's madly in love with SF, how unfortunate for him). Gracias.
I'm not as much of an expert on SG Valley restaurants as some of the others who post here, but here's what I can offer:
1) I spent some time in China last year, and the question really is: what kind of food are you looking for? Obviously, people don't go out for "Chinese food" in Beijing. They go out for Szechuan or Cantonese or Shandong or whatever. I'm told that for fun occasions and special nights out, Beijing people like to go out for Szechuan Hot Pot. You can get pretty good Szechuan hot pot at Lu Gi in the SG Valley. The really impressive thing about Lu Gi, though, is that it exists at all - there aren't a lot of authentic hot pot restaurants in the US.
2) Lake Spring has the most authentic Shanghai food I've had in the US. That refers not just to the menu but to the preparation. I don't eat pork so I miss a lot of the famous dishes on the menu, like the pork pump, but even the shredded tofu skin and simple egg fried rice were very close to the tastes I encountered in China.
3) For dim sum, you can't go wrong with Empress Pavilion downtown in Chinatown. It's hugely popular for a reason. It's also good for dinner.
Hope that helps,
Curious what you think of the instant boiled lamb(shuanyangrou) at Deerfield Garden and if you've been to Homestyle Restaurant at 301 W. Valley in San Gabriel, same strip mall as Mei Long village. They hae a sign in the window saying they have the boiled lamb shuanyangrou and also Beijing style shashlik, the YangrouChuan. Just curious.
Where in China was he born? What KIND of Chinese food?
If you want to impress him (and if he reads Chinese) you may just want to hop in the car, take the 10 out to Atlantic, go north to Valley, Drive East on Valley to Walnut Grove or Rosemead Blvd, drive down to Garvey and then back West on Garvey to Atlantic and just let him look at the signs and the diversity of Chinese businesses and restaurants.
If you let the page download, you'll find TONS of discussions on Chinese restaurants here.