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Mr. Chow's Chinese Food for 1/3 of the cost

For those of you who live near San Gabriel or are willing to trek a little way for some amazing Chinese food, two (count 'em- two, not one) of the former Chinese chefs from MR. CHOW'S Restaurant in Beverly Hills decided to open their own little restaurant in a mini-mall in San Gabriel.

I went there recently for dinner and despite its lackluster decor, the food was DELICIOUS. Green Prawns were to die for- (they sauteed them in spinach just like at Mr. Chow's) and the whole Peking Duck was absolutely THE LEANEST, MOST FLAVORFUL duck I've ever had. Crispy on the outside, the chefs slice them thin so you can wrap it in the think pancake wrap with sliced scallions and their special sauce. Usually duck is fatty, but not here. The wonton soup was good- just what you'd expect, although I would skip normal Chinese fare like chow mein. The chefs also brought out an unbelievable pastry dish at the end that they made on the spot. It was flaky and hot inside with red bean- I've never tasted anything like it, and I've tasted quite a few Chinese desserts.

They don't have much going on for them as far as drinks- Budweiser was the extent of their beer selection, but you come for the food not the drinks or the ambience. The boba drink was delicious however, and they also had a great hot green tea that was imported from China.

The business just opened, and it used to be another Chinese restaurant before so mostly the business is take-out. There are only a few tables inside (maybe 6 at the most) and it's brightly lit so it's not a "date" place. But if you're up for some delicious Chinese food from some of the chefs that have served more celebrities that you can imagine, try New Bamboo Garden. (It's basically next to the Trader Joe's).

7248 N. Rosemead Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91775
(626) 286-0411

Sun- Thurs. 11am-9:30pm
Fri-Sat. 11am- 10pm

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  1. Not many consider Mr Chow to be Chinese food...not a strong endorsement

    1. Are you talking about Red Box Express in the same strip mall as Petco and Trader Joe's?

      If that place is anything like Mr. Chow's it'll have as much lasting power as yesterday's newspaper.

      And it really comes as a shock to me that Mr. Chow actually had a chef ... two of no less apparently!

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Mr Chow's Chinese food for one third of the price is still way too expensive given what you'll be served.... If somebody is willing to go drive to San Gabriel, why not then just go to a another Chinese restaurant with better food in that area, especially since the prices for those other places won't be that expensive in the first place.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          gotta agree....this seems way out of place (and probably a dead man walking) in the SGV???

          1. re: ipsedixit

            This restaurant is located in the historic location of Sam Way Kitchen, one of the old time Chinese takeout dives. Don't know if you remember that about 20 years ago a great Chinese restaurant called Peony opened up at the southern end of that shopping center. The L.A. Times called Peony a world class Chinese restaurant and I used to marvel how Sam Way could get away offering their brand of chop suey or whatever within spitting distance of one of the best Chinese restaurants in the Los Angeles area. Well, five years later Peony was gone while Sam Way chugged along for another decade and a half.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              I do indeed remember Sam Way.

              Curious, Chandavkl, do you know if Sam Way is any way related to Sam Woo? Was a forerunner to Sam Woo ... that was always the rumor ...

            2. re: ipsedixit

              my impression is that mr chow hires decent chefs, the problem is that he makes them cook american food. perhaps this venture is more for letting the chefs have some creative license with their food and go back to their roots. He can't be a complete idiot, there's a reason he's loaded. If I were him though, I'd try to bring this venture into San Marino to the rich asians that would rather stay in the friendly confines of their own city.

            3. Thanks for the recommendation, pyragirl - the green prawns sound quite tasty. Is the menu primarily americanized-Chinese or a mixture of americanized and traditional?

              1. So this New Bamboo Garden is the same place that Chandavkl and Linuxsocal posted about, regarding their extensive fake-meat vegetarian menu? http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51687...
                It all sounds a little diffuse and puzzling--what clientele are they going for, and how they maintain breadth and quality in such a small place--but who knows?

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                New Bamboo Garden
                7248 Rosemead Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91775

                4 Replies
                1. re: PayOrPlay

                  New Bamboo Garden is located in the part of San Gabriel adjacent to Pasadena which does not have a lot of Chinese restaurants or Chinese residents. As such, my initial thought is that they're not gearing towards a Chinese crowd, at least with their regular menu. On the other hand, it is close enough to Arcadia such that the mock meat portion of the menu might attract that crowd.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    I live about a mile away from there and this area has plenty of Chinese residents living south of Huntington. But there are no Chinese places that sound like what the OP described. I would like to give it a try.

                    1. re: monkuboy

                      Just look for the budget paparazzi out front.

                      1. re: monkuboy

                        I've crossed path with one of the chefs from Mr. Chow years ago and thought he was a pretty good cook. I'd be interested in your report when you give it a try.

                  2. Mr Chow isn't real Chinese food, same goes for PF Chang. If this place is cooking the same way as Mr Chow, I will pass. There are plenty real Chinese food in SG and cost 1/10 of Mr Chow.

                    1. That has always been a problem space for tenants because it isn't that big. Why would two chefs from a swank BH place want to open such a tiny place - how can it make any money?

                      1. We should not be condoning the proliferation of Mr. Chow clones, regardless of bargain basement prices.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: kevin

                          I think the vegetarian (mock meat) portion of the menu is worthwhile if that is what you're looking for.l

                          1. re: Chandavkl

                            I checked their website and a restaurant with this name is still open at that address, but the menu doesn't have any of those Mr. Chow dishes like green prawns.

                            As many speculated, this place was dead on arrival so I'm curious how long it lasted as a cheaper copy of Mr. Chow's?

                            People go to Mr. Chows to see stars and for other non-culinary reasons, not for the food. So, there was no point in bringing chefs from Mr. Chows to make the same food for a third of the price if you were going to dump it in a hole in the wall.

                            Instead, the route they should have gone was to keep the prices just as expensive and focus on the atmosphere and not on the food . That's what another Mr. Chow copycat did, although Mr. Chow would claim the copycat did some other shady stuff as well.

                            -----
                            Mr. Chow
                            344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210