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The best, clean restaurants in San Gabriel Valley and Rowland Heights areas?

nubi Feb 4, 2003 06:12 PM

I know people in the food safety industry. The San Gabriel Valley/ Monterey Park/ Rowland Heights areas are problematic, they say.

Health Department ratings are a snapshot of restaurant conditions documented during an unannounced visit. I know the limitations of this system, but I generally patronize "A" establishments.

I'm looking for the best, clean restaurants in these areas. Good examples would be Golden Deli and Dumpling House. Maybe it's the nature of their offerings, but big seafood restaurants tend to have low ratings.

  1. c
    Chandavkl Jun 30, 2006 11:54 PM

    Well since somebody has exhumed this one from the catacombs, let me throw in my two cents. Since this thread was originally posted, the Los Angeles Times published an article on why authentic Chinese restaurants seldom garner an "A" rating, with one major factor being the sheer numerical variety of menu offerings that such restaurants, particularly large banquet sized locations, put forth. I have consistently stated on this board that I am very leery of a Chinese restaurant with an "A" rating, because that would lead me to doubt whether the food tasted any good. In fact, the only large Chinese restaurant I can think of with such a rating is ABC Seafood in Chinatown, which upgraded recent to an "A" rating. And is it merely a coincidence that ABC Seafood is a shadow of the culinary gem it was back in the late 1990's? I think not.

    1. c
      Charlie B Feb 6, 2003 11:33 AM

      Most of the food poisoning is not from general cleanliness but from poor refrigeration and employees not washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom. So even though the ratings are very important, they don't tell the whole picture.

      1. r
        ricepad Feb 6, 2003 10:44 AM

        I have a friend (a major chowhound) who refuses to patronize most kinds of ethnic restaurants if they have an 'A' rating. That's right...he prefers 'B' or 'C' rated restaurants. In his opinion, he's gotten better (that is, more authentic according to his palate) food at the lower rated establishments, whereas the 'A' places, "spend too much time cleaning and not enough time cooking."

        I don't think he's ever gotten food poisoning, either.

        1. n
          nubi Feb 6, 2003 12:37 AM

          You've provided anecdotal evidence which disproves an absolute assertion I never made:

          If you eat at any "below A" restaurant, you WILL contract foodborne illness.

          But you're right, this isn't a question for this site.

          1. j
            jenn Feb 5, 2003 01:25 PM

            Can't help you. All but one of my cases of food poisoning [4 in 40 years of adventuresome eating] have come from chain restaurants or similar establishments in the US with purportedly good ratings. Never once gotten sick off from the Tamale lady on my street corner, the street food in Beijing or the pupusa lady who used to pat out the pupusas behind the LA mission church near Olvera street.
            Have to say, the implication of your post makes me a little uncomfortable.

            1. h
              hb Feb 5, 2003 12:59 PM

              Well, I've gotten very sick (think hospital) from eating in grade A restaurants in Pasadena (and not sushi either), and not at all sick from the hundreds of times I've eaten in San Gabriel/MP/Alhambra/Chinatown. I suppose everyone has to make that call for themselves, but I'm not sure the chowhounds will have much help to offer; a lot of us seem to be generally willing to forsake any comfort or assurance of cleanliness in our quests ....

              (also, i'm not convinced that golden deli is as "clean" as you think. i'm not casting aspersions on golden deli cleanliness, i'm just saying that whole strip mall is packed with restaurants, and i'm betting it's packed with other things too.)

              1. m
                Mr Grub Feb 5, 2003 11:14 AM

                One of the best single dishes the Grubber has ever eaten was intense noodles in a styrofoam cup from a stand in an alley in Wuhan. Their last health inspection was in 1321.

                1. j
                  Joe B. Feb 4, 2003 07:06 PM

                  check for yourself...

                  Link: http://lapublichealth.org/rating/

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Joe B.
                    Joe B. Feb 4, 2003 07:14 PM

                    what i meant to say: check the last date the place was inspected. if it was within a short time ago, chances are the place is still clean. hopefully.

                    1. re: Joe B.
                      Jeff Falls Feb 7, 2003 07:01 PM

                      I just got back from my 15th trip to Asia and during all of those trips - eating my way from food stall to food stall - I have gotten sick exactly twice, both times in five-star hotels. Once from a campari soda at a five-star hotel in Bangkok and the second time last week at a five-star (American run) hotel in Shanghai from their breakfast buffet.

                      That in fact is the second time I've gotten food poisoning at a branch of that particular chain which is usually considered to be the finest hotel chain in America, and which I'm sure never fails to get an "A" rating.

                      You'd think I would have learned my lesson now - stay out of those damn five star hotels and stick to street vendors!

                      I personally think it's a bit silly to focus on the health-department ratings of restaurants as though that is going to keep you from getting sick... the bottom line is you can get sick anywhere whether it looks "clean" or not. All it takes is one person not washing his or her hands and your g/i system is toast.

                    2. re: Joe B.
                      Willi Rossli Feb 5, 2003 05:54 PM

                      To the defence of the restaurant in MP and SGV that I go to, I suspect a "B" is not bad. I am really weary of "A" ratings at places where every other restaurant in the strip mall is a "B" or "C". Hard to know, but my only food poisoning in L.A. was at an old line
                      Steakhouse that was an "A" and very very expensive.

                      1. re: Willi Rossli
                        jdecay Jun 30, 2006 11:32 PM

                        I think I got food poisoning from the same old line Steakhouse.

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