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Sep 7, 2008 10:47 PM

Need info on the following San Gabriel area restaurants

Going with some friends to one of the following restaurants and then for a massage at the infamous Master Wong's Foot Clinic.

Here are our options---any recs. Vote on your fave because we're all undecided:

Chung King (1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd.--San Gabriel)

Golden Deli (815 W. Las Tunas Drive)

Green Village (250 W. Valley Blvd--San Gabriel)

Macau Street (429 W. Garvey Ave.--Monterey Park)

101 Noodle Express (1408 E. Valley Blvd.--Alhambra)

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  1. Green Village is gone. Chung King is not a good option for groups unless you're sure everyone can handle authentic Szechuan.

    6 Replies
    1. re: aventinus

      What happened to Green Village?

      Our group is all really excited about checking out some different cuisine---so we're up for anything.

      1. re: Emily227

        Dunno what happened to Green Village. Went there one day and it had eviction notices in the door.

        1. re: aventinus

          Are you sure you're not referring to this Green Village?

          How long ago did you see an eviction?

          1. re: Emily227

            yes. last week. there was a recent thread on it.

        2. re: Emily227

          And the Rowland Heights branch is padlocked on the outside. Somebody didn't pay their rent.

        3. re: aventinus

          Agreed... I dunno what it was.. but I LOVED Oriental Pearl but Chung King totally left me burned out on Szechuan peppercorn. It just permiated EVERYTHING.... along with the intense heat... DEF. not for everyone....


        4. Well I can't really vote because I've only been to Golden Deli but if you want some good and affordable Vietnamese food then go for it.

          I wouldn't recommend the curry noodles there though.

          One thing I love about the place is their baked egg loaf, purely delicious.

          1. Those are some pretty diverse options, with none really having anything in common.

            As others have already mentioned, Green Village is no more. So cross that one off your list.

            Despite some of the love from Chowhounds (and J Gold), I've never been a fan of Chung King. I find the food one dimensional and more often than not too greasy. It's almost become a parody of itself -- sort of like the Chinese equivalent of the Stinky Rose. All Sichuan Peppercorn all the time. Whatever.

            Golden Deli is good. Decent pho, good spring rolls, some outstanding seafood dishes (i.e., house special lobster and crab are must gets) and the shaking beef dish (or whatever it's called) is also worth ordering.

            Macau Street might offer the most eclectic menu from your list. It's sort of a Hong Kong style cafe on steroids, offering everything from the pedestrian (i.e. pork chop and chicken leg rice) to the exotic (i.e. chicken knees) to just the weird (i.e. offal sausages). From your list, this would be my choice if you want to broaden your horizons.

            If what you might is some dumplings and a decent, albeit mediocre, selection of noodle dishes then 101 Noodle Express will serve you just fine. People here rave about the beef rolls like they were the culinary equivalent of having sex after a decade of self-imposed abstinence, but for my money the best dish here is the shrimp and pumpkin dumplings -- good blend of savory and sweet.

            Don't forget to tip the ladies well after the message -- if you do, they'll usu. throw in a surprise or two.

            Enjoy your outing.

            6 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              A surprise! (Blushes...)
              Anyway, another thing to consider is the atmosphere or ease of eating with a group. Golden Deli is no reservations and there's often a long wait. 101 Noodle Express is super-casual, more of a lunch cafe, but not really good for dinner groups.
              I would vote for Macau Street -- large selection of dishes, incredibly cheap, decent atmosphere (you can even bring wine or beer).
              Another Szechwan place to consider is Hong Yei, where we had a good meal more recently than Chung King.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                i agree re chung king but i think yunnan garden, another board favorite, is the same deal. i haven't had enough szechuan to know whether this is really the way it's supposed to taste, but i've certainly preferred the more nuanced szechuan restaurants i've been to.

                1. re: aventinus

                  Well I DON'T agree about the food at Chung King!!! I've gone to every SGV Sichuan place mentioned on ChowHound since the beginning of '02 and a couple that I can't find reports on. Chung King before and after the move to San Gabriel, Oriental Pearl old and new locations, Sichuan Express, Lucky Dragon, Yun Gui/Yun Chuan Gardens under several name changes but with a consistent menu, Hua's Chinese Delicacies, Szechwan Best (in the original Oriental Pearl space if memory serves), Hong Yei, No. 1 Noodle House and probably others that have escaped my recall. Also recently feasted at China Village in search goes on!
                  I also spend too much time at my favorite 168 Market and others like Rosemead and Hawaii Supermarkets searching for authentic ingredients imported from Sichuan Provence and elsewhere in China for items like 1lb bags of Sichuan Peppercorns, Pixian Broad Bean Paste, Facing Heaven Chilis, Baoning Vinegar, locally made fresh Chinese noodles and produce, on and on blah blah blah. I have prepared many dishes from my favorite cookbook in my collection of several hundred; Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty - authentic sichuan recipes personally gathered in the chinese provence of sichuan plus a few recipes from Mrs.Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook - Szechwan Home Cooking, Chinese Cuisine Szechwan Style from Wei-Chuan Cookbooks and lastly recipes from the web.
                  My experience is that Sichuan Peppercorns, both dried and pickled Hot Chilis and Peanut Oil (hopefully) are present in large amounts with this cuisine. I'm not saying that all elements are present in all dishes but they are frequently recurring themes! People here say that they want 'AUTHENTIC' but then whine that it is too hot, too numbing (ya know who always complains that there is too much Sichuan Peppercorn/one dimensional flavor at Chung King) and I frequently read complants that the food is too oily. Well some dishes like the 'Water Boiled...<insert protein>...' are supposed to have that hot and numbing oil slick floating on top! That in and of itself does not make it a bad dish from an incomptent chef even though it is not to a particular diner's liking! Hot, Numbing and OILY can be very authentic and very good!!!
                  Oh yea, I'm open to suggestions for new places that others like for Sichuan Cuisine, any area but don't bother telling me that it is not now popular and send me to Hunan Seafood Restaurant, I've been a couple of times, I really enjoyed the chow but still would like to find new authentic Sichuan places. I can't believe that all the chefs moved out of the area and no one replaced those that did move on! End rant...I gotta go get me some Dan Dan Mien for lunch, add extra hua jiao on top!

                2. re: ipsedixit

                  Chung King is greasy and spicy, which some people absolutely expect in Sichuan food. I took a mixed group there, and the reviews ranged from awful to great.

                  101 Noodle Express has a good beef roll, and I completely agree with ipsedixit's recommendation about the shrimp and pumpkin dumpling. I think it tastes great, and I actually hate eating shrimp.

                  Golden Deli is good for a broad range of Vietnanmese food but primarily noodles and rice dishes. I like the Banh Tam Bi & Cha Gio. However, I don't think they have house special lobster and crab dishes. They do have these at Newport Seafood Tan Cang, which is in the same mini-mall. Actually, that would be a great addition to your list.

                  Personally, I would vote for Golden Deli. Here's some more info:

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    You're absolutely right re: house special lobster and crab.

                    I got my Golden Deli's and Newport Seafood's mixed up. My bad.

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      My vote is for GD out of this list, but I would say just go to Vietnam House. If you've got a bigger group, there's more room, and there's less of a wait.

                      There's another one down the street, but I saw a line out the door when I drove by last week.

                  2. I found Macau Street to be a huge disappointment. The food was pretty dull, some of it bland, the fish dish we got was fishy and bones and swam in a tasteless broth.