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Sep 18, 2008 03:19 PM

Heading out to San Gab Valley for Chinese...Clueless

Please help. Husband and I would love to go out to San Gabriel Valley for some Chinese dinner. There are so many choices, I don't know where to begin.

We are open to all types of food. I think we would prefer not to go to a noodle house and not something too spicy. I've been to a few places in Chinatown (Sam Woo-Yum!, Yang Chow-OK, Ocean Seafood-OK, Golden Dragon-our usual). But I would love to try something out in SGV. I love Yang Chow-style fried rice. We usually older things like chicken in spicy salt, Mongolian beef, Shrimp with Lobster sauce. Boy, if anyone served Crispy aromatic duck (London-style) we would be in heaven!! I don't know if I am providing you with any helpful information.

Anyways, we will be heading over there on a Friday or Saturday night from Pasadena. Any suggestions (especially with web sites so we can view the menu) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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    1. The first respondent, Ipsedixit, is a walking bible of culinary info and knows word for word the chapters on local Chinese cuisines. I think he's right if you can offer some more direction, but seeing that you mentioned duck (forgive me for not knowing what London-style is), you might try searching "Triumphal Palace" on this sight and maybe even "Beijing-" or "Peking-style duck" as well for starters. Triumphal Palace is well known for dim sum, but they do dinner as well.

      A couple of other more-or-less Cantonese-style places that are held in high esteem for their skills at dim sum as well as dinner are Sea Harbour and Elite. These two are at the top of most's lists for the best dim sum but excel for more formal dinner meals as well.

      Elite Restaurant
      700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

      Triumphal Palace
      500 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

      Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
      3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA

      1. I like Seafood Village on Garvey. It's Chiu Chow food--generally fresh ingredients, light preparations, not spicy. Similar to Cantonese.

        1 Reply
        1. re: aventinus

          I agree with aventinus -- Chiu Chow (Teochew, Chaozhou, it goes by a lot of names) is sort of a sub-set of Cantonese cuisine. The house crab (usually under $10 a lb.) is well worth the price, and get Chiuchow jook (rice porridge with seafood) instead of rice. Also, don't be shocked to receive sweet porridge at the end of your meal -- this is very common in Chiu Chow cuisine.

        2. Hi designjb,

          I'd second bulavinaka's choices: For a nice dinner in the SGV, something not spicy and not noodle-based, Elite or Sea Harbour are Cantonese / Hong Kong-cuisine restaurants, with a nice selection of traditional authentic classics and progressive cuisine as well.

          They will usually carry a good selection of Live Seafood if you want to splurge on items like Fresh Steamed (Live) Fish, or Fresh Steamed (Live) Prawns (so good!), Lobsters, Crabs and more. Besides that, they have plenty of nice HK Chicken, Pork, Beef, Vegetable dishes, etc.

          I'm not sure what "London-style Duck" is like, but if you're really in the mood for a crispy skin Peking Duck, you should try Lu Ding Gee (it's not as great as the Quan Ju Deh, but QJD is sadly long gone). Still this place specializes in Peking Duck (You have to call 1 hour ahead to reserve the duck).

          If you want Shanghai cuisine (majority of dishes are not spicy), you can try Mei Long Village and order their Pork Pump, Xiao Long Bao (Great Soup Dumplings) amongst other items. Enjoy! :)

          Mei Long Village
          301 W Valley Blvd Ste 112, San Gabriel, CA 91776

          Lu-Din Gee Cafe
          1039 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

          2 Replies
            1. re: exilekiss

              "I'm not sure what 'London-style Duck' is like"

              It may be "Crispy Aromatic Duck", a simplified version of Peking duck that is ubiquitous in Chinese restaurants in England:


            2. I'd recommend Elite for dinner. It serves Cantonese-style seafood and is easily one of the best restaurants in the SGV for both dim sum and dinner. You might have to call in advance about the duck, though.

              Although you like the older American-Cantonese cooking, you might want to check out Seafood Village. They serve Chiu-chow style food, which is a subset of general Cantonese cooking. Chiu-chow cooking emphasizes braises and sauces instead of traditional Cantonese stir-fry, so it's lighter. Unlike Cantonese cooking, the spices they use tend to have more of a kick. I think the one in Temple City is better than the one in Monterey Park.

              Shanghai food is also very good. They have lots of great dumplings. This style tends to use more sugar in their sauces than Cantonese cooking. The SGV has a number of good Shanghai restaurants.

              If you want more information, please check out my collection of restaurant reviews:

              5 Replies
              1. re: raytamsgv

                you should try one of the islamic chinese restaurants...though not sure which ones are good its been a long time since ive been over there.

                1. re: raytamsgv

                  I'd also recommend Elite. And if you're looking for duck, they also do a fantastic Peking duck for $20 (really crispy, light skin). add $8, and you can have the rest of the duck served to you as a second dish (choice of a soup or my preference, which is chopped up and served in lettuce cups). duck 2 ways for $28 is a steal.

                  you're not going to find much mongolian beef or shrimp with lobster sauce in the SGV, though the one westernized dish that's everywhere (and is very good at elite) is the honey-walnut shrimp (deep fried shrimp with a honey-mayo sauce and served with glazed walnuts). that may be to your liking as well.

                  1. re: Bert

                    First paragraph - drool... drool...

                    Second paragraph - more drool... drool... getting a towel...

                    1. re: Bert

                      My vote is for Elite. As mentioned the Peking duck "two ways" is exceptional. You need not order the Peking Duck in advance at Elite. The dry scallop/egg white fried rice is also wonderful. I don't know if they have it for dinner but the egg custard tarts and the noodles in XO sauce are also my favorites.

                      The Peking duck at Lu Din Gee is also divine but their other dishes are good but not so traditional (e.g. spinach pasta and clams in a tomato sauce!!!); I'd suspect the OPs would like something more traditional like Elite.

                      1. re: chowmominLA

                        I'm being a food geek and looking at Elite's menu :0)

                        I'd recommend the Peking duck two ways (although it's $32, not $28), the honey walnut shrimp, the sauteed beef with garlic and black pepper (never had that but I'd guess it's the closest thing they have to Mongolian beef) and the scallop/egg white fried rice.

                        Oh and please try the "Fish Rad with Bamboo Fungers". Dying to know what that's all about.

                        Gah... I'm so hungry now!