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Jun 29, 2009 08:28 PM

Solo dining in SGV?

I just got back from a rather disappointing lunch of pork ribs steamed in lotus leaf at Chang's Garden in Arcadia. And while the dish just wasn't all that exciting, I think it would have been a lot better with some vegetables or fish or something to go with it. But when I'm in SGV, I'm usually alone, so I don't want to order two or three dishes which I won't be able to eat.

They had lunch combination specials, but none of them looked all that exciting.

So can anybody recommend good Chinese places (other than noodle & dumpling shops) to eat solo in SGV?

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  1. SGV is a big place. Did you really mean all of SGV or just the area around Arcadia?

    Just in case you meant places in Arcadia, I'll recommend Lucky City Restaurant in Monterey Park. It is ghetto but the food is cheap and good. Sinbala in Arcadia is popular. They have great sausages and oyster pancakes. Lastly I recommend Phoenix Food Boutique. They have good Hainan chicken and good desserts.

    651 W Duarte Rd Ste F, Arcadia, CA 91007

    Phoenix Food Boutique
    1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

    Lucky City Restaurants
    415 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

    1. Random list from the top of my head ...

      Won Won Kitchen
      Sam Woo BBQ (corner of 6th and Valley)
      Tasty Garden
      Green Island
      Red Ant (at Rowland Heights)
      Old Country Cafe
      Savoy Kitchen
      Silver and Gold Amazing
      Good Shine
      Hot Stuff Cafe
      Ba Le
      Banh Mi Che Cali
      Banh Mi My Tho
      Baccali Cafe

      5 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        I was really disappointed with Silver and Gold Amazing. Will need to give Sinbala a try though. Any recommendations on what to get?

        1. re: Pinkfoodie10

          Sausages. Either individually, or with rice.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            With minced garlic. Lots of minced garlic.

        2. re: ipsedixit

          have you been to Beijing in West Covina lately? Used to be great then they changed cooks...

        3. Smokey, yes, actually I did mean all of the San Gabriel Valley. I have to drive 45 minutes (or bus/bike for an hour and a half) to get as far as Monterey Park, so another fifteen minutes or so is no big deal. But the three you mentioned are a great starting point.

          ipsedixit, that should keep me going for a while! And just to be clear, all of the Chinese places you mentioned are set up to serve a full meal in single-diner-size portions?

          Thanks to both of you.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Bjartmarr

            Yup, full meal single size dinner portions. In fact, Hong Kong cafes (e.g. Tasty Garden, Green Island) specialize in such dishes.


            1. re: ipsedixit


              I'll report back once I've tried several of them out (probably in a month or two).

              1. re: ipsedixit

                so is Tasty Garden similar to Green Island? I thought Green Island was awful. If I want to spend that kind of $ I'll go to the Duck House in Monterey Park. It's not that the food was bad, I just didn't like any of it.

                Tasty Garden
                1212 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

                1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                  "It's not that the food was bad, I just didn't like any of it."

                  Sounds like that's a "you" problem ... not a restaurant problem.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    I didn't say it was good, nor was it bad, it was just...meh.

                    Just curious if Tasty Garden is more of the same. If so, I will avoid.

                    Tasty Garden
                    1212 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        how is Seafood Village on Las Tunas in Temple City?

                        Las Tunas Restaurant
                        3603 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020

                        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                          What do you mean "how is Seafood Village"?

                          Is it good for solo dining in SGV? No.

                          Is it good for great Chiu Chow food in general? Yes.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            I won't be dining solo. Please define Chiu Chow...

                            I'm not expecting it to be like Green Island

                  2. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                    Are you referring to the Green Island restaurant in Temple City? Unless it has changed recently, Green Island tries to serve a fusion of Chinese and South Asian dishes. I wasn't particularly impressed by it. Has it changed to an HK-style restaurant like Tasty Garden?

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      "Green Island tries to serve a fusion of Chinese and South Asian dishes."

                      Maybe, but the dishes are very reminiscent of HK-style dishes. French style filet mignon steak, claypots, dried shrimp fried rice, etc.

              2. Here are two places for American style Chinese (“other than noodle & dumpling shops”) close to the 210 fry. You can order from a lunch combo menu at both places. . .

                Yang Chow has several locations including one in Pasadena.
                Home page
                Lunch combo menu

                Wang’s Palace
                120 E. Lemon (1/ block East of Myrtle Ave.

                8 Replies
                1. re: JeetJet

                  Thanks very much, JeetJeet. I'm kinda looking more for authentic places than American style. I probably should have said that in my initial post, sorry. Also, for the record, anything that I can easily get in West LA or Chinatown is out, too. SGV is a bit of a schlep for me, so it's only worth going if I can get something that I can't get near home.

                  And in case I was less than clear, I know that most Chinese restaurants have lunch specials, but usually all they offer is stuff like kung pao chicken or beef and broccoli, which I can get pretty much anywhere.

                  1. re: Bjartmarr

                    If it's such a schlep, I 2nd a place like sam woo. Personally I like to order a few extra dishes from there and bring it and some pork or duck home. But for solo dining, a hk style cafe is the way to go.

                  2. re: JeetJet

                    Is Yang Chow truly chow worthy?
                    Several years ago we had gone for dinner, and got into a real bad argument with our extremely rude waiter - he had brought out the soup after serving some of the main course dishes. We have never been since, and I have no intention of giving them any of my money (as is also the case with the Indian restaurant Mezbaan in old town Pasadena). That is why I am asking if this place is what its fans make it out to be (a doctor friend of mine likes this as his go-to Chinese restaurant - it is close to his house in Arcadia).

                    1. re: suvro

                      truly chow worthy? Well, I have never had bad food drom there. In fact, I have always had good food. That shrimp, the lemon chicken, the rice or noodle dishes are good also --plus other things. The service has been hit/miss and most of the time my order is to go but even then I had a problem once with the two young girls who took my to-go order. They saw that my Amer-x card was worn looking due to so much use (I eat out two times each day) and would not accept it for payment. I told them "well, enjoy the food."
                      and went across the st. to the Original Tops great food and service everytime. That was all several years ago and since then I have been treated toi dinner there by my son several times. Yang Chow is one his his first choices to go and we have had better service over the last couple of years. Al that said -- I like Wangs better and not only for the food but because the ambiance of the new Wangs is cool -- classy.

                      1. re: JeetJet

                        I recently had take out food at a friend's house from Yang Chow. He is a big fan and initially was reluctant after hearing my story, but by the time we made up our minds to go get take-out food, we were running out of options, so Yang Chow it was.

                        This was a good sampling because the food was so bleh that it could have been from any generic Chinese takeout specialty store - like the ones we get ads in the mail for. It was the slippery shrimp - over 60% of the content was batter, with a coating of a sauce; fried rice - I have been able to make tastier fried rice at home - there was no wok flavor, just the most insipid Chinese fried rice in my memory for a long time, and one other item which I can't remember.

                        It is possible that he did not order properly - but none of the dishes makes me want to give this place a second look.

                        1. re: suvro

                          Q. Do you know what the difference is between Yang Chow and Panda Express?

                          A. Silverware. Yang Chow has them. Panda prefers plastic.

                      2. re: suvro

                        I find Yang Chow to be pitiful.

                        Your money is better spent at a place like Panda Express -- same type of food, comparable (if not better) quality. Only thing missing is the silverware that you get at Yang Chow versus the plastic forks and disposable chopstix at Panda. [shrug]

                    2. Any of the Hong Kong style "tea cafes" would work great for solo diners.