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Alhambra

s
swtcrm Jul 24, 2009 08:51 PM

My boyfriend has moved his shop to Alhambra. Any "must go" places? For coffee or vegetarian food or whatever???

  1. monku Jul 24, 2009 08:54 PM

    Starbucks seems to be the coffee place of choice judging by the crowds I see.

    -----
    Starbucks Coffee
    810 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

    Starbucks Coffee
    1131 S Fremont Ave, Alhambra, CA 91803

    Starbucks Coffee
    101 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

    Starbucks
    141 N Atlantic Blvd Ste 110, Monterey Park, CA

    1. ipsedixit Jul 24, 2009 11:28 PM

      With the weather recently, Fosselman's is definitely a "must go" place.

      1. o
        ohdaylay Jul 25, 2009 01:50 AM

        These are a good start.

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        Ibrowse Coffee & Internet
        11 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

        Hat
        1 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

        Ricks
        Alhambra

        1. k
          kotatsu Jul 27, 2009 09:58 AM

          I tried 38 degrees and Alondra Hot Wings (both on Main St. between Atlantic and Garfield) and they are ok, but not sure how eager I would be to repeat. The other thing I would caution you on is the Thai food in Alhambra - I never really much cared for Thai Paradise nor Thai Purple nor Green Papaya.

          However, there are a few decent lunch spots. Lovebirds, across the street from the Alhambra Library is pretty good, and so is Mahan indian buffet. (Mahan is my new favorite for local Indian food since the close of Radhika's in Pasadena.) If you're into Chinese/Asian, obviously the food choices for that open up exponentially if you're in Alhambra, but I'll throw out a few faves:
          Superbowl Pho on Main, slightly west of where Main/Mission meet
          Luscious Dumpling - SE corner of Main and Mission
          Michelle Pancake - same plaza as Luscious Dumpling

          I haven't been to any of the Hong Kong-style restaurants in a long time, such as Sunday Bistro, Face Cafe, Tasty Garden, Bacalli, etc but maybe someone else can chime in.

          Don't neglect the VERY edible pizza at Costco!

          1. monkuboy Jul 27, 2009 10:13 AM

            On the north end of Alhambra where Atlantic meets Garfield and Huntington are In-N-Out and Twoheys. Someone else mentioned Mahan and they do have a respectable Indian buffet at a reasonable price. Shakas has decent Hawaiian food, better than what you get at the chain places.

            1. h
              happycat Jul 27, 2009 10:23 AM

              Travel west on Main and you will find Tamaya (north side of street) and Wahib's (south side), good for Japanese Ramen and Middle-Eastern food respectively. Vegetarian choices available at both places and Wahib's has an open-air patio in the back.

              4 Replies
              1. re: happycat
                h
                happycat Jul 27, 2009 10:26 AM

                Sorry, should have been a little more specific about location--on Main half a mile or so west of Garfield (near the huge car dealership that blasts loud music on weekends).

                1. re: happycat
                  ipsedixit Jul 27, 2009 10:42 AM

                  Tamaya ... is ... not ... very ... good.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    SmokeyDoke Aug 8, 2009 03:42 PM

                    Tamaya is HORRIBLE!

                    Sorry, don't mean to be mean, but it's true.

                2. re: happycat
                  o
                  ohdaylay Jul 27, 2009 10:19 PM

                  Wahib's is pretty good. Don't get the buffet, not very impressive.

                3. Peripatetic Jul 27, 2009 10:52 AM

                  I haven't been to the Alhambra Tea Station, but the San Gabriel location is good for milk tea and hot tea. The Alhambra location is near where Triumphal Arch used to be.

                  Tea Station
                  560 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91804
                  626-289-7389
                  http://www.teastation.us/i

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Peripatetic
                    ipsedixit Jul 27, 2009 11:05 AM

                    Ahem, I think you meant "Triumphal Palace" (not Arch). The place is now called Lunasia.

                    That being said, the easiest way to find that particular Tea Station is just look for the Edward's Cinema on the SE corner of Main and Atlantic.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      Peripatetic Jul 27, 2009 11:57 AM

                      Indeed, I meant Palace. Too much multitasking . . .

                  2. Will Owen Jul 27, 2009 11:25 AM

                    We get our ice-cream fix at Fosselman's, our pho fix at Pho 79, sometimes both on a single expedition. Pho 79 has good cheap pho, though the room looks really tired (would someone PLEASE dust those plastic plants??) and the service is notoriously listless.

                    1. s
                      snooze button Jul 27, 2009 01:50 PM

                      There's a Vegan restaurant on Main (by the new Alondra Hot Wings) called Loving Hut. I haven't been but have been wanting to try it out. It looks cute from the outside.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: snooze button
                        s
                        swtcrm Aug 14, 2009 12:15 PM

                        Finally tried Loving Hut the other day. I stopped in for a take-out salad when I happened to be across the street at UPS and realized I was feeling lightheaded and low blood sugar-y. The man that was working was super nice and brought me water while I waited for my order. I ate my salad (Aulac special salad, $6.95) when I got back to the shop and it was really fresh and flavorful.

                      2. o
                        ohdaylay Jul 27, 2009 10:22 PM

                        You have to try Genoveses and Vitoria pizza. I prefer Genoveses. Also, try Tops Jr. and Pepe's on Valley. Bun 'n' Burger on Main is pretty good. Charlie's Trio is pretty good, too.

                        -----
                        Pauli's Bar and Grill
                        7143-C University Drive, Huntsville, AL 35758

                        1. m
                          ms.sunshine Aug 7, 2009 10:18 PM

                          Go to Aloha Food Factory for their macadamia nut pancakes, the syrup is heavenly! :)

                          You can also grab a drink at Old Country Cafe, I love their pudding green milk tea, it is made with actual green tea and homemade custards. Yum!

                          -----
                          Old Country Cafe
                          2 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                          Aloha Food Factory
                          2990 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

                          1. w
                            wesleywong Aug 8, 2009 12:06 AM

                            Not sure if both of you are vegetarian but here is my small list (I live in Alhambra)

                            Savoy - order the Hainan chicken. It's under $7.50 including tax and it can fill you for the whole day.

                            Banh Mi Che Cali - Vietnamese food (particularly rice dishes, sandwiches, and rolls). Good and cheap.

                            The Hat - good pastrami dip and chili cheese fries (review: http://www.twohungrypandas.com/2009/05/hat.html

                            )

                            Aloha Food Factory - for some quality home style Hawaiian cuisine (review: http://www.twohungrypandas.com/2009/05/aloha-food-factory.html

                            )

                            Toros Japanese Fusion for a nice selection of quality sushi (review: http://www.twohungrypandas.com/2009/05/toros-japanese-fusion-seafood.html

                            )

                            There are many more to list. Don't limit yourself to Alhambra. San Gabriel, Monterey Park, and Pasadena can be a 5 minute drive. My girlfriend and I run a flood blog (www.twohungrypandas.com) and we like to review around the SGV so check it out and maybe you'll see food that may interest you.

                            -----
                            Toros Japanese Fusion Seafood
                            500 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

                            Banh Mi & Che Cali
                            647 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

                            Savoy Kitchen
                            138 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: wesleywong
                              s
                              swtcrm Aug 14, 2009 12:16 PM

                              I will check out your blog, thanks!

                            2. SmokeyDoke Aug 8, 2009 04:05 PM

                              My go-to place in Alhambra is Boiling Crab. It's cajun style seafood. I recommend the shrimp and crawfish (when in season). They serve it in a bag and you eat off the picnic tables. If you've never been to the South and had this type of food, you gotta go, it's a trip.

                              Alhambra is not my favorite foodie place, I much prefer nearby Monterey Park, but some other decent eats is Noodle World, many different types of noodles and cool drinks, and Banh Mi Che Cali for really, really cheap food.

                              Everyone recommends Fosselmans, but I've found it to be meh. Go with low expectations if you must, people have a lot of sentimental attachment to the place.

                              -----
                              Boiling Crab
                              742 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: SmokeyDoke
                                Will Owen Aug 8, 2009 05:27 PM

                                The only ice cream I've had at Fosselman's that was less than sublime was their peach, which I find too sweet and insufficiently peachy. If this is meh, I don't think my poor old heart could stand wonderful... And I am not from around here. Mrs. O might be running on nostalgia, I just got here...well, it was nine years ago, but I came direct from one of the world centers of serious hand-crankin'! Hence my dissin' of the peach.

                                1. re: SmokeyDoke
                                  ipsedixit Aug 9, 2009 12:24 AM

                                  While I'll be the first admit that Fosselman's is not necessarily THE BEST in ice cream, I do enjoy it very much, esp. the french vanilla, pistachio, and strawberry.

                                  What did you try and what was "meh" about it? Just curious, because everyone's entitled to their opinions.

                                  (As an aside, I've generally found Boiling Crab to be a bit of a letdown, the shrimp and crawfish tend to be overcooked and mushy and the sauce can be bland and oily -- and they charge you for water ... tap water! Cajun fries are good, though.)

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    m
                                    misseatalot Aug 9, 2009 10:27 AM

                                    What I love about Fosselman's is the availability of old-timey items like ice cream sodas and generous banana splits at reasonable prices. Their brownie sundae is not bad either. It also helps that their ice cream is rich and creamy. I think this is what sets Fosselman's ahead of other ice cream dessert places. Agreed with the peach ice cream, could be more peachy.

                                    1. re: misseatalot
                                      Will Owen Aug 10, 2009 11:07 AM

                                      I'd be willing to bet it has to do with the peaches themselves. While farmer's market stone fruit in these parts can be simply out of this world, what's available on the wholesale market is at best adequate. The front-porch ice-cream makers of Nashville, however, will often grow their own or have a neighbor who does. My "kid brother" (okay, so he's 63) makes a peach ice cream that makes Fosselman's taste like high-quality Tastee Freeze.

                                      1. re: Will Owen
                                        ipsedixit Aug 10, 2009 11:13 AM

                                        Hmm, it was my understanding that Fosselman's sourced their peaches from local farms. Perhaps I was mistaken.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          Will Owen Aug 10, 2009 11:25 AM

                                          If so, then I will stand corrected, and back to wondering why. It might possibly be that their insanely high fat content is getting in the way of the flavor, as I've noticed its doing to some extent on some of their others. I love the lemon custard, for instance, but it hasn't got the tang I remember from some others I've had, such as the Swensen's of fond memory. Or it could just be that my tastebuds are 30-odd years older!

                                    2. re: ipsedixit
                                      SmokeyDoke Aug 9, 2009 05:24 PM

                                      Honestly, I don't remember... I believe it was the pumpkin ice cream and mint chocolate chip. If I remember correctly, it's smooth, with no fun swirls of pumpkin and no bits of pie crust. The chocolate chips in the mint were tiny, it resembled Thrifty's mint choco chip. I remember thinking I could've gone to Coldstone's for better ice cream. I don't remember an extensive list of flavors either.

                                      I've been back recently to find the sweet corn ice cream and they were out. As the server told me, "it's seasonal and they make it when they want to." I got their taro instead and it was good, but not worth driving 15 mins for.

                                      As for BC, it's my fav in Alhambra, but it's not the best, especialy if one's from the South and has had real cajun seafood. BC is the first Cajun joint I went to and I had a lot of fun, it's much better than it's competitors. But charging for water is a joykill.

                                    3. re: SmokeyDoke
                                      b
                                      bulavinaka Aug 9, 2009 10:46 AM

                                      I'm in the middle about Fosselman's. My kids really like it - they're kids - and my wife likes their rum-raisin. I find the quality to be very good for this style of dessert. I like the French Vanilla as well.

                                      I think where some may have qualms about it is that when you compare it to some of the better gelato places, the flavors are comparatively more subtle because of the higher fat content in Fosselman's - gelato tends to be more flavor intense as well as sweet.

                                      Also, with a place like Scoops, it throws the ice cream flavor bell curve way out to the left. Fosselman's used to be more or less close to tail-end of this curve, but now takes a back seat in this area.

                                      Super-premium ice cream shops are now far more common. Delicieuse in North Redondo Beach comes to mind, where they even offer ice cream pairing with their meals. The ice cream is labeled as French in style. What ever it is, it's one of the best versions of "ice cream" that I've had. And while the flavors aren't wild, they will be unusual to some. And I think their ice cream is one of a select few carried by Suras.

                                      When one considers the QPR, the assortment of flavors, and it's place in the SGV, I think it's a great place to go if you're around the area.

                                      1. re: bulavinaka
                                        s
                                        sel Aug 9, 2009 12:44 PM

                                        There may be better ice cream purveyors around but nothing soothes my palate after a ma la scorching like a scoop of Fosselman's Taro ice cream! Well except for the Ube Shake at The Oinkster made with Fosselman's Ube ice cream!

                                        -----
                                        Oinkster
                                        2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                        Fosselman's Ice Cream Co
                                        1824 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                          ipsedixit Aug 9, 2009 03:04 PM

                                          The more I've gone to Scoops the less appeal it has for me.

                                          Sometimes I just want ice cream -- you know, regular French vanilla or a simple, pure scoop of strawberry.

                                          Call me old fashioned, old school, or just old, but sometimes one tends to forget how good tradition can be.

                                        2. re: SmokeyDoke
                                          a
                                          Augusta Aug 10, 2009 01:57 PM

                                          I second Boiling Crab. I was happily surprised with the quality of seafood they have there. Warning though, if eating crawfish in a bag, wear some grubby clothes b/c it can get pretty messy.

                                          Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie is another pretty good eatery--lots of food at fairly low prices:
                                          245 W. Valley Blvd.

                                        3. PeterL Aug 10, 2009 12:38 PM

                                          Lunasia (formerly Triumphal Palace, Chinese name remains the same) on Main is good for dim sum and dinner too.

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