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howard81 Nov 29, 2009 06:55 AM

I've often heard about the great Chinese Restaurants in Monterey Park. I'm planning to go ... what's the best of them?

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  1. m
    mc michael RE: howard81 Nov 29, 2009 06:57 AM

    A lot of folks like Elite Restaurant on Atlantic, but it might depend what you are looking for.

    1. c
      Chelmoon RE: howard81 Nov 29, 2009 07:01 AM

      Does it have to be actually Monterey Park? How about the contiguous towns like Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabril?

      1. monku RE: howard81 Nov 29, 2009 07:11 AM

        Definitely give us an idea what kind of Chinese food you're looking for.

        1. j
          JThur01 RE: howard81 Nov 29, 2009 08:54 AM

          The western part of the San Gabriel Valley - Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel in particular - have an unbelievable breadth of Chinese cuisines: Cantonese, Szechuan, Hunan, Yunnan, Taiwanese.

          Just about any province and any style. What are you looking for?

          1. raytamsgv RE: howard81 Nov 30, 2009 09:45 AM

            There are many choices and many 'Hounds who can give you some great advice. But some clarification would help us assist you:

            1. What is your price range?
            2. Is the ambience important?
            3. Are you going by yourself or in a group? Does anyone speak Chinese?
            4. Are there any dietary restrictions? Is there stuff you absolutely refuse to eat?
            5. How adventurous are you or your party?
            6. Do you have any preferences? (e.g. spicy foods, deep fried, seafood, vegetarian, soups, stir-fry, steamed, etc.)

            24 Replies
            1. re: raytamsgv
              howard81 RE: raytamsgv Dec 1, 2009 02:32 PM

              I'm going with a friend, and we're looking for great Cantonese. Price is no object, and I've heard so much about Monterey Park, I'd like to give that a try.

              1. re: howard81
                ipsedixit RE: howard81 Dec 1, 2009 02:43 PM

                Well, if it's Cantonese you are looking for and it *has* to be in Monterey Park then get yourself to Elite.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  raytamsgv RE: ipsedixit Dec 1, 2009 02:46 PM


                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    bgazindad RE: ipsedixit Dec 2, 2009 09:39 AM

                    ipsedixit and raytamsgv

                    What did you order at Elite?

                    1. re: bgazindad
                      ipsedixit RE: bgazindad Dec 2, 2009 08:07 PM

                      Steamed fish (whatever is in the tank and fresh)

                      Prawns, steamed, then with the heads deep-fried




                      Shark fin soup or the Fish maw soup with ginseng

                      Pea shoots

                      Sea Cucumber, braised

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        cartbaby RE: ipsedixit Dec 3, 2009 09:23 PM

                        awesome recs, they always send out the prawns first.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          mc michael RE: ipsedixit Jan 2, 2010 06:57 AM

                          The only thing in the tank yesterday was $58! From Australia.

                        2. re: bgazindad
                          raytamsgv RE: bgazindad Dec 3, 2009 12:51 PM

                          Sorry, but I can't remember the exact items we ordered. But ipsedixit's suggestions are excellent, although I don't really like Geoduck. The pea shoots may be out of season right now.

                          1. re: raytamsgv
                            cartbaby RE: raytamsgv Dec 3, 2009 09:21 PM

                            i never knew the english, pea shoots is dou miao? But then I've not seen this outside of chinese food. Hah, what is the season for this? We're talking about xiao dou miao?

                            1. re: cartbaby
                              raytamsgv RE: cartbaby Dec 4, 2009 09:23 AM

                              The growing season is about over for most of the US, but perhaps they can still be grown in places like Mexico or the deserts of the American Southwest. The restaurants would know better than a wannabe gardener like myself. :-)

                              1. re: raytamsgv
                                ipsedixit RE: raytamsgv Dec 4, 2009 11:27 AM

                                Not to get sidetracked, but the growing season for "dou miao" really irks me. It's predominantly a summer/early fall vegetable, and I love to have "dou miao" with my Chinese hot pot, but right smack in the middle of August is just not a conducive time to being slurping and swishing away in front of a hot pot ....

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  Jerome RE: ipsedixit Dec 6, 2009 12:06 AM

                                  right now i've seen tong hao (chrysanthemum crowns) at the markets and some hot pot places feature it - deerfield maybe.
                                  thisis written in winter, in case this thread getsa life.
                                  chinese = cantonese?
                                  btw am i alone in loving 888 for Guangdong province food (although thereare some Chaozhou dishes)? and MPV as well - love looking at the huge lobster in teh aquarium with a price of $35 a lb for that monster.

                                  1. re: Jerome
                                    raytamsgv RE: Jerome Dec 7, 2009 08:39 AM

                                    You are not alone. I actually like 888, too. I just happen to like Elite more.

                      2. re: howard81
                        Ciao Bob RE: howard81 Dec 1, 2009 02:45 PM

                        Second Elite

                        1. re: howard81
                          carter RE: howard81 Dec 1, 2009 09:02 PM

                          But if you change your mind and want Hunan, then you should head for Rosemead and dine at Hunan Seafood on Valley Blvd.
                          If it is chinese Islamic, then head for Rosemead on Garvey with a namesake restaurant.
                          As others have said, make sure you want Cantonese, and if not, then let others offer their thoughts, and there are waaaaay manyopinions/thoughts on this board.

                        2. re: raytamsgv
                          solarlane RE: raytamsgv Dec 31, 2009 04:29 AM

                          Hi Raytamsgv...

                          I did a tour of the best Chinese dishes in Queens (see http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/20...) and want to replicate that here in Los Angeles. I'm looking for the most delicious Chinese specialties, including pork dumplings, hand pulled noodles, soup dumplings, desserts, etc. etc. I don't eat seafood but I'll try anything else with meat and vegetables. Thanks!

                          1. re: solarlane
                            ipsedixit RE: solarlane Dec 31, 2009 10:02 AM

                            If you want a good primer (because I don't believe raytamsgv is still maintaining his website), I would look to TonyC and his blog, www.sinosoul.com and pay particular attention to his current project ... eating Valley Blvd., which you can follow at http://www.eatingvalleyblvd.com/


                            1. re: solarlane
                              raytamsgv RE: solarlane Dec 31, 2009 10:10 AM

                              In the past, Monterey Park had a stranglehold on good Chinese restaurants, but that is no longer true. Chinese restaurants have simply expanded to other neighboring cities. You would need to drive, but they are only a few miles away, and traffic isn't usually too bad. Would you consider neighboring cities as well?

                              1. re: solarlane
                                Jerome RE: solarlane Jan 1, 2010 08:21 PM

                                pork dumplings? what kind - shandong style - i like 101 noodle express. qingdao speicalty dumplings are rpetty good at qingdao bread food, i like the guo'tieh at Deerfield garden in monterey park, chaoshou are pretty good at chungking on s. garfield.
                                hand pulled noodles - go to Ma Lan at 1010 (or is it 2020 ) hacienda blvd in hacienda heights. pulledto order, you specify the thickness.
                                desserts - too broad.
                                soup dumplings? i'm assuming xiaolong bao - I like giang nan on garfield, manyh her like JZ restaurant, others like Meilong village, still others swear by DinTaiFung. Check them out and you decide.
                                try guilin noodles at Eight Cafe on Garvey near Garfield. ANd on the next block, checkout Hengyang chilliking for real hunan food. get all the preserved stuff you can.
                                Folks - what's the taiwan shaved ice place around the corner from Din Tai Fung _ shambala? can't remember. if any one remembers postit for one of hte dessert places.
                                enjoy your trip.
                                check out China Islamic on Garvey as well. Order the aomo if you're inthe mood. Big brads are good, lamb dishes, etc.
                                888 for long cooked cantonese soups - turtle or black bone chicken. theyr'e lunch dimsum is pretty good.
                                if you're with a big party - pre-rder teh special wintermelon soup at empress pavilion in chinatown.

                                there's a lot more. but enjoy hyour stay.

                                1. re: Jerome
                                  Jerome RE: Jerome Jan 1, 2010 08:59 PM

                                  SINBALA DRINKING EXPRESS
                                  651 W DUARTE RD #F&G
                                  shaved ice etc.
                                  taiwanese style

                                2. re: solarlane
                                  Chandavkl RE: solarlane Jan 2, 2010 02:47 PM

                                  No Xi'an, Henan and almost no Fujian style food here in L.A. On the other hand, there's a bunch of regional Chinese stuff you can find in L.A. but not Flushing. Nothing in New York like the beef rolls from 101 Noodle Express or the Guilin Rice noodle soup as Jerome mentions. Things you won't find in New York include delicious fish dumplings at places like Qingdao Bread Food in Monterey Park and Noodle House in Rowland Heights; Yunnan style food at the Yunnan Garden chain; Lizhou style food at Happy Kitchen in San Gabriel; New Territories food at Bon Mar Che Bistro in Monterey Park, among others. Also there are numerous authentic Hunan style restaurants out here compared to just the one that recently opened up in Flushing. Many more Hong Kong style cafes are in the mix here, too. However, perhaps the thing I would most bring to your attention is not a specialty, but the menu driven dim sum at such places like Elite, Sea Harbour, Lunasia and King Hua. This is just a different class of product compared to the cart dim sum you get in Flushing and Manhattan--delicate, refined and imaginative.

                                  1. re: Chandavkl
                                    Jerome RE: Chandavkl Jan 2, 2010 03:35 PM

                                    the family at china islamic is from Henan. So it's close.

                                  2. re: solarlane
                                    moto RE: solarlane Jan 3, 2010 06:12 PM

                                    solarlane, for dumplings and noodles, we had excellent fresh pork dumplings and bao at Noodle House in Rowland Heights last week end. exilekiss has an encyclopaedic write up on his blog w. photos, which is linked to his review on this board. the "Northern style" pork noodles (soup) with fresh made noodles was also flawless, and the fish ball soup was delicate and ethereal.

                                    1. re: solarlane
                                      JThur01 RE: solarlane Jan 4, 2010 09:37 AM

                                      Four xiao long bao (soup dumplings) there's Dean Sin World. They make the dumplings served at many other restaurants. Cut out the middle man.

                                      Shaved ice. Many choices, but Old Country Cafe stands out for the 3 item shaved ice and variety of toppings. Shau May has more toppings, but Old Country uses a chunk of ice instead of ice cubes, which makes for a smoother ice.

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

                                      Dean Sin World
                                      306 N Garfield Ave # 2, Monterey Park, CA

                                  3. toitoi RE: howard81 Dec 3, 2009 05:30 PM

                                    Won't classify your question as silly, but Chinese? Come on, aren't you aware that there's regions of China that offer different flavors.

                                    What is it you want? Bland? Spicy? Hot? You'll find it all in MP and also in San Gabriel, and neighboring towns.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: toitoi
                                      Jerome RE: toitoi Dec 6, 2009 12:08 AM

                                      I dunnol there are bland sichuan dishes and spiced cantonese black bean dishes. there are huaiyang takes on some trad sichuan dishes as well (nanjing esp). There are places that have nanjing salt water duck and dezhou braised chicken and guilin noodles. and dumplings with sole, or with pork and pumpkin.
                                      we've got a lot?
                                      what's LA's best chinese rest? hard to say. What's LA's best European restaurant?

                                      1. re: Jerome
                                        mendogurl RE: Jerome Jan 3, 2010 06:19 PM

                                        Dumpling Master on Atlantic. Been going there for a zillion years based on Jonathan Gold's Counter Intelligence review.

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