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Jan 17, 2010 11:18 AM

ISO Taiwanese sit-down, family-style dinner

hey LA chowhound peeps!

i'm searching for a really terrific sit-down dinner at a taiwanese restaurant(s) that offer some authentic staples (and/or taiwanese style versions of mainland dishes). i assume that the key locations for such a restaurant(s) would be SGV, rowland heights, or irvine?

ideally, i would hope to find great versions of such dishes as:
菜脯蛋 -scrambled eggs with vegetable
鴨紅 -duck's blood
炒臭豆腐 -sauteed stinky tofu
三杯雞 -3 cup chicken
豬腳麵 -pig's feet noodles (or just pig's feet)
香干肉絲 -shredded meat with dried bean curd
滷肉飯 -minced pork over rice
...and etc.

suggestions for places that prepare taiwanese street food are welcome, but not necessary for this particular trip. i'm slightly more interested in the sit-down family-style dinner type of meal. besides if there's room for street snacks, i assume a place like indian or sinbala would be a good fit? let me know if i'm wrong about that. :)

so you can kind of get the idea of what i'm looking for. of course i don't expect to find a single restaurant that does everything well, but if there's a spot that executes 1-2-3 dishes really really well, i would be happy.

as for taiwanese breakfast, i've come across threads that recommended places like Yi Mei and Four Sea for their 咸豆漿 (salty soy milk) and 飯團 (rice roll). thanks a lot for that LA hounds. but if there's one place that you personally would pick for my short time in LA for a great overall experience for taiwanese breakfast, which one would you choose?

and here's just a fun question for the sake of asking it since i'll be spending some time in that part of town anyway: for a taiwanese chinese guy like myself, is there a single taiwanese item(s) that's like a "must-do" or "cannot-miss" that will put the biggest smile on my face? it can be anything from sweets to savory.

i'll have a car, so i'll be willing to drive the distance for the cravings.

thanks so much in advance fellow hounds! i'll certainly report back and let you know where i end up going :)

you guys rock!

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  1. For a sit down Taiwanese restaurant, my first choice would be Indian in San Gabriel, followed by Native in Arcadia and then Jurassic in City of Industry. All are basically cut from the same cloth -- Taiwanese joints serving comfort/street food that also doubles as a pub joint.

    As for Taiwanese breakfast, the best in my opinion is Si Hai / Four Sea in San Gabriel and the related Four Sea in Hacienda Heights.

    I don't know if there is one single can't miss item, but I can tell you that at Indian you should definitely partake of the grilled corn and the grilled chicken hearts.

    Also, while I didn't mention this place as a sit-down restaurant (b/c technically it really is not), I'm a big sucker for the pork's blood rice cake at Apo Apo in Rowland Heights.

    Hope that helps. Enjoy your stay.

    633 S San Gabriel Blvd
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 287-0688

    206 S 1st Ave
    Arcadia, CA 91006
    (626) 461-6688


    Four Seas
    708 E Las Tunas Dr
    San Gabriel, CA 91776
    (626) 285-8369

    Four Seas
    2020 S Hacienda Blvd
    Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
    (626) 330-3088

    3 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      keep in mind that indian and jurassic turns into a raging beer hall as the hour progresses with many a dice being thrown around.

      so if you go to either location, go early vs later if you want a "family" style dinner. the food is salty as get you to buy more beer! lols.

      for breakfast, i like yi mei in monterey park.

      yi mei
      736 S Atlantic Blvd
      Monterey Park, CA 91754
      (626) 284-9306

      1. re: wilafur

        "keep in mind that indian and jurassic turns into a raging beer hall as the hour progresses with many a dice being thrown around."


        How is that not family style? You mean your family doesn't eat that way at home? :-)

        1. re: ipsedixit

          only during chinese new years. hahaha!

    2. Had a very nice sit down meal with my family a few weeks ago at Cafe Fusion in Arcadia. It's nice cuz the decor is quite modern and the place is very clean. The whole fish with lotus seed is delicious as is the pork rump. They had a good version of three cups chicken as well. Also it's the only place I've had Taiwanese style raw cockles. Definitely worth a trip esp if you're family is looking for something on the nicer side.

      510 E Live Oak Ave
      Arcadia, CA 91006
      (626) 447-6488

      1 Reply
      1. re: lakeshow318

        Every time I've been here someone in our party will say something along the lines of "I've haven't had this since I left Taiwan!" or "This is a very Taiwanese dish!" The food here is unique to me and made me realize there's more to Taiwanese food then Sinbala type places!
        My cowokers like to go to a place called Country Bistro in Rowland Heights, which is supposed to be Taiwanese. For Taiwanese breakfast, our go to place is Doh Jong Station in Arcadia.

      2. There is a place on called Liang's Kitchen that we really like for the hand cut beef noodle soup and they also have very good sweet homemade soy milk. They also have a bamboo side dish and ox tail soup that are tasty. 227 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

        For 3 cup chicken, we really enjoy the one at Mei-Long Village 301 W Valley Blvd
        Ste 112 San Gabriel, CA 91776

        For a taiwanese cannot miss kind of item, I would suggest boba or brick toast or shaved ice from a tea house. I personally like guppy house , but its a bit out of the way. They actually also do taiwanese food as well, but its only ok. I am in love with the portuguese style egg custard tarts at Elite 700 S Atlantic Blvd
        Monterey Park, CA 91754. I guess its not really taiwanese but I first had these in Taiwan years ago.