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Apr 28, 2010 06:21 PM

SGV Chinese Rec needed

I'm taking a friend of mine to go eat chinese food. My friend who very much does like food, knows little to nothing about chinese food. His idea of good chinese food is Mr Chow. However, he's pretty open minded and generally has pretty good taste. I'm coming back from NY and we're going out to eat and he wants me to take him to authentic chinese food.

I've been debating what type of chinese food to take him too. I was thinking dim sum although I'm pretty sure that is the one real chinese food he has had before. I was thinking maybe a taiwanese xiao chi type of place.

I'm chinese and I think sometimes my tastes are too chinese and I generally find once I make a good impression on chinese food, people become more open-minded, try more and more and start to have similar tastes to mine. I want something authentic and good, but don't want to weird anyone out (I have a tendency to like certain things that sometimes are too much for a novice), Anyone have any good recs?

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  1. Newport Seafood in San Gabriel at 518 W. Las Tunas Drive or Hunan Seafood at 8776 Valley Blvd. in Rosemead, between Walnut Grove and Rosemead off-ramps on the 10 Freeway.
    The former does really good work with the Kung Pao chicken, clams appetizers, steamed fish-type items, while the latter does a superb job of hotter and spicier food, with the lamb/cilantro and smoked ham dishes being sensational. Also, they have A vegetable, which many places do not have, and it too is wonderful.

    Hunan Seafood Restaurant
    8772 E Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

    1 Reply
    1. re: carter

      yah i was thinking newport. I eat there all the time in the one in Santa Ana which is much closer to where i live in newport. However, he lives up in LA, so that could work

      i like their a-cai, but i usually get their dou miao, which is interesting b/c its smaller (like much smaller) than most dou miao

    2. Indian ... if you want to go the Taiwanese route (Taiwanese pub food to be exact).

      China Islamic ... for Northern Chinese.

      Dean Sin World ... for dumplings, baos and what-nots

      JTYH ... for knife-cut noodles

      28 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        that Indian place cracks me up, I always see their ad on the chinese channels...ive always wanted to go there b/c it just like such a crazy concept.

        I'm familiar with the other places you've mentioned (been to China Islamic), but what is JTYH?

        China Islamic Restaurant
        7727 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770

        1. re: Lau

          Knife cut noodles and other northern/beijing specialties.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            oh i meant its literally called JTYH?

            1. re: Lau

              Yes, on Valley in Rosemead. Great noodles, dumplings, some lamb as well. Very good food there.

              9425 Valley Blvd
              Rosemead, CA 91770

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Had lunch there today. I went for the dan dan noodles for a change of variety. Very good. I'm also partial to their pan fried dumplings. I like the hardened crust they put on them.

                1. re: martyR

                  Ditto on the pan-fried dumplings. We will have to try the dan dan noodles - thanks for the tip. Their mooshu knife-cut noodles were a big hit on our last visit, as were the steamed buns and "chile" lamb dish. the lamb dish has lots of chile in at least three incarnations, but it's not as spicy as it looks.

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    sounds awesome, will have to try either way

              2. re: Lau

                JTYH is also the name of the hispanic market next door. Don't know what the letters stand for but I suspect that the restaurant just adopted the same name. They ARE the current incarnation of the former Heavy Noodling which was one of my favorite noodle shops!

                Heavy Noodling Restaurant
                153 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA

                1. re: sel

                  oh really? i always wanted to go to that place, but it closed before i ever had a chance

                  1. re: Lau

                    The first time that I walked into JTYH I instantly recognized one of the waitresses who before I could open my mouth asked me where my (identical twin) boys were. She remembered me and my lads from Heavy Noodling!!!

                    1. re: sel

                      This is so wierd.... Whats Noodling, to that, what is heavy noodling. Is it some kind of dish? Or is it just termonology?

                      1. re: Stephen_Of_The_Y

                        Legendary restaurant in Monterey Park that shut down a couple of years ago.

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          I'd reserve the modifier "legendary" for Quanjude... not Heavy Noodling.

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            Depends who's perspective. J. Gold reviewed this place and referred to it often years and years ago. HN was an enticing intro to many who might have never ventured into the SGV, let alone had "real" Chinese food before.

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              To each his own Taster, but I thought HN was really quite amazing -- the Cat's Ear noodles were especially legendary -- the dao xiao mein and nyro mein were darn good too.
                              While I found the SGV Quanjude nothing at all like the one(s) in Beijing (and that was back when they were the best place for a Beijing duck in Beiging, unlike nowadays).

              3. re: Lau

                I would love to see the TV ad for The Indian...please, someone, capture it and put in on YouTube.

                I want to see what Uncle Yu's ad looks like.

                1. re: JThur01

                  dude just watch the chinese channel for 30 mins, you will def see it

                  1. re: Lau

                    "dude just watch the chinese channel for 30 mins, you will def see it"

                    I should have asked which channel(s)? Unfortunately, the only channel I receive in this outlying area is SINO TV. The only ad for a SGV restaurant I've seen on that channel was one for 101 Noodle House.

                    1. re: JThur01

                      i always see it on Skylink, which is more taiwanese

                      1. re: Lau

                        Ok, thanks Lau. Sounds like it's a good one. Would Uncle Yu do anything less? :-)

                        1. re: JThur01

                          haha wait til you see the commercial

                          1. re: JThur01


                            Have you ever seen the signage for Indian -- you know, the one with the stereotypical Native American figure? That's what Yu looks like sans warbonnet.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Hi ipsedixit,

                              What would you recommend at Indian? Thanks. :)

                              1. re: exilekiss

                                Grilled corn
                                Tofu pigs blood hot pot
                                Stir fried stinky tofu (don't bother with the regular stinky tofu)
                                Fried pig intestines
                                Basil duck (aka 3-cup chicken)
                                Basil duck tongue
                                Grilled salmon head
                                Fried oysters or squid
                                Grilled chicken joint

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  I'll second the fried stinky tofu.

                                  I like the "five spice soup" w/ stinky tofu and pig's blood.

                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    "I like the "five spice soup" w/ stinky tofu and pig's blood."


                                    Yup, I called that "Tofu pigs blood hot pot" up above. Good stuff. Stinky, spicy and peppery ... good for keeping away any of those former-ex's that are stalking you.

                              2. re: ipsedixit

                                ipsedixit, yes...and I noticed a new sign over the entry - with Uncle Yu on it!

                2. I recommend Sinbala for "Taiwanese xioa chi" type of place. I think the food there is pretty accessible people who aren't familiar with Asian food. I would recommend the sausage rice, oyster pancake, and shaved ice for dessert!

                  651 W Duarte Rd Ste F, Arcadia, CA 91007

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: crystaw

                    not a bad idea...i myself am sort of craving taiwanese food, I saw my friends pics on fbook of all the food she ate and now i'm craving it. I was in taipei in december, man i wish that place wasn't so far away

                    1. re: Lau

                      Well I'm Cantonese (actually Toishanese) and I consider Taiwanese food weird, so I wonder what a non-Chinese person would think about it. I'd suggest one of the upscale menu dim sum places (Sea Harbour, Elite, Mission 261, Lunasia, King Hua) or perhaps Din Tai Fung in Arcadia for XLB or other goodies.

                      Din Tai Fung Restaurant
                      1108 S Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007

                      Mission 261 Restaurant
                      261 S Mission Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                      King Hua Restaurant
                      2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        haha yah my gf thought taiwanese food was weird although she liked it...maybe thats too much

                        din tai fung or luscious is probably not a bad idea, everyone loves dumplings

                  2. I ran into the same problem as you: How to show others good Chinese food without scaring them off? Experience shows that

                    1. JTYH: As recommended by Ipsedixit is a great idea. Knife Cut Noodle, Cat's Ears are great

                    2. Duck House: Peking Duck is quite easy to take a liking

                    Shanghai food is good choice too: What about Yu Garden?.

                    In general, Taiwanese, Hunan or Sichuan, it's harder to find dishes that will satisfy you without scaring your friend off. Reserve those for Stage 2.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: keepon

                      I'd add Luscious Dumplings and Mei Long Village in San Gabriel as easy first-time Chinese eateries as well.

                      Luscious Dumplings
                      704 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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

                      1. re: bulavinaka

                        Good to know Mei Long Village is still around. I haven't made it up that way for the XLB in ages.

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

                        1. re: broncosaurus

                          They were still going strong on our last visit, but their xlb had arrived a little "torn round the edges" to our table on our last couple of visits. I'd guess at least half were like that. Others have mentioned this as well. Since they're neighbors with others who specialize in xlb, I'd think they'd be more conscious of this...

                    2. Hi Lau,

                      You might consider Sea Harbour for dinner. ipsedixit can probably chime in with more recs for this great place, but some things to consider ordering for your guest:

                      * Bai Zuo Hsia (Poached Live Giant Shrimp) - My absolute favorite style of Shrimp dish on the planet, I think anyone seeing fresh Giant Shrimp from the Live Tank, simply poached/boiled with a clean Dipping Sauce would fall in love with "Chinese food." :) Absolutely delicious in any language. :)

                      * Ching Zhen Yu (Steamed Live Fish (Choose anything except Tilapia :)) - Hong Kong / Cantonese-style Steamed Fish dishes are pretty wonderful. That delicate Sweet Soy Sauce that it's served with is pretty amazing with Steamed Rice. Clean, simple, fantastic flavors that aren't "too weird" at all. :)

                      Add in a few more recs (I think ipse told me to try their Geoduck and Shellfish :) and you'll have a pretty impressive Hong Kong / Cantonese style meal (some of the best in So Cal).


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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: exilekiss

                        actually cantonese seafood would be my #1 choice, the problem is that it really should be done with at least like 4+ people and since it's just going to be me and him to grab a quick lunch, i didnt think it would really work

                        however, i was going to take my family out for dinner and that sounds like a pretty awesome idea, so i may do that