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Original Shrimp House? El Monte

f
Fog City Kid Sep 11, 2005 08:23 PM

I think the name was Original Shrimp House on Valley Blvd. in El Monte. Is it still there and if so, how are the shrimp? I hope it is still there as they had the best fried shrimp in the world. TIA

  1. c
    coconutz Jun 8, 2007 11:03 PM

    Thanks to taco for reviving this thread. I mentioned this to my Aunt, who used to live in El Monte and she was thrilled to hear that it is still around (your hosts, The Collas Family, since 1961.) Her husband loved this place and they had been eating at the Claremont/Pomona location, but that was sold, went downhill, then out of business and is now a sushi place.

    5 of us went tonight on a mission for the breaded, fried Jumbo Shrimp (the house specialty.) We asked how big they were and the waitress said they were pretty good sized that day, not the biggest, but not too bad. Apparently it can vary a bit, depending on what comes in any given day. These were butterflied and measured about 2"x4". Two of our light eaters ordered the 3 Junbo with fries ($9.25) and couldn't eat all the shrimp. Clam chowder or salad AND fries, rice or slaw comes with each dinner.

    I tried the scampi ($10.75), based on the comments here. That was 15+ medium shrimp in an oval crock filled with melted butter and garlic spice sludge. The garlic flavor was good, but I really can't enjoy anything swimming in a vat of butter-- too much! The shrimp were curled tightly too, so a bit overcooked to me. Others enjoyed their tastes but I'd order the Jumbo fried next time. I chose the rice pilaf (this has got to be Near East out of the box, could be worse, though cause I like that stuff), and a soft thick breadstick came with it.

    I liked the clam chowder. Red chowder comes with your dinner, but you pay 50 cents extra for white, which I choose. At first I thought it was nothing special but it really grew on me. It is not pasty and floury, rather it has a silky smooth texture, with just a little clam and potato. The Manhatten chowder I tasted was fine, creamy too. One person got salad and it looked appetizing and fresh in a sliced iceberg and red cabbage kinda way. The french fries that come with the plates are good too, good potato-y flavor.

    They have other fried fish, medium shrimp (I'd stick with the Jumbo), cod or pollack, and scallops. Lots of combination plates. You can get grilled items instead of fried. Specials board included halibut. Menu lists grilled wild salmon filet at $9.95 . And yes, taco, there is a steak, 10 ounce sirloin with 2 baby lobster tails for a bargain $15.25, but I have no idea if it's any good.

    Altogether a cool old-school type of place, with good prices for what you get. Nothing fancy and not worth a super long drive, it took us only 20-25 minutes. Only one table seats more than 4, mostly booths. They seem to do a busy takeout business and have real deals on MTW.

    Google gave me wrong directions--from the Valley exit off the 10 West, turn Left. It is just a couple of blocks down, on the north side of the street, look for the big white life preserver. Parking lot.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coconutz
      taco Jun 16, 2007 03:49 PM

      thank you so much for your response coconutz I was wondering if any one would let me know about the steak. I m not really into lobster, my husband is so maybe i will get that and give him the lobster. I do like fried fish and salmon.. mmmm i want to go!!

      1. re: taco
        t
        tcrichard Jun 25, 2007 11:21 AM

        How cool A place I grew up with, and others share my love of good shrimp. Growing up my folks went to the O shrimp house in El Monte. Thats where I go today, funny thing though after my siblings moved out my sister would only go to the place in Arcadia and my brother would go to Temple City. He really misses it. Think I'll go tonight.

    2. l
      Like-Go-Eat? Sep 13, 2005 01:24 AM

      You asked two questions. First, is the Original Shrimp House still there. YES, it is still there as it has been since 1961. I was told it is still owned by the same family. That classic street sign (a giant ring life preserver “SHRIMP HOUSE”) still stands on Valley Blvd. I recalled seeing it when I was a kid.

      Second, you asked, “if so, how are the shrimp?” Let me tell you what I think. My standard for shrimp scampi was set one afternoon five years ago on the North Shore of Oahu while eating at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. The taste of Giovanni’s sauce (Garlic, butter, and I think some bacon grease and maybe lemon) left me without words to describe the sensation I had eating that day. I have been on a five year coast to coast quest for Shrimp Scampi that would give the same sensation when eating. Some were good but... . Today, because of your post, I decided to try the Shrimp House. Thank you. My quest has ended. The Shrimp House has a scampi sauce with Garlic, butter and lemon that is just right. I also realized a name for the sensation I felt five years ago, and again today – BLISS. I realize now that it is not simply the “Garlic, butter and lemon” but the quality, how and what amount those things are put together. I am not saying the two (Shrimp House and Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck) are the same. I am saying they are the best scampi I have ever had and are blissful.

      Original Shrimp House
      11821 Valley Blvd
      El Monte, CA 91732-3039
      (626) 448-8742

      Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
      Kahuku (near the sugar Mill)
      Hale’iwa (near McDonald’s)
      (808)293-1839

      16 Replies
      1. re: Like-Go-Eat?
        f
        Fog City Kid Sep 13, 2005 11:23 AM

        Thank you for the comments. Now I know I've got to hop on a plane and go down there. Thanks again...

        1. re: Like-Go-Eat?
          taco Jun 3, 2007 03:24 PM

          I was just told the food was very good there by my sister in law.. She is going tonight.. So I thought I would inquire to all you chowhounds and see what you all think of this place .. maybe I will join her! THANKS

          1. re: taco
            j
            JeetJet Jun 3, 2007 03:30 PM

            I still like the shrimp scampi. The batter of the deep fried stuff is a little thick? Maybe dense. Leaves me with an after taste. However, if the deep fried shrimp are combined with a nice dipping sauce then maybe. Otherwise I would stick with shrimp without batter.

            1. re: JeetJet
              taco Jun 3, 2007 03:39 PM

              I heard they have steak there too.. how is that? and how are the sides? I m not really into shrimp or seafood.

              1. re: taco
                m
                MaryT Jun 3, 2007 08:28 PM

                They also own:
                SHRIMP AHOY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
                4480 E. Live Oak Ave.
                Arcadia, CA 91006
                I went to the former mentioned above, but had the fried fish and agree on the postings re the coating, which was "okay" maybe even a little above average for this area, but after several postings, I'm out to try the scampi myself sometime soon.

                1. re: MaryT
                  j
                  JeetJet Jun 3, 2007 10:42 PM

                  Ya, the deep fried batter is maybe above avarge, made with pride but dense. I get the scampi but I also like the coconut shrimp. The shrimp are good but the dipping sauce is a must try blend of Lemon, Orange, and Ginger. I wanted to keep eating it. During the week at lunch time they do a lot a take-out because of a special that they offer. I have never had any beef there. I did like both chowders but they are not the reason to go. You can tell by just looking at the parking lots that the owners take pride in these two places. These two places are Very clean inside and out and has been for many decades -- same owners. The only time I order the deep fried fish or shrimp is when I feel like doing lots of hot sauce. The link below is for the menu but I have to wonder if the prices have been updated. Two months ago I was at the Shrimp Ahoy location and I heard a customer going off about the recent price increase saying something like, "Twenty five years ago I only had to pay bla bla bla" I looked closer at the menu and thought about the price of gas 25 yrs. ago and then ordered with a smile.

                  Original Shrimp House
                  http://www.shrimphouseelmonte.com/

                  Here is a post I made about another place nearby that has many good shrimp dishes and some very good asada and asada tacos.
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/79899...

                  1. re: JeetJet
                    Cinnabon Jun 4, 2007 04:31 PM

                    I like the OG Shrimp House. They may still offer a Monday night special which is a dozen shrimps & fries for around $13.50.

                  2. re: MaryT
                    r
                    RoxyGrl Jun 4, 2007 06:08 PM

                    Interesting. I didn't think they had the same owners - did they buy out Shrimp Ahoy when it was sold a few years back? I know it used to be owned by a Greek family who had it for many years prior to the sale.

                    1. re: RoxyGrl
                      k
                      ken farr Nov 19, 2007 08:07 PM

                      RoxyGrl:
                      Tell your grandparents they did a great job. I was just thinking of the place the other day, sitting in the dining room or taking home an order, parents, grandparents and uncle....all gone now.
                      It was a great place....
                      Good memories
                      Tell 'em thanks!!

            2. re: Like-Go-Eat?
              r
              RoxyGrl Jun 3, 2007 10:32 PM

              You guys are making me nostalgic for the Shrimp Boat in Temple City. My grandparents started it when I was little and I used to wander around munching shrimp all day. I had no idea how good I had it.

              I'll have to head over to the Shrimp House one of these days and give it a try

              1. re: RoxyGrl
                Cinnabon Jun 4, 2007 04:28 PM

                Roxy Grl,

                The Shrimp Boat in Temple City was that on Lower Azusa?

                If so that was Johnny's Shrimp Boat that is now in West Covina off off Vincent & Cameron, across the way from the West Covina DMV. Their shrimp is like a fluffy tempura ball with a shrimp inside.

                1. re: Cinnabon
                  a
                  aurora50 Jun 4, 2007 04:39 PM

                  Ooo, I gotta try that for lunch!!! I don't work far away.

                  1. re: Cinnabon
                    r
                    RoxyGrl Jun 4, 2007 06:05 PM

                    Hi -

                    Nope, it was on Rosemead near Las Tunas across from K-Mart. It's now a Jiffy Lube I think?

                    1. re: RoxyGrl
                      j
                      JeetJet Jun 6, 2007 09:58 AM

                      Roxy, you would not know how much Johnny's Shrimp Boat was loved.I have friends and family who still mention that place. Each time I drive past the old location it seems like I am on the wrong street because it is not there, and it has been a long time. Someone must pick up the torch and carry on. Maybe, Roxy's Shrimp Boat?

                      1. re: JeetJet
                        r
                        RoxyGrl Jun 6, 2007 01:17 PM

                        Aw, that's great to hear. They really put their heart and soul into that place and in return I know their customers loved them. My grandma had a free traffic ticket pass with the Temple City sheriff's dept for many years thanks to the deputies love for their seafood.

                        I will let them know that they were remembered here, they'll get a kick out of it. But, watching them work all those crazy hours for all those years sure hasn't inspired me to take up the torch!!

                        Now I'm going to have to go to the Shrimp House this week. All this talk has lit up a craving

                        1. re: RoxyGrl
                          j
                          JeetJet Jun 6, 2007 04:26 PM

                          If you go to the Original Shrimp House you will notice how clean the place is inside and out. That should remind you of the ambiance of Johnny's Shrimp Boat -- so clean! Also, notice there are two doors. One door is for the main dinning area and to the right of that door there is a second door. The second door is for a small room with a take-out counter, but there are also a few booths in that room. Sometimes it is nice when the main room has too many people to just eat in the small room. Somehow there is a different kind of ambiance eating in a room while people come-in-and-out picking-up take-out orders. Not for everyone, but I like relaxing with my meal while seeing others on-the-go. But then I like sitting on the porch of the China Closet with a cup of coffee and an oatmeal cookie on Main Street USA – people watching. All this made me hungry for shrimp .

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