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SGV Update: Ch-ch-changes

Ding's Garden - gone, replaced by Lucky Noodle King. From items on window, sort of an all encompassing noodle place skewing to "Szechuan", but also Thai, Tomato, etc.

Snack Pop (in Sunny Plaza) - gone, replaced by Open Kitchen. Similar drink menu (no "in the rocks" though), but some difference in snack items, though fairly standard fare. Repainted inside. Kind of Pa Pa Walk-ish now, though in brown and orange.

And, I realize this is vague, but I am 1. tired and 2. recovering from a bad cold, but the HK-fusion place in the back corner of the southern portion of the plaza on Garfield that has Dean Sin World and Giang Nan in the northern portion...the name escapes me (was it L'Amour Cafe, or was that the prior tenant?)...whatever it was, it is gone, replaced by a Thai restaurant, whose name also escapes me in my enveloping haze.

Along Atlantic in Monterey Park, the Atlantic Times Square project has signage up for Tasty Garden, Phoenix and Ten Ren's among others.

Saw a couple of other "new" places, not that I can recall replacing anything of note. Sorry...fatigue and bug make me...not word write well so.

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Giang Nan
306 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA

Snack Pop
529 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

Ding's Garden
534 E Valley Blvd Ste 10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. The thai place in the back of that plaza is Hoy Kha: http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2...

    And at the Atlantic Times Square, I saw a sign up for Green Island. I'm hoping it's from the same people that do the restaurant of the same name in Temple City.

    6 Replies
    1. re: andytseng

      andy, yes...Hoy Kha. Thank you. Sounds like a great Thai option in the SGV. Green Island, yes, another one with signage up. Thanks for filling in my oversights caused by being early in recuperation from a bad, bad cold.

      I was pleasantly surprised by the signage up at Atlantic Times Square as previous remarks have quite dismissively indicated it was only Westernized chain places like Johnny Rocket's that were planned.

      1. re: JThur01

        Two others that popped back in...

        Jazz Cat Cafe on Valley in Alhambra has closed and been replaced by 15 Cats Cafe.

        Half & Half Tea House opened up a second location, this on Atlantic in Monterey Park - in early August, I don't know how I missed that! (I guess traffic was too bad when I last passed by. Gotta watch those driveways on northbound side).

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        Jazz Cat Cafe
        640 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803

        1. re: JThur01

          Has anybody mentioned Tea Spots which opened a couple months ago at the former Sweet Island location (400 E. Valley, San Gabriel)? I didn't think it was worth mentioning since the menu wasn't terribly distinctive,though I thought it was odd to name a cafe after something that needs to be laundered.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            I don't know that Tea Spots has been mentioned, but I have stopped in there. Good prices (deals) on teas. Was quite busy. Young crowd. I wonder if they drew away from Snack Pop. With a seating capacity of around 24, it's spacious by comparison.

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            Snack Pop
            529 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

          2. re: JThur01

            15 Cats has opened. Exclusively noodle and rice dishes, seemingly with a Taiwanese bent. Closed on Tuesdays, I believe, so I'll have to go back.

            Li Jiang Noodle, the Yunnan style noodle restaurant just east of Del Mar appears to have been replaced by a Vietnamese restaurant.

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            Del Mar Cafe
            712 S Del Mar Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

            Jiang
            12045 Garden Grove Blvd, Garden Grove, CA 92843

            1. re: JThur01

              if anyone is looking for jazz cat cafe, they moved to that new-ish plaza across from hawaii supermarket on valley.

        2. Thanks for the update. The Hong Kong fusion place was called Hong Kong Fusion. L'Amour Cafe was before that and it came and went before I could try it. Which Ding's Garden location are you referring to?

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          Ding's Garden
          534 E Valley Blvd Ste 10, San Gabriel, CA 91776

          6 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl

            You're welcome. Ah, yes...Hong Kong Fusion, well I remembered that it was "a" Hong Kong Fusion. I thought L'Amour pre-dated it. Thank you.

            The Ding's in the plaza (Valley Plaza) with Lu's Garden, Tianjin Bistro, Green Zone and Hunan Chili King.

            Just one Ding's left now (Garfield Lincoln Center in Monterey Park). Now when someone says "Ding's", no longer will the reply be "Which one?"

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            Lu's Garden
            534 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

            1. re: JThur01

              Isn't there a 'Ding's Garden' in Rowland Heights too?

              1. re: will47

                Good catch! It's over on Gale where the Sam Woos used to be.

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                Sam Woo Cafe
                727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

              2. re: JThur01

                Thanks for the clarification. I kind of wonder about that branch of Ding's, since the last time I went there a couple of years ago all the menus etc. inside were marked "Savory Garden". After that I expected the outside signage to change, but that never happened.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  I could be wrong, but I think the Chinese name (on both the signage and the menus) was consistently 大合卤味. The branch in Rowland Heights (which I haven't been to) seems to have the same Chinese name, but from the description, I think specializes in different stuff.

                  1. re: will47

                    Excellent point. I dragged out the "Savory Garden" business card and the Chinese name is the same as you have listed.

            2. Thanks for the updates JThur01. Always appreciated.

              Keeping up with the changes in SGV is sort of like trying to dig out of quicksand, or keeping the sand dry from the rising tide ...

              4 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                You're welcome. Concur about trying to keep up, it's a daunting task even when in great health and clear head. For the number of restaurants and the seeming perpetual flux, it was reasonably stable for a time until apparently mid-August on. Some of the changes I mention seem to have happened in the last two weeks. Last year, October and November brought a lot of changes to the area.

                1. re: JThur01

                  And some (many?) of these changes are almost irrelevant because the menu doesn't really change, only the banner and signage outside, which is simply a way for the restaurant to announce a "grand opening" and offer up some sweet new opening deal ...

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Oh, how cynical ipsedixit...and how often true! I didn't stop in and chat, but the folks at Open Kitchen clearly are different people than the family that ran Snack Pop. Lucky Noodle King appears on the surface to have a quite different menu than Ding's. The others I can't vouch for one way or the other.

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                    Snack Pop
                    529 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                    1. re: JThur01

                      15 Cats doesn't appear to be open, so we'll have to wait on that one. Monterey Palace on Garvey near New has Grand Opening signs up, but the name has not changed. I know that location has had four different incarnations in 30 years (Monterey Garden, Le Yuen, Harbor Palace, Monterey Palace) where I'm convinced that nothing really changed. It would be ironic if it finally changed hands but the name stayed the same.

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                      Harbor Palace
                      1949 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA 90717

                      Monterey Palace Restaurant
                      1001 E Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91755

              2. Just wanted to update that I saw Green Island at Atlantic Times Square is open. As well as Gatten Sushi, which I don't expect to be chow-worthy. I think a few more places in the plaza have opened up, but I've only driven by recently.

                5 Replies
                1. re: andytseng

                  Phoenix Inn, Curry House, Johnny Rockets, Lee's Sandwich, some yogurt place, and a small restaurant that looks like it is at the corner that face the street adjacent to Phoenix end (with no signage) seems to be open too. Tried Curry House a few weeks ago. About half the menu items said coming soon.

                  1. re: andytseng

                    Is that Green Island at Atlantic Sq. related to the one in Temple City?

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I'm guessing that it is. Strange that all of the Chinese restaurants in this complex are relocations or new branches of existing Chinese restaurants. You'd think somebody would want to plop a new venture into this venue.

                      1. re: Chandavkl

                        Sometimes, the developer is bound by an agreement with a city that it will sign only chain restaurants or prove that the restaurant owners have a history of successful businesses. Regardless, the lease will be pretty expensive, which limits the number of applicants.

                        1. re: raytamsgv

                          Good point. The initial description of that development was that it would house national chains. Perhaps not enough of those signed up so they opened it up to existing establishments.