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Temple City Chinese Restaurant Developments

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I don't know how many local Temple City/Arcadia hounds there are here but some may like to know that there are suddenly more Asian places to eat in the area now and soon to be.

In the last week or so two eateries off Las Tunas Blvd and Temple City Blvd opened up.

First is the Kang Kang Food Court which is a new branch of the Alhambra locations, located 9618 Las Tunas Dr, Temple City, CA 91780.

Just west of Kang Kang by a hundred feet is a new restaurant called "A Golden House". I don't know why they have to add the "A" but then again most Chinese places have ridiculous or nonsensical names.

To the east of both of these newly opened restaurants is the soon to be opened Golden Deli Express. I am very excited about this because this means I have a good fallback place for takeout now. I believe this to be in the same vein of the Golden Deli off of Main in Alhambra.

On Rosemead Blvd we have what use to be the old karaoke/bar whatever it was, finally has a new sign up. "Beijing Duck House", this makes me hope for good things but I'll stay wary for now. If they do anything remotely close to doing roast goose in wood fires that would be a good start. The actual address is: 6420 Rosemead Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91775.

I find it strange how all of a sudden the Chinese from our own community finally decided to start new eateries. Maybe it is the recession that is killing much of the nonskilled labor and forcing people to do things they wanted to or never thought about doing.

I should be heading to A Golden House soon to check things out, hopefully its first week opening doesn't mean I have to suffer poor wait times, undercooked foods, and slow service.

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Kang Kang Food Court
27 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

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  1. We tried A Golden House (Jin Feng Yuan - 金豐園) the other night. It was already fairly crowded. Based on that experience, I would give them a little time to straighten things out. Not horrible, but definitely lacking polish, and the service was inconsistent (though there did seem to be a small army of waitstaff). One of the waitresses (many of the younger ones inexplicably dressed in 'SWAT' outfits) brought the salt that's normally used as a condiment for the jade fried fish dish alongside the xiao long bao (in place of the traditional ginger and black vinegar).
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7466...

    Definitely some Shanghaiese staff, the location is nice enough, quite a few draft beers on tap, and they were fairly helpful about making vegetarian dishes without chicken base, including the malan tou and doufu gan dish that's normally pre-made (though the resulting dishes were, understandably, prehaps, a little bland). Overall, interested to try it again in a little while, though based on this experience, I still prefer a few other Shanghai places in the area.

    8 Replies
    1. re: will47

      came back from trying it tonight. Other than the slow service which I expected, nothing was worth noting from the food I ate. In fact I found several fish scales on a fish dish my mother ordered.

      I'll be back in a few weeks to give it another try because I think it has potential but the inclusion of Szechuan dishes I find strange, just stick to one style and perfect it is what I would like but Chinese menus do tend to run amok when they want to satisfy every possible customer.

      1. re: Johnny L

        Isn't there a Taiwanese specialties section too?

        1. re: Johnny L

          I talked with a guy who I think was the owner and asked him about why he had Sichuan and Taiwanese items on his menu. His response was that it was because even Chinese customers in a Shanghai restaurant seem to want non-Shanghai dishes.

          As I noted elsewhere, the water-boiled fish dish there was the spiciest dish I've ever had in a Shanghai restaurant. It wasn't nearly as spicy as one that I've had at a Sichuan place (which had more Sichuan peppercorn), but it was pretty close. Perhaps the cook has some experience in this area.

          This place has potential, but they need to work through the usual grand-opening problems with staff and dishes. On the plus side, it is very nicely decorated. Parking is decent.

          1. re: raytamsgv

            Are the owners from mainland China, or Taiwanese?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              I'm not sure--I couldn't quite make out the accent, yet it did not sound Taiwanese. But I'm sure my Mandarin is not nearly as good as yours. I guess I should ask him next time.

              1. re: raytamsgv

                Accent?

                If you are Taiwanese, then Taiwanese people have no accent.

                If you are from Mainland China, then Mainlanders have no accent.

                Right? :-)

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I have *the* true standard Cantonese-Toisan-American pronunciation. It's everyone else who speaks with a funny accent. :-)

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    My accent is neo-classical ABC, with a hint of SGV slur ...

      2. It probably has to do with the fact that rents are way lower than they used to be pre-recession. Double digits lower. Despite people's spending still being off, it actually makes running a restaurant more profitable - and more significantly cheaper to start.

        4 Replies
        1. re: royaljester

          Restaurants are notoriously difficult to maintain. High operating costs together with extremely crowded competition, especially in L.A., and gov't regulations make failure rates at least 50% in the first year. A restaurant is generally a bad investment.

          1. re: cfylong

            I know all that, it doesn't change the fact that lower rents are the reason for a surge in restaurants and that this changes the startup costs and profitability equation. Why are the operating costs high? There are 3 main costs, with rent being that. Labor being another, it's no surprise that we're talking Chinese restaurants staffed by immigrants. I wouldn't equate Chinese restaurants in temple city to the average restaurant in LA.

            Of course restaurants fail very often, but like books and video games the one winner makes up for many losers. That makes it a risky investment in that usually fails. It doesn't automatically make it a bad investment. By that logic, any business in general is overwhelmingly a bad investment because 80% of them fail in the first five years.

            1. re: royaljester

              Of course restaurants fail very often, but like books and video games the one winner makes up for many losers.
              ______

              I don't really follow that point at all.

              In publishing and video games, one company will release a bunch of different offerings so that one hit for that company can cover the losses that same company suffered. But, if Chinese restaurnt A, B, C, D, E all open at the same time and only A is a success, its not like Chinese restuarnt A will then give its money to the other Chinese restaurants so that everybody else can stay in business.

              And, in publishing and video games, you'll get one blg blockbuster that will help cover the losses of those that failed to find an audience whereas even a restaurant that survives or one that is even considered a success won't be anywhere close to being as succesful as a blockbuster.

              In terms of investing, I can accept high failure rates if there's also a greater ROI. Junk bonds had a greater risk of default than investment grade bonds, but those junk bonds also give you a higher yield.

              I'd argue restaurants are poor investments because of notoriously high failure rate AND because there's not a great ROI for taking on all that risk. Even if everything goes right and the restaurant is a success, there's a very limited lifespan for it.

              1. re: hobbess

                I think what he meant was that when "one winner makes up for many losers" at the least we gain one decent restaurant in the area.

        2. I find it strange how all of a sudden the Chinese from our own community finally decided to start new eateries. Maybe it is the recession that is killing much of the nonskilled labor and forcing people to do things they wanted to or never thought about doing.
          _________________________________________________

          Come again?

          How is it that "all of a sudden" the Chinese people in our own community have started opening up new eateries?

          Have you met my idol Chandavkl here on these boards? Even with his intrepid spirt and stomach capacity, and seemingly limitless gas card, he can barely keep up with all the new restaurants that mushroom up over and and over again in the SGV.

          4 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Agreed it's not all of a sudden, but I think it is noteworthy that throughout the economic downturn, new Chinese restaurants have continued to open up in the SGV, at a faster rate than existing restaurants close down. Look at all of the restaurants opening up new branches in Atlantic Times Square, Chinese restaurants opening up in locations not previously occupied by such a business, and the very few restaurant storefronts that stay idle once somebody does close down. Oh, and I'm actually on a weight gain diet right now.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              The recession, or economic downturn, has not really affected the Chinses community in SGV -- at least not to the extent it has the greater SoCal area, esp. parts of the Inland Empire and San Diego county.

              Those property values in Arcadia, San Marino, Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, etc. speak to that in spades.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                Ah, the "seefood" diet...

              2. re: ipsedixit

                I meant in Temple City area since the rate of restaurants opening up here is not as common as in few towns down in San Gabriel, Monterey Park, and Temple City.

                I would think with such a large population of Asians here we'd see more happening in the Arcadia/Temple City area but its been pretty stagnant for quite some time.

              3. Can you (or someone) interpret what to order at Kang Kang (Alhambra)? I was there recently (alone) and stared blankly at this board with about 300 items and the staggering variety of food in warming trays and left after a few long minutes. I realize they have those little pan-friend bao (sorry if this isn't the correct term), but I wasn't in a dumpling/bun/noodle mood for some reason, and just panicked. Since they also have stuff from all over China, what do they do well? I want to get back there and do it right!

                1 Reply
                1. re: cant talk...eating

                  cant talk,

                  You might want to post your inquiry on a new thread; otherwise, it'll get lost in this one.

                  That said, it's really hard to give recs unless we know what you like and don't like -- regardless of whether it is baozi or dumplings, or wontons, or whatever.

                  I don't find anything at Kang Kang all that great -- everything is pretty just mediocre. Some good gems might be the Taiwanese snack items, but the stir-fried dishes and the like are run-of-the-mill, as are the noodle and dough-based dishes.

                  But really, post on a separate thread and solicit responses that way ...

                2. Beijing Duck House does sound interesting. Does it look like it'll open anytime soon? Sounds like that's the location of the original Jade West Restaurant from many years ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    2-3 months at the earliest form my estimates. I saw that they completely tore down the interior a few weeks back and nothing else since then, the sign went up more recently but I'll keep an eye on it since I drive by everyday.

                    No idea how long they will take pending permits and such, heck the Ikegami restaurant down the street from Home Depot on Lower Azusa has been in development for years.