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Apr 25, 2011 01:41 PM

More Dongbei For You And Me-Thousand Tasty in San Gabriel

The past couple of years has seen an influx of Dongbei restaurants both in the San Gabriel Valley and the Bay Area. I don't know if this represents the demographics of the Chinese American community, or whether it's just the copycat syndrome that has marked the Los Angeles Chinese restaurant scene since the 1970s. In any event, the new Dongbei entrant is Thousand Tasty Restaurant (sic), which replaces the short-lived (and deservedly so) Yu Pin, which earlier this year had replaced the beloved Bamboodles. Anyway, all of your Dongbei favorites are available at Thousand Tasty--sour napa, corn and pine nuts, green been starch salads and much more. The starch sheets with cucumbers and peanut sauce was quite good. Thousand Tasty is at 535 W. Valley, NE corner of New Ave.

535 W Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. As usual, thanks for the heads-up. One of these days, I might actually be able to eat in a small portion of the restaurants you discover.

    1. Yes, thanks for this and all your SGV reconnaissance work, Chandavkl!

      Mr Taster

      1. Thanks for the update! What your thoughts on LA Mags Chinese food issue?

        5 Replies
        1. re: puppychao

          Well, historically the Los Angeles Magazine Chinese food listings have been laughable, ignoring virtually all of the Chinese restaurants in the SGV. Indeed a couple of decades ago I wrote them a letter questioning their knowledge of Chinese food, and they printed it. And while their current top 10 list includes Mr. Chow, which would seemingly automatically destroy any credibility they may have, they did a good job of finding the really good and under the normal radar Chinese restaurants. They clearly did their homework, consulting with people in the know like TonyC in putting the issue together. Some of their current ratings I question, but I'm more pleased than displeased

          Mr. Chow
          344 N. Camden Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Thanks for the heads up.

            Re: Mr. Chow's....what do you think about all that hype with them bringing in chefs from China to make fresh hand pulled noodles to order at their restaurant? Still not as good as SGV, most likely....

            1. re: TripleAxel

              There's perhaps a sea change occurring in Chinese restaurants in this country--credible upscale Chinese food. (See ipsedixit's favorable comments on Hakkasan in another thread.) I hope to discuss this in an upcoming Menuism article. I suspect Mr. Chow is trying to cash in on that. However given the reputation that they have established up to this point in time, I think it's uphill for them on this count.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                There's perhaps a sea change occurring in Chinese restaurants in this country--credible upscale Chinese food.

                There's a topical WSJ article on this very topic.

                Use your inner Google-fu to pull it up if it piques your foodiosity.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Saw the article when it came out the other day. Of course they lumped in un-credible Chinese food with the credible stuff, as both categories are expanding.

        2. has anyone been since? i didn't even know that this place existed until the friend of a friend recommended the place and i did my search of CH to see what i could find out.

          9 Replies
          1. re: barryc

            I'm curious too. At least as of last menu I have, Thousands Tasty had smoked chicken bones on the menu. Calling TonyC...

            1. re: JThur01

              the bones at shen yang last month were... insipid; hardly any cumin on them. so we skipped them today and concentrated on the cold noodle, which were in fact better than the noodles i got at yu chun last week, though yu chun has the hot broth...

              1. re: barryc

                Shen Yang in MPK has been promising the smoked bones. I dunno if they've added yet (TonyC?). The cold noodles at Shen Yang are great.

                1. re: JThur01

                  they hadn't added ice to it the previous times i'd been there, but they did last week upon request.

              2. re: JThur01

                went for lunch yesterday. we ordered:
                - lamb skewers;
                - meat pie;
                - sheets with cucumber & sauce - basically hiyashi chuka minus the chicken & tomato;
                - cumin chicken bones;
                - nagaimo stir fried with a green vegetable that now escapes me (and i forgot to take a pic). i had such high hopes for the nagaimo dish, having had nagaimo in various types of sushi, expecting the crunchy root to break down into a creamy substance, but apparently, cooking it changes the chemistry enough that it was more like eating jicama.
                - twice cooked pork (a concession to one of the people who went);
                - pork tendon with corn salsa;

                i pretty much ordered them by the volume of leftovers, and the leftovers are already in the trash.

                the lamb skewers & meat pie were difficult to screw up. the chicken bones did not appeal to anyone. they were overly salty, and despite being well fried, were somehow sticky as if they hadn't been completely done. there is a small glob of mustard in the bean sheets (which were good), make sure you mix that thoroughly or take it all in one small bite. it may have been authentic, but i was disappointed.

                i was also kinda amused to watch them offload supplies from the back of an SUV in the parking lot through the front door and into the back.

                the use of nagaimo and the fact that the sheets were very much like japanese hiyashi chuka in terms of composition and flavoring of the dressing makes me wonder if there's some sort of japanese influence going on in the kitchen.

                i've tried posting with pics, but the website hangs.

                1. re: barryc

                  Thanks for the report. So, how would you compare it to Shen Yang (MPK) and Shen Yang (SG)?

                  1. re: JThur01

                    have only been to the MP location. i heard rumors about a change in the kitchen in MP which seems to be borne out by my last visit. the cold noodles were still good. i had just had the same noodles at yu chun over in k-town the week before and these noodles were better IMO. they actually added ice at my request where in previous visits they had not served it with ice. and SY still omits MSG at your request.

                    unfortunately, renditions of things like the cumin chicken bones were IMO inferior on my last visit. the bones were relatively flavorless compared to previous visits. i guess that that means is that i would still recommend SY MP for the korean cold noodles. and if i had to TT again, i'd stick with their version of hiyashi chuka. it occurs to me that this may reflect a bias i have for cold noodles - at least while it's still hot out.

                    1. re: barryc

                      gah! only one pic at a time?