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May 21, 2011 08:14 AM

Monterey Palace Set To Open Branch in San Gabriel--Will San Gabriel Retaliate?

According to TonyC, the branch of Monterey Palace being readied on Valley Bl. on the street in front of San Gabriel Square will be opening shortly. Monterey Palace is the restaurant on Garvey near New Ave. which over the past 30 years has operated under four different English names but the same Chinese name. I'm kind of surprised they're using the Monterey Palace name in San Gabriel, not only because that English name hasn't been in use so long as to be a famous name, but also because of the rivalry and rancor between the cities of Monterey Park and San Gabriel. As you may recall, for a short time there was a San Gabriel Valley Chinese New Year parade that ran through Monterey Park. Alhambra, and San Gabriel. Given the current demographics, that parade should have become the premiere Chinese New Year event in the Los Angeles area. Yet the celebration has downsized to fixed location street fairs. The reason is that Monterey Park and San Gabriel squabbled over which city would be at the start of the parade and which city would be the terminus. (My recollection is that the parade started in Monterey Park and ended in San Gabriel, which means that San Gabriel was miffed.) I'm guessing San Gabriel's best chance to get even would be to have the Shun Fat in Monterey Park renamed San Gabriel Superstore.

The new Monterey Palace is occupying a freestanding building which I believe had been a night club for many many years. Though I drove by that spot dozens if not hundreds of times, I can't remember the name of the night club, so if somebody does, I would appreciate hearing it.

San Gabriel Superstore
1635 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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

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  1. I think that nightclub/karaoke bar had a "rose" in its name if I recall correctly. Does that ring a bell?

    Also, regarding the parade route and specifically the start and end points of the parade, I think there was hubub about whether the route should be West to East (or Monterey Park to SG), or East to West (SG to Monterey Park).

    I forget what it was, but one of the directions was deemed not fortuitous, esp. as a way to kick off the New Year. I just don't recall which way that was. I'm guessing it was East to West, but something tells me that it should be the other way around.

    5 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Well the Red Rose is still across the street from New Taste Dumpling House and I think it was their guard who stopped the Mayor of San Gabriel from doing any more damage. As far as Monterey Palace's location, I'm thinking it might have been a non-Asian night club, between the building with Kee Wah Bakery and the gas station. As to the parade, my buddy was a parade volunteer and he claims it was pure civic jealousy that killed the parade.

      Dumpling House Restaurant
      5612 Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, CA 91780

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

      1. re: Chandavkl

        i'm guessing, but you're talking about the area between the motel and gas station...? i remember there used to be a mexican restaurant there too. i think the last time i looked it had closed. but what i do remember, the buildings were white! is that the area you speak of?

          1. re: Chandavkl

            The Mexican restaurant (Armando's?) is still there, it's to the west of the motel. The night club was signed the Bayside Night Club in English, but had Chinese characters as well. That's the building the MPK Palace BBQ is going in. Between the gas station and the motel.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        It's open and it's one of the strangest places I've seen. Certainly nothing else like it anywhere in the vicinity. They have the hanging meats, which is not the unusual part. They also have a fast food take out section that offers all of seven entree choices, three of which were not available today. Mostly chicken items (I had the giant chicken steak). Pork chop and fish choices were listed on the wall but the trays were empty. Then there's be back of the store, where they sell fresh poultry, rabbits, etc., wrapped up in plastic bags. Street address is 118 W. Valley Bl. in San Gabriel.

      3. My recollection of the parade was that it started in MP and ended in Alhambra, which upset the city of MP because people congregated and spent more at the parade terminus.

        1. i can't find the original thread i read, but i wanted to thank the folks here who recommended monterey palace's duck. we got one duck from sam woo (las tunas) and one from monterey palace (sg) for my dad's b-day. we are now converts.

          interms of comparison, overall, mp is much more flavorful and has a lot of seasoning in their sauce. sw tasted bland hence.
          mp was also leaner and meatier. both a pro and con, as the lack of fat can make some pieces taste dry. however, for my older parents whom have to be more health conscience, this is better. to add, a gripe of sorts, the mp in sg doesn't have as much business as sw so the ducks have been hanging there for a while adding to the dryness. my mother also thought the duck was higher quality and preferred the cut (sliced it up).

          other than that, hate the location. trying to cross busy valley blvd is a pain and the parking is not much of anything. they put a lot of sauce in the box so be careful to prevent major spillage (anyone miss the days when metal catering trays were used?). oh! they also don't have as much selection as sw on las tunas, so if you like to get a variety, you won't find it here.

          anyways, not sure if this helped, as each (individual) duck tastes different, but we plan to buy our ducks from mp from now on. hopefully next time i can make the trek out to try the branch in monterey park

          thanks again!

          2 Replies
          1. re: catbert

            i think i'm gonna have to retract my suggestion for this place.

            recently went back, got 2 ducks, 1 chicken, and bbq pork. it was bad.
            one of the ducks had the strong, distasteful duck taste (think like you don't want fish to taste fishy). the chicken was really mediocre. it wasn't as offensive as some supermarket delis, but not good enough as buying one from a restaurant or sam woo deli. the bbq pork was the worst offender. horrible! horrible!! horrible!!! i think the meat was old. it tasted like that leftover you find in the back of the fridge, you don't remember when you put it in there but it doesn't smell horrible so you try it...

            perhaps it's best to say the place has gone downhill since opening? it kinda makes sense since i never see very many customers inside. there's no crowd or fighting for ducks like at sam woo. the few i've seen are usually buying the raw meat on the other end of the counter, not the hot food.

            definitely going back to sam woo until someone mentions better.

            1. re: catbert

              Thanks for the update. Timely downhill reporting is one of the most valuable things about CH.