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Jul 8, 2011 12:32 PM

Thank Goodness For Movable Lettering - Yunnan 168 is now 168 Garden

Just slide the 168 from the back to the front and you've got new signage at a fraction of the cost. From what I can tell nothing else has visibly changed here. Same Yunnan 168 menu, same cold food display trays. On the other hand, restaurants don't change their name for no reason at all. So I don't know if there's a new owner, a new partner, or legal issues at work. 168 Garden is at 1530 S. San Gabriel Blvd. in San Gabriel.

Yunnan 168
1530 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. I hate this place.

    Bring back Spike's!

    14 Replies
      1. re: catbert

        Spike's was the fastfood teriyaki bowl type joint that was there long ago.

        Of course a changing demographic means the customers they once served moved out.

        1. re: Johnny L

          Funny thing is that when Spike's closed their San Gabriel location they re-opened in Westwood Village.

            1. re: Johnny L

              Even in the old days, Spike's wasn't quite a culinary destination. One of my acquaintances who worked there warned us NOT to eat there.

              1. re: raytamsgv

                Spike's was a decently fun high school hang out place though. Then wander over to nearby Carvel's for a soft serve cone.

                1. re: Jase

                  It was a good HS lunch place. It basically placated everyone's itch. For the folks we wanted burger or teriyaki, you go to Spikes. For those who wanted a burrito or a taco, you went to Del Taco next door. Win Win.

                2. re: raytamsgv

                  I remember Spike's being mediocre-to-bad, but I always liked that their cole slaw was cold and crispy.

              2. re: catbert

                care to go in to more detail?



                1. re: ipsedixit

                  But detail, Ipse? Eh, that's fine. I'm with you now on 168 - had the spicy lamb for lunch yesterday, which was not, and was basically fatty and gristly and swimming in chili oil. Not delicious. They also have raised most prices on dishes by a dollar (with a Sharpie, natch). I did like some of the Chinese menu English - one section was entitled "SNAKK OIT/CASSERIKE" (sorry, can't resist passing these gems along).

                  I'll stick with Yunnan Garden on Las Tunas, or any of the other multitudinous offerings in the area. One plus though - a server spoke English.

                  So (in my opinion at least) Spike's was part of the vast mediocre teriyaki burger conspiracy that once conquered L.A. and is now on the wane. No better or worse, cheap at least. I grew up going there and found it as forgettable as every other one.

                  1. re: cant talk...eating

                    My reference to the quoted term in 2009 and yours today are the only occurrences on the Internet. We're in select company.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      You didn't search thoroughly enough.


                      "Spicy with spicy" is pretty classic too.

                      1. re: sushigirlie

                        I've seen "Spicy with Spicy" or "Spicy On Spicy" at a few places, Yunchuan Garden (now Yunkun Garden) and Hunan Chilli King come to mind. It's ground pork that is hellfire red. Even had it once at Hunan Chilli King.

                        1. re: JThur01

                          This is not a hard dish to find in the SGV at all.

            2. I'll defend 168 Garden. I think it's on par with both Chung Kings, Yunnan Garden, and Yunkun Garden. I had boiled fish there. The fish was the freshest I've had at any of these Sichuan places, and the dish was more numbing than I've had anywhere (but not all that hot). For flavor, I prefer Chung King and Yunnan Garden, but 168 Garden was good too.

              The cold dishes I tried were excellent across the board. Rice was good. Tea was not good, but I've come to expect not-so-great tea in the SGV. All the waitresses I met spoke decent English. And the restaurant had an A in the window, if you can believe it.

              Chung King Restaurant
              1000 S San Gabriel Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776

              Yunnan Garden
              545 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

              3 Replies
              1. re: sushigirlie

                fwiw it's not chinese menu english. someone just moved the right hand over one space. SMALL POT/CASSEROLE, as opposed to SNAKK OIT/ CASSERIKE

                anyway, would like to try this place just to see if they serve the yunnan steam pot chicken (special pot etc) and the crossbridge noodles. do they? are they good?

                1. re: Jerome

                  They have Crossing the bridge noodles. Haven't tried them. I don't know about steam pot chicken.

                  To me, it's a Sichuan restaurant.

                  1. re: sushigirlie

                    Pretty much the same as Yunnan Garden and (now) Yunkun Garden. Yunnan restaurants have a few Yunnan style items and then a full Sichuan menu from the neighboring province. One rainy, Wintery afternoon at (then) Yunchuan Garden, every table I could see had Crossing The Bridge Noodles.

                    Yunnan Garden
                    545 W Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776