Dining Along Valley Blvd. in Alhambra - SGV
Hello Hounds - actually have two requests to make of y'all, one more challenging than the other.
1. I'm looking for good to great food - not high-end, but really Houndish type food - along Valley Blvd. in Alhambra, preferably around the intersection of Atlantic. The challenge: I only have 1/2 hour for lunch and bringing my meal back to the office won't really work - so I need to dine and dash or eat in my car (either is fine). I've not explored the area, at all, and need some guidance. Ideas?
2. I'm also looking for good take-out options between Valley Blvd. and Pasadena - will go as far east as Rosemead Blvd. but don't want to go too far south. Usually drive back to Pasadena on Atlantic to Huntington and then up Sierra Madre or take Valley across to San Gabriel. Bonus if the take-out place has variety when it comes to seafood / fish / vegetarian (no meat or fowl - dairy, fish, seafood is fine) options.
Many thanks for sharing your ideas and knowledge!
Thanks for the suggestions - keep 'em coming, please.
Monday I ended-up at Ba Le and, because I was pressed for time, ended-up getting a ham and cheese croissant and the shrimp summer rolls (for the life of me I cannot recall the proper name). Both were quite tasty, though they were also consumed with undue haste. I will definitely be returning.
Question for y'all: What's good at The Hat? I'm not a pastrami fan (a serious defect in my taste buds, I'm afraid) but they must have other quick sandwichish options that are recommended.
Thanks again! Laura
Can I suggest simply combing thru Yelp and using the "redo search in map" function? The information is rather bountiful, and there are plenty more of it. Nearly EVERY joint along Valley will do take out.
Ba Le hasn't been good in years, hence the other joint bearing similar name has shuttered (though I believe they are unrelated). IMO, they've stayed open because the Alhambrans are afraid of the Valley Blvd traffic all the way from Atlantic/San Gabriel (as they should).
For lunch, call in a take-out order from Wong Java House. $7 plates, cheap, super authentic, and oft spicy exotic. Big fan of what they're doing for the Indonesian food "movement" currently coursing through Alham.
More lunch: cruise the Kang Kang at NE corner of Garfield for $5 3-item bentos. It's cafeteria seating, and you should be able to get out in 30 if you gulp your lunch.
Also for lunch: what's the chance of getting a new job that allows 1 hour lunch?
My OTR dinner rec would be: M Delivery, because they do these 3 dish take out food, aka "com binh danh" (people/worker's food) so ubiquitous in Vietnam's peasant areas. They do a fantastic bun bo hue, but the stir fries are just like what I saw in Ha Noi. $15 for 3 dishes and a soup. It's not quite VND 30,000 ($1.50) for a mixed combo plate, but M Delivery's com binh danh feeds 2, and you a selection of ~10 dishes.
The Hat is foul. My daily cholesterol/fat allowance deserves better. I send tourists in for sh*ts and giggles, but I'm nicer to my own stomach.
9028 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683
I can probably answer your second question more easily, since we often get takeout in the area. Here are some favorites:
Sahara (Mid. eastern on Colorado nr. Sierra Madre) has a great veg. plate, taboule, baba, etc., so getting that with a kebab sandwich easily feeds two.
Wahib's in Alhambra is more of a Lebanese stewed dishes type place than a kebab grill like Sahara.
Lupitas (Mexican, same area) has great enchiladas, shrimp dishes, normal taqueria fare.
Tony's Pizza at Huntington and Del Mar (the north-south one) for eggplant parm, penne arrabiata. I actually liked the pizza better at Charlie's Trio better when I had it, or Tarantino's up on Green.
If you're splurging, I was surprised that Briganti (SoPas) does take-out.
I assume you probably avoid Fair Oaks given the current traffic situation, but Patakan (Thai) in SoPas is pretty good, though maybe annoying to pull in/out of at the time you'll be doing. But I like it better than the other cookie-cutter Thai places around.
Lots and lots of other options - these are just the places we return to.
re: cant talk...eating
Thanks, can't talk -
Sahara we love, I'd totally forgotten about Wahib's but that's made it onto my list. And we've not tried Lupita's, either.
Tony's Pizza is on our regular rotation, though I've not tried their pasta dishes - that'll be on for next week. Briganti I'd not thought about - we'll try them once the traffic situation on Fair Oaks improves.
I'd not heard of / made note of Patakan - off to read up on that, now.
Thanks for the feedback and recommendations!
1423 Mission St, South Pasadena, CA 91030
Ming Wa is decent for some pork chop rice (on Curtis, just about 2 blocks west of Atlantic)
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa, further west of Atlantic near Marengo(?), is a great little joint for Vietnamese, all the buns are good, esp. the bun bo hue (or as my uncle would say, "the bun bo hue is my mistress I can tell your aunt about!"),
And for take-out, esp. if you go are going north on Atlantic to Huntington, detour a bit and head north on Fair Oaks and just as you go over that hill where the 110 ends, you'll find Gerlach's Grill on the west side (your left hand side) on the other side of the hill. Good grilled fish and lots of seafood selections.
1075 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Ming Wa Restaurant
1227 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803
I drove by and made note of First Choice Noodle House last week - was planning on looking for reviews and recommendations here on CH, but then it slipped my mind. I am now jotting down options in a notebook. (After all, a prepared Hound is a happy Hound!) Thanks for the recommendation.
Ba Le is in a small strip mall adjacent to the Starbucks at the intersection of Atlantic and Valley. Their banh mi are very good, and they have a lot of those obligatory plastic wrapped lunch trays. Service is fast.
Huge Tree Pastry is on Atlantic, about a block or two south of the 10. I like their yo teiu iterations, and they're fast, but it can get crowded here.
Huge Tree Pastry
423 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754
I haven't been to Ba Le in two years, but if I remember correctly they have no seating. What I've done in the past is bought the cheapest item at the next-door Starbucks (the off-menu "short" coffee) and then consumed the banh mi on their patio, which is nice by Starbucks standards.