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Awesome Eatery Opens In Monterey Park (And I'm Not Referring to Fortune Dumplings)

No, this is not an ecstatic review of a new restaurant but rather notice that Awesome Eatery is the name of a new restaurant that has just opened up in Monterey Park. Ironically both Awesome Eatery and Fortune Dumpling have opened up while TonyC is cavorting in Chicago, as he had previously pegged these as coming attractions in his Eater LA column. Awesome Eatery is the fifth restaurant occupant at 501 W. Garvey Ave., #101 in five years, and serves, well, how do you categorize a restaurant that serves Tianjin buns, stinky tofu, three cups squid, Hunan tofu, fish dumplings, herbal lamb stew and sea and land snails with basil? The largest menu categories are labeled "Northern", so that's probably the best classification. They're offering a 20 percent discount during their grand opening period, so hurry on down!

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  1. Nicely written.

    1. Pan-Chinese? (Pandarin?)...or, simply something for nearly everyone? Thanks for the update Chandavkl. I noticed the sign when I was in the area last Sunday, but didn't have time to stop in.

      1. Real 'stinky tofu'? Chou dofu? My wife will love it. Thanks for the tip.

        1. If there's stinky tofu and three-cup chicken, it's Taiwanese. Delusional Taiwanese, perhaps, but Taiwanese.

          13 Replies
          1. re: condiment

            Thanks. Wife's from Changsha, Hunan. Need to find the really stinky rancid black stuff for her. Ugh for me.

            1. re: Milwood

              Mama's Kitchen makes their stinky tofu in-house. Best in SGV. Hands down, no doubt.

              They ferment their own stuff and it comes out outrageously awesome. Plus, top it with some of their housemade pickled veggies and chili sauce (gratis, on each of the tabletops), and you can go to town. Stinky tofu heaven.

              Mama’s Kitchen
              1718 New Ave
              (626) 289-8984

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              Mama's Kitchen
              1718 New Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Thanks. Not far from my in-laws in MP. Will try. Appreciate.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Isn't this the address for Omar's Xinjiang Halal Restaurant (新疆風味小吃)???

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/733500

                  1. re: Mr. Roboto

                    Yes, Mama's Kitchen moved around the corner and into Alhambra to 1308 E. Valley Bl. Omar is actually the second post-Mama's restaurant in that New Ave. location.

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                    Mama's Kitchen
                    1718 New Ave, San Gabriel, CA 91776

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      That should be 1308 EAST Valley Blvd (west of New Ave) in Alhambra.

                      1. re: Mr. Roboto

                        Thanks--edit made.

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          I only brought it up because the addresses on Valley Blvd around New Ave always mess me up and I'm sure others too.. West of New it's East Valley Blvd in Alhambra, while east of New it's West Valley Blvd in San Gabriel with a different numbering sequence. Likewise south of the 10, if driving on Garvey Ave, west of New is Monterey Park & east of New is Rosemead with the same numbering attributes.

                          A colleague of mine ended up at the wrong restaurant a few years ago, he was confused between San Gabriel Valley & the City of San Gabriel (the meeting place). He referred to anything east of the 710 as San Gabriel.

                          -----
                          West Valley Cafe
                          5353 Balboa Blvd Ste 101, Encino, CA 91316

                          1. re: Mr. Roboto

                            Similar problem on Atlantic and on Garfield which run through Monterey Park and Alhambra with similar addresses. There aren't any restaurants on North Atlantic in Alhambra, but that's not going to stop people from looking there.

                            1. re: Mr. Roboto

                              I became a victim of address confusion, too...Ive only been to Elite once. The 2nd time i intended to take a friend there, to whom id raved about Elite...I thought I drove all over and got to ,like, the 800 block of what i thought was S Atlantic and then suddenly the addresses were in the 3900s or whatever..o, what disappointment because by the time we gave up on Elite, it was too late for lunch....o the pain...for some reason i have no trouble finding Sea Harbour so ive been going there regularly...ok w/ me because ive become addicted to their pan fried noodles...never seen rice noodles/ chow fun int rolled ,mini tube style..i was overwhelmed by the chewing experience! anyone know if this tube-cut is done elsewhere?

                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                Speaking of Elite, in the same mini-mall is Mandarin Deli, which serves a nicely rancid stinky tofu dish. I remember the owner serving a fresh plate to a table of 4 (while I was waiting for my to go order to be completed). Immediately, the small eatery was reeking of that foul stench, so bad that the owner then proceeded to prop the front door open and pulled out a table fan. Unfortunately, it was too late as a young lady at another table (who had just finished dining with her Mom) got up, buried her nose in her forearm and ran out of the eatery, leaving her Mom to take care of the bill...

                                -----
                                Mandarin Deli
                                728 S Atlantic Blvd Ste 103, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                2. re: condiment

                  Yes, but not much other Taiwanese looking stuff on the menu.

                  1. re: Chandavkl

                    I drove by this restaurant last night and it was full of customers.

                3. I went to this place last week for a late dinner. Place was pretty busy but suspect it is due to the 20% off factor. Food was nothing awesome and more like awful. We had steam dumplings. I watched the lady make it while we were waiting for our food but it just didn't taste fresh. Worse than frozen ones from the store. Dough was mushy rather than chewy. Ordered a sesame sauce noodle dish but they brought out a dan dan noodle instead. we asked why the sesame sauce was black but after confirming that was the sesame dish they said they made a mistake and exchanged it. We had another noodle dish and beef rolls. We were comparing this to 101 Noodle Express and it just cannot compare.

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                  101 Noodle Express
                  1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: luckattack

                    +1. Went there 2 weekends ago (~8d ago) when I was furniture shopping w/ my family. Service was friendly but disorganized and overwhelmed (they allow people to enter from 2 different sides and each of those entrances had their own waiting area.... And there was no way to determine which party came first). The lamb stir fry had good flavor but was over-cooked and overly connective tissue-y (and I generally like connective tissue). The pork dumplings were so inconsistently cooked that some on the plate were fully cooked; other ones weren't even warm and were definitely raw in the middle (the waitress looked appropriately horrified and replaced them). I think we might have had Shanghai fried noodles? Whatever it was, it was totally unremarkable.

                    Don't have much of a desire to return. Went to the new Shanghai place near A&J (or it A&E now?) in Alhambra for the third time and had a terrific dinner (which also describes the dinner the other two times I ate there).

                    1. re: ilysla

                      Food at Dumpling 10053 hasn't been good for years and years (Mid 2000s). Why'd people even bother? These reports boggle my mind.

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                      Dumpling 10053
                      10053 Valley Blvd Ste 2, El Monte, CA 91731

                      1. re: TonyC

                        Thread got hijacked and mentions a number of different restaurants, but I don't think any of them are talking about Dumpling 10053/Fortune Dumplings. And I agree with you 100%.

                      2. re: ilysla

                        > Went to the new Shanghai place near A&J (or it A&E now?) in Alhambra
                        > for the third time and had a terrific dinner

                        In Landmark Plaza on Main? Do you remember the name? I couldn't find anything on Chowhound or Yelp (or via Google) about a new Shanghainese place near there.

                        1. re: Peripatetic

                          Pretty sure it's on Valley (cross street Vega, across the street from 101 Noodle Express and next to the Wendy's). I neither speak nor read (much) Chinese, but my parents said that it's Shanghainese-style. When I next speak to my parents, I'll try to get the name from them....

                          -----
                          101 Noodle Express
                          1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91801

                          1. re: ilysla

                            I'm guessing it's Shanghai Village, 1281 E. Valley Bl. behind the Wendy's

                            1. re: Chandavkl

                              This is the place that took over Good One. (pour some malt liquor over that joint)

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                > I'm guessing it's Shanghai Village, 1281 E. Valley Bl

                                Ah, didn't realize there's an A&J near there. Thanks.

                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                  Actually that may have been the original A&J, as it opened up there about 25 years ago. This one is now called A&E, but the menu is the same.

                                  1. re: Chandavkl

                                    Are there multiple ones? My understanding is that A&J (in Alhambra) had to change to A&E b/c of some sort of "copyright" (or whatever the terms is) of the A&J name.... I have been to that restaurant in at least 10 yrs, but I rather enjoyed the food there (the pork chops and esp what my parents dubbed the "chinese hamburger") and would like to think that the food still tastes the same....

                                    Has anybody been recently? And what style of Chinese cuisine would one call the menu?

                                    1. re: ilysla

                                      I've lost track of the branches of A&J over the years and am not sure which ones are still open. I believe there currently are branches in Arcadia, Diamond Bar, Rockville, MD and somewhere in northern Virginia (the only one I haven't been to). Branches in Montebello and Torrance have come and gone. Not sure about the Rowland Heights and Irvine locations. In a single word I guess you'd call it Taiwanese.