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Dec 9, 2011 11:43 AM

Pasadena and Arcadia Help

I'll be there over the holidays and am looking for recs for a couple of specific items. I did a search, but a lot of the posts seem to be from 2007 or so.

High on the priority list is sushi - real sushi, not a place that has a bunch of mayonnaise-y rolls. But, accommodating to children and not overpriced is a plus. I've seen recs for Sushi Roku, but it seems a bit fancier than what I'm looking for. For reference, in SF, we usually go to Oyaji, an izakaya in the outer richmond, and one or two small places in Japantown.

Is there any good ramen - hand-pulled - in the area?

And finally, vietnamese - bun, pho, and maybe a crepe or two?

Are there any can't miss items in the immediate area, particularly for authentic asian food? We will go to Ding Tai Fung definitely.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. > sushi - real sushi, not a place that has a bunch of mayonnaise-y rolls

    Your timing is good -- the Pasadena sushi situation just improved 1000% with the opening of Sushi Kimagure Ike and Sushi Ichi.

    > good ramen

    The closest good ramen is Ton-Chan in San Gabriel, which isn't the best in the LA area, but is decent.

    > hand-pulled

    I don't think anyone in LA does hand pulled ramen.

    > vietnamese

    For pho, there's Vietnam Restaurant and Golden Deli on Las Tunas in San Gabriel. Nem Nuong Ninh Hoa in Rosemead is great for Hue cuisine (bo bun hue, banh beo) and nem nuong.

    > authentic asian food

    There are many good Chinese places in the area. Some of my favorites:

    Dean Sin World
    SinBaLa (Taiwanese)
    Yunnan Garden (Yunnanese/Sichuan)
    Sea Harbour (Cantonese, dim sum)
    Elite (Cantonese, dim sum)
    Lucky Noodle King (Sichuan)
    Newport Tan Cang Seafood (Chinese with Vietnamese influence)
    Beijing Pie House
    Huge Tree Pastry (Taiwanese)
    House of Mandarin Noodle (Taiwanese)
    JTYH Restaurant
    Xiang Wei Lou (Hunanese)
    Mei Long Village (Shanghaiese)
    Mama's Lu

    > We will go to Ding Tai Fung

    Din Tai Fung is hit or miss. The xiao long bao are excellent, but other items disappoint, e.g., the pork buns.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Peripatetic

      This is a really good list. I would add Seafood Village (Chiu Chow) in Temple City.

      1. re: ebethsdad

        Yes, great list! I would add Pho-Licious on Live Oak and 6th in Arcadia for Pho and other delicious Vietnamese items. I think they are better than both Vietnam Restaurant and Golden Deli. Also, after going to Din Tai Fung, go across the parking lot to J&J Bakery for all kinds of delicious Chinese goodies.

        1. re: WildSwede

          I've lost track -- I know Pho-Licious opened recently. Is it owned by Henry and Kristin?

          Agree about J&J, it's a solid Chinese bakery.


          Never mind, found the thread!

          1. re: Peripatetic

            Yes - Henry and Kristin. Fabulous service, extremely great food and great service. Clean, too! ;-)

            1. re: WildSwede

              Definitely have to try them. Haven't found anything great since Pho Minh closed. Vietnam Restaurant and Golden Deli are good but not great. If Pho-licious does a good filter (not pre-made) ca phe sua da, then I may never go back to either.

              1. re: Peripatetic

                I tried Pho-licious and was impressed by their pho, though less so with their cha gio and ca phe sua da. More details here:

                1. re: Peripatetic

                  Just a report back that I finally tried Pho-licious. I wasn't very impressed. Unfortunately we were there during a lunch rush, so service was not very good...they didn't serve us for ages, until after the people who came after us had already finished eating....with two kids, that was just a disaster. Food-wise, I thought the pho lacked depth and didn't have as much spice/herb flavor as I was hoping for. My mom reported that the fried rice was inedible....heavily larded.

      2. re: Peripatetic

        Peripatetic pretty much summed it up.

        Sushi Ichi might be my top choice for sushi right now anywhere in LA when you account for price and quality.

      3. Try 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia. They specialize in Shandong dishes. They are famous for their beef rolls, but they have some pretty good dumplings and other dishes as well.

        1. If you're into izakaya, there are two in the area that are less than a year old-Hinotori in Arcadia and Oto-Oto Izakaya Japonaise. Both are pretty solid, Hinotori has a homier, neighborhood feel while Oto-Oto is hip and modern.
          My favorite ramen in the area is Hakata Ramen Shinsengumi in Rosemead. This place isn't big though and is usually on the crowded side.

          2 Replies
          1. re: crystaw

            Haven't been to Oto-Oto but I like Hinotori for their blackboard menu. The yakitori is okay IMO it's better as an izakaya.

            Shinsengmi is a good standbye for ramen while Ton Chan has a decent tsukemen.

            1. re: crystaw

              I tried Oto-Oto. We liked it fine, although we didn't think it was a "must return" type of place. Overall, decent food and a nice modern decor. I was really hesitant about ordering the sushi based on the the Yelp reviews, the fact that it's really an Izakaya, and my own super-pickiness about fish quality, but the fish we ordered turned out to be pretty good.

            2. This is great dim sum, up to SF level, with good prices. If you want to drop some change, order the lobster~~$14-16/lb. It is a real treat.

              Lovely room, great service, uses a picture menu for the dim sum. Free parking.

              Capital Seafood
              333 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006

              1. I wanted to report back.

                Sushi Kimagure Ike was fantastic. We loved everything about it except for the single-use wrapped in plastic towels. but really the fish was excellent. The initial seafood salad was exceptional. If I were going to pick at anything, I would say that I thought the uni wasn't quite as good as some other preparations I've had, but that's really nit picking. I will definitely be back.

                Ding Tai Fung was as good as always. I know it's controversial on this board, but I do prefer the lighter thinner XLB style to the kind we get in SF. (Although Yank Sing's is also good - just $$).

                We did go to Capital Seafood. I'd been before actually, but wanted to go back. This time, it was completely swamped. Unable to get a high chair. A couple of the items we wanted were out, but they didn't tell us until much later....all told the meal took 1.5 hrs, which is unusual for us with kids - usually the benefit of dim sum is that you get in, sit, eat and jet. They tried to convince us that sesame balls were the same as egg tarts....uh, no. Good still, but not the same at all. I think they were unprepared for the holiday demand. I thought the dim sum was overall very high quality though. To the poster that commented it was up to SF level, I actually generally think dim sum in SF is very poor quality, except for a couple exceptional restaurants. So I went in with high expectations that were by and large met.

                I really really wanted to try Pho-Licious, but ran out of time. Next time. Thank you all for the suggestions - we usually hit just a couple of the same places (Chang's Garden, Inaka are two that actually weren't mentioned here but others might like) and this helped mix it up a bit.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Pandora

                  Thanks for reporting back! Glad you liked Sushi Kimagure. Next time you are in the area you might want to try Sea Harbour or Elite for dim sum -- these are the overwhelming favorites for dim sum on this board.

                  1. re: Pandora

                    Very glad you hit Chang's Garden; I'm late getting onto this thread and was sad that nobody had suggested it. Lovely food, and one of the most unaffectedly friendly Chinese restaurants we've ever been to.

                    1. re: Pandora

                      Thanks for the update. It's always nice to hear from someone from outside the area.