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Dec 21, 2011 03:40 PM

Chans Paris N(o), Bamboo House, si!

Reporting from Arcadia and vic., the evocatively-named Chans Paris N is no more, replaced by "Tofu House", a Taiwanese lunch place specializing in stinky tofu. I opted for the chicken and rice combo ($5.99), which was fine, but included a side of Bird's-eye corn and peas. Once the plastic bag ban passes, hopefully that item is next.

Down Duarte (just inside Monrovia), the Shanghai Bamboo House has been face-lifted to appear less auto-shop-like, and now looks like every other Arcadia strip mall. Cook smoking out front said they were re-opening for business tomorrow (12/22).

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  1. Are you sure it's Tofu House and not Tofu King? (They hadn't changed the English signage when I last went, so don't ask me...) Chowhound's own legendary Thi N reviewed it in the Times last month:

    I started reading the article without checking the byline, but as soon as I got to the bit comparing the tofu to Natalie Portman's feet, I knew there could only be one possible author ;


    The tofu might be too mild for some Taiwanese folks (Thi explained the specific health department issue), but it was fine for wimps like me who like our stank on the subtle side. Also, take Thi's advice and get the #9 - the rice with stewed pork belly, mushrooms and soy egg - it's just ridiculously good. We've also enjoyed the seaweed salad and the chicken thigh noodle soup there.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Bradbury

      Is this the same one in Rowland Heights?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Yes it is, run by the son of "The Tofu King". I was there a couple weeks back. Tastes just like the Rowland Heights location, but a heck of lot less authentic feeling than the tiny, brightly colored stall in RH.

        1. re: JThur01

          I think the new branch is a slight improvement over the Rowland Heights branch - the original chef moved over, but I think he got a much nicer kitchen. The RH kitchen was a stall. The stuff is just a little closer to sparkling perfection.

          1. re: JThur01

            Also, important to note: that while I love the RH stall's mega-old-school-funk ambiance more deeply, as of the opening of the new branch, the Master Chef Himself has moved permanently to the Arcadia branch. The apprentice running the RH branch is good, but doesn't quite have the same touch.

            1. re: Thi N.

              Thanks Thi. I did not know that. Apparently, we didn't see each other as he recognizes me. I really enjoyed your article.

        2. re: Bradbury

          I stand corrected (and late to the party)! Thanks Bradbury - I was going by memory off what the menu said. The signage outside still proclaims "Chans Paris N", but I can't imagine anyone's going by the English at this point.

          1. re: Bradbury

            Thanks, Bradbury. I am unspeakably proud of that Natalie Portman line, which took me over an hour and 3 espressos of effort. My dissertation advisor stopped me in the hall to congratulate me for getting the most subtly pornographic thing he'd ever seen in a major newspaper. He called it "obscene in a profound way." I was so proud.

          2. Question for the stinky tofu cognoscenti: would the new Tofu House/Tofu King be a good place to experiment with stinky tofu as a gateway drug? Or would Uncle Yu's be better?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Peripatetic

              I would think perhaps start at Uncle Yu's first. Since my first taste (at Ay Chung), the maximum fermentation rule has made most chou dofu pretty equal. Man, the early batches I had at Mama's Kitchen and Lee's Garden were strong! (Mr. Lee's was like a good bleu cheese). Alas, no longer.