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Taste of Chong Qing closed in SGV

m
momski Mar 28, 2012 01:11 PM

any new recs in the area?

  1. j
    JThur01 Apr 1, 2012 12:11 AM

    New assignment gang...find out what happened to the chefs at TCQ (or for that matter the chef from Shu Feng in San Gabriel). Where did they go?

    1 Reply
    1. re: JThur01
      ipsedixit Apr 1, 2012 08:10 PM

      China

    2. j
      Johnny L Mar 30, 2012 12:59 AM

      So that's 4 restaurants in the last 3 years? Okay who wants to take bets on what the next one will be and how long it will last?

      Sad to see them go but overall it's just a cursed location. Some Asians have a tendency to only go where crowd goes but if the last restaurant failed before some already have the mindset that the next one will fail so they don't bother to try it sometimes. Which is ridiculous I know but I think the problem is that the decor and color of the building meld into Hawaii Supermarket too much that it just looks part of their wall.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Johnny L
        j
        JThur01 Mar 30, 2012 08:58 AM

        A shame, but can't say I'm surprised. After good crowds early on, I'd noticed a pronounced dwindling. How and why does that happen? I have to admit that thanks to the hedge and the adjacent Hawaii Supermarket driveway, it wasn't easy to get out of the lot.

        I've heard Lao Bian closed as well. So, where now in the WSGV aside from Chung King? Aside from TonyC's mention of their opening, I've heard nothing about the other Sichuan places that opened in the WSGV last year.

        I guess I'll just plan on driving to Rowland Heights to Shu Feng more often.

        1. re: JThur01
          w
          will47 Mar 30, 2012 10:28 AM

          It was pretty dead for a long time after it opened too, so I wouldn't say that they had good crowds early on.

          1. re: will47
            j
            JThur01 Mar 30, 2012 10:47 AM

            They had good crowds on two visits I made early on, once near capacity. Other times I drove or walked past on Saturdays, it was fair to good...at least immediately after the LA Times piece. Perhaps an anomaly...

            1. re: JThur01
              w
              will47 Mar 30, 2012 11:08 AM

              Crowds definitely picked up after the LAT piece, but they were open for a long time before that.

              1. re: will47
                j
                JThur01 Mar 30, 2012 11:34 AM

                TCQ opened sometime in late July and the Times piece was fairly early in September. Five-six weeks doesn't seem like that long a time. All I can say is, in my experiences, the crowds ranged from fair to very good - both before and after the Times piece (obviously, the biggest crowd was after). Lunch experiences ranged from the low side of fair to very slim. The last few times I'd passed by, it was pretty sparse.

                1. re: JThur01
                  w
                  will47 Mar 30, 2012 12:05 PM

                  I remember it being more like fall 2010 as you reported here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/742578
                  Don't think the ownership changed, did it? [edit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797929 suggests that it may have]

                  1. re: will47
                    j
                    JThur01 Mar 31, 2012 09:28 AM

                    Different owners. TCQ was owned by two ladies, one of whom was from San Diego. You're right about the predecessor, Hua Mei. Aside from opening week, it never seemed to have more than a few diners anytime I passed by, even during peak Saturday dining hours. The last time I passed by Hua Mei before it closed was the saddest restaurant scene I've ever witnessed.

          2. re: JThur01
            raytamsgv Mar 30, 2012 10:38 AM

            I posted on another thread about a new Sichuan restaurant that just opened in Temple City: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/841341

            But I have yet to review it adequately.

          3. re: Johnny L
            Ciao Bob Mar 30, 2012 09:15 AM

            Don't you think the size of the place kind of doomed it from the start, given what we SGV eaters are willing (or, more to the point, unwilling) to pay for non-Cantonese Chinese food?

            1. re: Ciao Bob
              j
              Johnny L Mar 30, 2012 09:38 PM

              Hmm you may have a point considering Chunk King has been there for so long in their tiny spot, but you have to consider that it was also very early in before the wave of Hunan/Sichuan restaurants and in our community if everybody says its good before it shall stay good forever that's how I see it as a weird Chinese quirk with which restaurants to choose to visit. Having face could also be another factor but I'm just grasping at straws here.

            2. re: Johnny L
              c
              Chandavkl Mar 30, 2012 01:35 PM

              On the other hand there have only been 7 restaurants there in 20 years, so it wasn't always such an unlucky location. On the other hand if Sea Harbour couldn't make it there with their cafe, maybe there's a hex there now.

              1. re: Chandavkl
                Peripatetic Mar 31, 2012 03:07 AM

                There was a Sea Harbour Cafe?

                1. re: Peripatetic
                  c
                  Chandavkl Mar 31, 2012 10:12 AM

                  Yes, 2003 to 2006. Rooster statue and everything.

                  1. re: Chandavkl
                    j
                    JThur01 Apr 2, 2012 01:26 PM

                    I started another thread, but Haige Star Boulevard is going into the spot. I just noticed yesterday that one side window still is etched with seafood, a holdover from the Sea Harbour Cafe days.

            3. echoparkdirt Mar 28, 2012 09:15 PM

              That's depressing. I thought that place was a fine addition to the Sichuan landscape....

              8 Replies
              1. re: echoparkdirt
                Ciao Bob Mar 29, 2012 08:44 AM

                me too
                that stinks

                1. re: echoparkdirt
                  TonyC Mar 29, 2012 08:57 AM

                  EPD, weren't you already consistently mentioning the "downhill alert"? Let us say, also, this was expected?

                  1. re: TonyC
                    echoparkdirt Mar 29, 2012 02:49 PM

                    As I recall, the chronic "downhilling" I was doing was about New Chongqing on San Gabriel which did, indeed, break my heart with abysmal food after a promising start.
                    sad details here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/797929

                    Taste of Chongqing, I don't remember dissing. I liked them. I will probably return to Chung King .

                    I do recall the old hands here warning that T of CQ had moved into a restaurant death-zone location..

                    1. re: echoparkdirt
                      TonyC Mar 29, 2012 03:01 PM

                      Gotcha.

                      That said, enjoyers of spicy food may cry a bit more: Hunan Seafood has been sold, and there is plan to turn it into a sports/hostess bar (as soon as ABC comes through, which it may not, given the history of the location).

                      1. re: TonyC
                        ipsedixit Mar 29, 2012 08:04 PM

                        This reminds me of that tree that fell in the forest ... without an audience.

                        1. re: TonyC
                          j
                          JThur01 Mar 30, 2012 08:48 AM

                          Did you find out the current (recent) relationship between Hunan Seafood and Hunan Style? (a.k.a. Hunan's). From recent visits, their menus were noticably different.

                          1. re: JThur01
                            b
                            brwencino Mar 30, 2012 09:38 AM

                            The owner of Hunan Style told me that his cousin owned Hunan Seafood.

                            1. re: brwencino
                              j
                              JThur01 Mar 30, 2012 10:56 AM

                              Thanks. I understood there to be a familial connection.

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