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World Comes To End; Lee Kam Kee in Alhambra Being Replaced By Mexican Restaurant

Chandavkl Aug 14, 2012 12:08 PM

It was stunning news when TonyC announced Lee Kam Kee had shut down, since it had occupied its location on Valley Bl. for over a decade. However even more shocking is the fact that it appears a Mexican restaurant will be moving in. You see, 2505 W. Valley Bl. has been an iconic bastion of Chinese and Vietnamese food for almost three decades, housing nine different Asian eateries in that time period. Among the pantheon of occupants was Gallant Seafood, one of early Hong Kong style seafood restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, as well as Wonder Seafood, described by area food critics of the day as a world class Chinese restaurant. So at this point I'm otherwise speechless.

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  1. J.L. RE: Chandavkl Aug 14, 2012 12:16 PM

    Perhaps the Mayans were right. 2012 marks the end of the world.

    1. TonyC RE: Chandavkl Aug 14, 2012 03:46 PM

      Saw the remodeling but it's still HILARIOUS! Taking Valley Blvd back, bitches. Think of how many Taco Bells the AsIaNz have co-opted into new restaurants? Yunnan 168, Green Papaya, Banh Xeo Quan, etc. With ~50% of Alhambra population, Latinos gotta eat somewhere. I can imagine everyone being rather sick of Shakey's.

      LKK hasn't been busy for years and Asians long ago decided eating west of Marengo wasn't cool. (Baguette du Jour was allowed to survive for far too long.) And really, how BAD is Shanghai Yau Fat? (Rhetorical, don't answer, it's probably the worst Chinese restaurant in all of WSGV).

      12 Replies
      1. re: TonyC
        linus RE: TonyC Aug 14, 2012 09:38 PM

        is this a poem?

        1. re: TonyC
          TripleAxel RE: TonyC Aug 15, 2012 05:37 AM

          No it isn't, Bamboo House on Valley just west of Fremont tops that. I got suckered in with a Restaurant.com certificate, and I knew there was a reason why none of their customers are Asian.

          Guess this new restaurant will give La Parilla Mexicana just west of LKK some competition for customers...

          1. re: TripleAxel
            Chandavkl RE: TripleAxel Aug 15, 2012 07:23 AM

            Amazingly, Bamboo House is one of the longest running Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. I tried it after a 20 year hiatus to see if it had improved--sometimes a bad Chinese restaurant will change owners, keep the old name, and have a significant upgrade. However it wasn't any better.

            1. re: TripleAxel
              TonyC RE: TripleAxel Aug 15, 2012 12:01 PM

              Thanks for taking one for the team. I've walked into Bamboo House only to walk out. That happened shortly after the Yau Fat. There really is no point trying that food.

              Bamboo House + Yau Fat is where non-Asians go to eat Chinese and they are the 2 closest sit-down Chinese restauarants to East LA. Again, the Non-Asians gotta eat.

              1. re: TonyC
                JThur01 RE: TonyC Aug 15, 2012 05:42 PM

                ...and why would someone do that with great Chinese just mere blocks away? Boggles the mind.

                1. re: JThur01
                  Chandavkl RE: JThur01 Aug 15, 2012 06:32 PM

                  Yes. Even Panda Express has pretty much avoided the area.

                2. re: TonyC
                  granadafan RE: TonyC Aug 16, 2012 10:34 PM

                  Ha. My co-workers go all the time to Bamboo House. I refuse to go and would rather eat in the cafeteria.

                  1. re: granadafan
                    TonyC RE: granadafan Aug 17, 2012 09:48 AM

                    This is the thing: both Bamboo House and Yau Fat have more customers (again, mostly Latino) than some of the "authentic" Chinese restaurants East of them.

                    JThur01 asks why anyone would eat there instead of the great Chinese a few blocks away? Well, the Chinese-American fare is familiar; one can just order beef & brocc, orange chicken, moo shu pork w/o looking at a menu. All the waitresses speak English, and again, Latinos also want a nice sit-down Chinese meal.

                    1. re: TonyC
                      JThur01 RE: TonyC Aug 17, 2012 01:18 PM

                      From that standpoint, makes perfect sense. It's interesting that I've seen more & more Latinos at Sichuan places of recent. And, in a bold marketing move, the Mexican place on Del Mar between Las Tunas & Valley has (or had) a sign in Mandarin!

                      1. re: JThur01
                        Dommy RE: JThur01 Aug 17, 2012 01:20 PM

                        It also depends on advertsing... my much missed Oriental Pearl used to send out menus that on the bottoms said: "Our food is spicy! you'll like it!" in very kind convincing Spanish...

              2. re: TonyC
                raytamsgv RE: TonyC Aug 15, 2012 11:58 AM

                I'm surprised Shanghai Yau Fat has lasted all these years.

                1. re: TonyC
                  zzDan RE: TonyC Aug 15, 2012 12:06 PM

                  hehehe lol

                2. c
                  condiment RE: Chandavkl Aug 14, 2012 05:06 PM

                  I never quite recovered from Wonder Seafood's demise, and that was probably 25 years ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: condiment
                    Chandavkl RE: condiment Aug 14, 2012 06:15 PM

                    Yes, Wonder Seafood opened around 1985 and had a great six year run. They were replaced by Wonders Seafood and it was downhill from that point on.

                  2. ipsedixit RE: Chandavkl Aug 15, 2012 01:16 AM

                    It's supposed to be a new Tai-Mex place (as in "Taiwanese Mexican").

                    Their specialty is Stinky Tofu tacos and Oyster Pancake Tostadas. Heard the carnitas rice plate with tea eggs and pickled cabbage ain't bad either. And Boba Horchata drinks to boot!

                    In the words of one (in)famous Bart Scott ... "Can't Wait!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcRESw...

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      raytamsgv RE: ipsedixit Aug 15, 2012 12:02 PM

                      Tainan Peddler Noodles with lengua. Ma Po Tofu with a Nopales mole.

                      1. re: raytamsgv
                        ipsedixit RE: raytamsgv Aug 15, 2012 12:09 PM

                        Ma Po Tofu with a Nopales mole.

                        Now, we're talking!

                      2. re: ipsedixit
                        J.L. RE: ipsedixit Aug 15, 2012 05:05 PM

                        Birria XLB.

                        1. re: J.L.
                          silverlakebodhisattva RE: J.L. Aug 16, 2012 03:16 PM

                          This list of "fusion"ideas is making me kinda queasy, (chapulines soup dumplings, anyone?) but I'm guessing that SOMEONE will attempt the concept....

                          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                            ipsedixit RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 16, 2012 08:03 PM

                            How about Sesos XLB?

                            1. re: ipsedixit
                              zzDan RE: ipsedixit Aug 16, 2012 08:06 PM

                              Orale Holmes!

                              (honest credit Tuco actor Raymond Cruz Breaking Bad season 1)

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                Ernie RE: ipsedixit Aug 16, 2012 08:52 PM

                                Yes and Shark Fin Fundido

                              2. re: silverlakebodhisattva
                                ns1 RE: silverlakebodhisattva Aug 16, 2012 10:46 PM

                                al pastor pork belly tacos?

                            2. re: ipsedixit
                              Johnny L RE: ipsedixit Aug 17, 2012 02:13 PM

                              Finally something interesting?

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                TonyC RE: ipsedixit Oct 18, 2012 10:29 AM

                                Sorry folks, this Tai-Mex concept is NOT happening.

                                Chonitos is opening Oct 27: http://la.eater.com/archives/2012/10/...

                                There'll be daily Mexican buffet, some mariscos, TVs, beer & wine license. Nice peoples, live in Alhambra. Lee Kam Kee was evicted due to back rent in July. New ownership purchased the restaurant on July 20th.

                                1. re: TonyC
                                  ipsedixit RE: TonyC Oct 18, 2012 07:42 PM

                                  I hope you realize I was joking.

                              2. h
                                h2obemo RE: Chandavkl Oct 13, 2012 09:43 PM

                                I am very saddened by the news of this closure. Does anyone have a recommendation for french-style beef cubes as delicious as the ones they served at Lee Kam Kee?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: h2obemo
                                  ipsedixit RE: h2obemo Oct 13, 2012 10:03 PM

                                  Tasty Garden

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    h2obemo RE: ipsedixit Oct 14, 2012 09:43 AM

                                    Thanks, I'll check this out.

                                  2. re: h2obemo
                                    jasongg06 RE: h2obemo Dec 28, 2012 09:47 AM

                                    i like the one at kim tar in monterey park

                                    also.. their house special pork chops are very nice

                                  3. n
                                    NAspy RE: Chandavkl Oct 19, 2012 12:08 PM

                                    So sad about Lee Kam Kee! I've worked in Monterey Park for years and always split the Pho#1 and chicken curry with a friend. Darn....

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