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Help! Looking for good TAIWANESE Restaurant near Huntington Gardens (San Marino)...

l
Liquid Sky Sep 29, 2012 04:55 PM

Hello Chowhounders,

I'm taking the parents to Huntington Gardens next week and was hoping to find a decent Taiwanese restaurant, not too far from there. Any suggestions?

And if Taiwanese is too difficult to find, we'll settle for SHANGHAINESE or great dim-sum.

Thanks!!!

  1. MonsieurKnowItAll Sep 30, 2012 03:26 PM

    There is a closer place called Taipei Bistro (San Gabriel). Little family owned gem. I’m not a fan of every dish, and the menu’s tiny, but their rendition of Taiwanese minced pork rice is one of the best in the 626. It’s tasty…but there’s another reason why it’s so special: they don’t rely on chunks of pork fat for flavor. In fact, they use LEAN pork. The owners say they prepare meals for their customers like they would for their own family (served with love, using healthy ingredients, no MSG), and that’s very true until the part where they gave me the check.

    Simbala doesn’t even make minced pork rice -- baffling.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
      Porthos Sep 30, 2012 04:49 PM

      Simbala doesn’t even make minced pork rice -- baffling.
      =============================
      Maybe because the stewed pork with bamboo shoots over rice is so good there is no need for minced pork over rice ;)

      1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
        l
        Liquid Sky Sep 30, 2012 07:07 PM

        Monsieur: That sounds great! Also... does anyone have opinions on "CAFE FUSION" in Arcardia?

        1. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
          j
          Johnny L Sep 30, 2012 11:45 PM

          SinBala also isn't as good anymore, I use to eat there during high school and it's disappointing these days.

          1. re: Johnny L
            l
            Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 08:56 AM

            Thanks, Johnny. Have been to SinBala before, but was looking for something more upscale. If anyone has been to CAFE FUSION recently and can weigh in... that would be great. Thanks, Chowhounds!

            1. re: Liquid Sky
              d
              dreamcast18 Oct 1, 2012 09:43 AM

              love Cafe Fusion...good food...often busy.

              1. re: dreamcast18
                l
                Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 12:18 PM

                Thanks, dreamcast. I figured FUSION night be a little "nicer-looking" than some of the other choices.

              2. re: Liquid Sky
                Porthos Oct 1, 2012 10:11 AM

                Upscale? Maybe Indian?

                http://www.yelp.com/biz/uncle-yus-ind...

                1. re: Porthos
                  l
                  Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 12:18 PM

                  Thanks, Porthos!

            2. re: MonsieurKnowItAll
              l
              Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 12:19 PM

              Monsieur: Agreed... no MSG is always preferred.

            3. J.L. Sep 29, 2012 06:05 PM

              SinBaLa in Arcadia (Google-able)...

              13 Replies
              1. re: J.L.
                l
                Liquid Sky Sep 29, 2012 06:56 PM

                Thanks, JL!

                1. re: J.L.
                  ipsedixit Sep 29, 2012 08:34 PM

                  SinBaLa in Arcadia (Google-able)..
                  ___________________________________

                  Yeah, that pretty much ends the discussion right there.

                  In that same plaza (or adjacent), you also have Chang's Garden (Shanghai), Cozy Cafe (Taiwanese), and Din Tai Fung (Taiwanese)

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    j
                    JThur01 Sep 29, 2012 08:37 PM

                    in addition, that plaza has a Taiwanese bakery & a short walk west on Duarte is Tofu King, particularly for chou dofu and lou rou fan. I'm told their chicken thigh rice is good as well.

                    1. re: JThur01
                      l
                      Liquid Sky Sep 30, 2012 02:45 PM

                      ipsedixit and JThur01: Are there any more-upscale Taiwanese restaurants in that area? Or are they all mom-and-pop small places? Thanks.

                      1. re: Liquid Sky
                        j
                        JThur01 Oct 1, 2012 12:12 PM

                        Happy Garden is about the closest to a "true" restaurant, and it's casual too. It does offer a wider array of Taiwanese dishes than the little diner/snack shop/cafes. FWIW, a Taiwanese diner owner told me: "This place is just a snack shop, now Happy Garden...that's a REAL restaurant!"

                        Plus, Happy Garden will be closing in the near future. No word exactly on when.

                        1. re: JThur01
                          l
                          Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 12:17 PM

                          Thanks, JT!

                          1. re: Liquid Sky
                            j
                            JThur01 Oct 2, 2012 02:35 PM

                            You're welcome, though I don't know how much help we were. Chandavkl's remark about Taiwanese and upscale being oxymoronic in the SGV are spot on.

                            Even Happy Garden is casual, but it's considered a restaurant.

                            1. re: JThur01
                              ipsedixit Oct 2, 2012 03:09 PM

                              Chandavkl's remark about Taiwanese and upscale being oxymoronic in the SGV are spot on.

                              Even Happy Garden is casual, but it's considered a restaurant.
                              ____________________________________________________

                              What's DTF? A taco stand?

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                K K Oct 2, 2012 05:01 PM

                                DTF might just be the most upscale Taiwanese style dining SGV has to offer (despite the fact that most of the dishes aren't really Taiwanese (or Tainanese for that matter if using that style of TW Min cuisine).

                                For those who are interested in learning about upscale Taiwanese in Taipei, look no further than Shin Yeh (a chain similar to that of Crystal Jade from Singapore, or Lei Gardens Hong Kong, mid tier quality but upscale enough that tourists will love it, but not upper echelon deliciousness despite winning Michelin star), and something more upscale would be Silks at the National Palace Museum where a bok choy or cabbage is decorated to look like a Jade sculpture (the irony is that Silks serves Cantonese style dim sum during lunch...like Shanghai No 1).

                                And for fun viewing, DN Innovacion molecular Spanish fusion with TW night market food

                                http://blog.yam.com/peray1/article/56...

                        2. re: Liquid Sky
                          c
                          Chandavkl Oct 1, 2012 01:44 PM

                          You might say Taiwanese and upscale are oxymoronic in this part of the world.

                      2. re: ipsedixit
                        Servorg Sep 30, 2012 03:44 PM

                        Ipse, (or anyone here who knows) how is Happy Garden these days?

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          b
                          Bert Oct 1, 2012 09:52 AM

                          As well as May Mei (homestyle cantonese). And Liquid Sky, pretty much all taiwanese in the area is casual.

                          1. re: Bert
                            l
                            Liquid Sky Oct 1, 2012 12:18 PM

                            Thanks, Bert!

                      3. Servorg Sep 29, 2012 05:04 PM

                        All of 4 or 5 miles to Old Country Cafe or Lee's Garden. You should get some other recommendations from the more tuned in Taiwanese food hounds too.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Servorg
                          l
                          Liquid Sky Sep 29, 2012 05:28 PM

                          Thanks, Servorg! Much appreciated.

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