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Feb 13, 2014 09:54 AM

The Americans are invading San Gabriel Valley!

Ok hyperbole aside, the LAT just did a write-up of the SGV and it's notoriety amongst Chinese tourists.

While the article doesn't really break new ground it does end with this bit of "news":


"The tourism boom has helped spark new development. A 316-room Crowne Plaza Hotel is slated to open next door to the Hilton in 2015, taking over an overgrown lot that once housed a Norm's restaurant.


In the lobby of the proposed Crowne Plaza hotel, the anchor restaurant will be Smitty's Grill, which also has a location in Pasadena that serves American comfort food."

Read it all here:

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  1. " 这些是什么奇怪的煎饼?" (What are these weird pastries?)

    " 美国人说是 'pancakes'" (Americans call them 'pancakes')

    1. surprised that Smitty's is expanding into new territory...was at Smitty's last night and food is mediocre and overpriced.

      10 Replies
      1. re: foufou

        Regardless of the quality, I would think they would not be able to compete on price with San Gabriel Chinese spots.

        1. re: foufou

          foufou: go next door to Seco. Though it looks a lot more formal, and there's no meat loaf on the menu, it's actually less expensive than Smitty's. We've been trying to find a Smith Bros. place that didn't feel like some engineered formula brought to life – see Cheval Bistro – and we think we may have. Smart, friendly service and great drinks; liked the food a lot too, though if I get another steak I'll ask for it rare rather than medium. Mrs. O declared it our new hang … we'll see.

          1. re: Will Owen

            Are these the people who were behind Crocodile Cafe? I actually liked that place back in the day....

            1. re: ilysla

              The Croc became Cafe 140 became Seco New American with lots of alterations.

              1. re: mc michael

                Oh, I remember it becoming Cafe 140. Never went to it after the name change, though (no particular reason). I remember really liking the Italian place that preceeded Smitty's (can't remember what it was called)....

                1. re: ilysla

                  The Italian place was good. But the woman who owned it really wasn't a restaurateur. Before that it was another spot I can't recall frequented by Joseph Wambaugh where he drank the Black Marble (basically, a Martini made with a black olive) but it could not keep up with the changes in demographics and the rents.

                  1. re: mc michael

                    That was Monahan's. I believe it was a cop hangout for awhile, which is how Wambaugh wound up there. They had curtained booths around the room, you could get real private!

                      1. re: judybird

                        for a secret tete a tete ????????

              2. re: Will Owen

                Has anybody had a really good meatloaf since 72 Market Street?

              1. re: raytamsgv

                Exaclty there goes the hood.

                Though i was always surprised by the fancy Hilton hotel smack dab in the middle of the SGV.

                Now I know that's where all the tourists stay at.

                1. re: kevin

                  Actually most stay at the Lincoln Hotel near Garvey. Actually, near Fortune No. 1.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    Why not the Hilton. It does look like the fanciest joint around for miles.

                    Is the Lincoln Hotel even fancier ??????

                    1. re: kevin

                      Not everyone is traveling Kardashian-style, you know...

                      1. re: J.L.

                        What's Kardashian-style ?????

              2. Maybe the SGV just needs a White Front location...