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Mar 25, 2014 05:44 PM

Bamboo Creek Coming To Monterey Park

In the space originally occupied by Bon Marche Bistro. Curious what style food they'll serve.

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  1. Finally got a chance to stop by. As JThur01 points out, a tiny menu with 10 entrees, 9 appetizers, four tasty pots and a handful of noodles. Hardly enough to ascertain that this is Shanghai style. Had the Shanghai style sweet and sour fish and it was excellent. Vegetarian duck also pretty good. They do plan to expand their menu in the future with what looks like bento boxes and other dishes.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      I noted honey smoked fish as one of the appetizers, which normally leans it to Shanghai or Wuxi-style, but you're right and that was my was difficult to ascertain.

      The honey smoked fish was quite good. Perhaps not on a par with Wang Xing Ji, but close and much easier to eat (Bamboo Creek used filets, so the bones easily came out).

      Thanks for the report. I'd like to visit again after they've expanded the menu.

      1. re: Chandavkl

        They do Zhejiang. Owners formerly of Bamboo Express (USC) opened it:

        The house special is the "grilled fish". Was once offered Chinese "omakase" here, which kinda scared the crap out of me.

        1. re: TonyC

          Bamboo Express? Talk about going from the ridiculous to the sublime.

          1. re: TonyC

            Thanks Tony. You're right, Chihuo is killing it. I had missed that. Chinese "omakase" is a scary thought. What was it at the time you were offered that, erm, experience? Was it the restaurant prior to Dumpling 100?

            1. re: JThur01

              Bamboo Creek, 2 weeks ago.

              Good people, swindled on shit location.

              1. re: TonyC

                Easily one of the worst locations in the SGV. One has to practically stumble across it.

                How many have been in that space Chandavkl?

                1. re: JThur01

                  This is #5 I know of. Bon Marche, Only You Dumplings, 100 Dumplings, and Peng Peng Xiang were prior tenants. But because of the obscure location who knows if somebody else snuck in for a while.

                2. re: TonyC

                  looking at their new menu, i think that was their attempt to show off the versatility of the chef. if i got offered that at a reasonable price, i'd likely take them up on it, expecting an el bulli type of experience (though not necessarily at that level) of small plates.

                  they've got enlarged pics from the menu posted around the perimeter of the place (which has been spruced up quite a bit) above the windows. the servings in the pics aren't particularly large for the prices, which leads me to suspect that they're really going for quality over quantity in terms of their target clientele, i'd like to go back with a larger group and try a lot of those other dishes. i'm normally a pretty big eater, but we ended up taking home leftovers from lunch, (that 3rd person might have taken up the slack) so i'm thinking i might be fairly satisfied with an approach that doesn't feature volume, but has sufficient quality and diversity.

                  i didn't mention it, since you can see it in the menu, but i suspect that to accommodate the less sophisticated palates who may wander in (yeah i know) for lunch, they've included a couple of lunch specials including what looks like a bento box which was ordered by two non-asians seated at the next table who clearly had very little experience with chinese cuisine. .

              2. re: TonyC

                is their menu similar? or less items?

                it looks good

            2. the owner was a national second grade chief in China since 1998, and he had two restaurants in China before coming to the States. He worked for Aegis Living as the culinary director before given an opportunity from relatives to take over Bamboo Express. Over the years, he's been learning new dishes in China from his former students who are mostly sucessful in Shanghai. So he definitely has what it takes to make it sucessful. He just need some more time and a better location.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jenny1028

                sounds promising. might try it for lunch tomorrow. if so, i will have a report.

              2. they just upgraded the menus yesterday - the waitress was still trying to get herself wrapped around all the new changes. since there were only two of us, we elected to split a 3 order $18 lunch special. three people could split this lunch special. NOTE: they charge an extra $1 per person for rice.

                we ordered the honey smoked fish (which was ok), the dry tofu & pork,.(which i liked mainly because the flavor of the soy tofu came out,, but my companion thought was underspiced and that the pork was not fresh), and the spicy fish/tofu. (again, my companion thought it underspiced, while i liked the fact that it didn't need to be because the fish was fresh and perfectly cooked. we both agreed that the pickled vegetable is what made the dish memorable.)

                as to the rest of the menu, the tasty pots seem reminiscent of the dry pots in wuhan cuisine. bullfrog is the main ingredient of 2-3 of their dishes. their special seems to be the fish.

                they're going to need word of mouth to work for them, because they're clearly not going to get much foot traffic.

                2 Replies
                1. re: barryc

                  Thanks for the report barry. Hopefully your dining companion wasn't expecting spicy at a Zhejiang-style place.

                  1. re: JThur01

                    that didn't occur to me until later.

                2. apparently they now also run a food truck on the USC campus according to a article by tonyc


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: barryc

                    Makes sense since there's no authentic Chinese food near USC (except perhaps Bamboo's food court side menu). Also these days most international Chinese students are Mainlanders (i.e., not Cantonese) so Chinatown is not a satisfactory option for them.