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May 29, 2014 01:24 PM

TonyC's Definitive Guide To San Gabriel Valley Dining

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  1. Cool but ought to be the Western SGV, no mention of RH, HH, etc

    1. Definitive SGV? Where are the non-Asian places?

      11 Replies
      1. re: Ernie

        There are non-Asian places in the SGV? I thought they all went the way of Von's.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            Yes, there are plenty non-Asians and Von's is still in SGV. As of the 2010 Census, there were over 1 million non-Asians in SGV. There is nothing definitive about this guide

            1. re: Ernie

              I think you're giving tony a hard time. It's his style and what the sgv is known for. Lots of good info.

              What spots non Asian do u like

              1. re: jessejames

                What spots non Asian do u like

                The Royce
                Vertical Wine Bistro
                The Hat

                I could go on, but those come immediately to mind.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Good list. I love babita. What do u enjoy at the Royce ?

                  1. re: jessejames

                    What do u enjoy at the Royce ?

                    The steak tasting. One of the few places that offers such a tasting menu option for steaks (CUT does it, but only upon request generally).

                    1. re: jessejames

                      it's all about the shrimp T but you'll be sitting on the john for the next 48 years. yes, another 48 hours. but you'll be happy you did.

                      (disclosure: mods this has nothing to do with food poisoning, just the spiciness, thanks).

                        1. re: kevin

                          Still have to try this place. I get the same reaction when I eat Korean or Thai food, so I can cope. ;)

            2. No dim sum places? Or as ipse may prefer, places that serve much better food in the evening but people love their dim sum?

              18 Replies
              1. re: TheOffalo

                I think the intent was to avoid the large, well known restaurants such as Sea Harbour and Din Tai Fung.

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Wondering if Tony was editing. I read through the list and went back up to read the intro twice to see it was supposed to be a definitive list but didn't see the part about it excluding places like DTF.

                  I applaud Tony for (always) championing unsung places, but I have two question. First, are there no unsung dim sum places? Or, since I'm not that familiar with SGV, is there a place on the list that does serve it? I don't have a vested interest; just curious.

                  Second, why call the list definitive rather than underrated or solid under the radar, or even essential (unless LAW somehow holds the rights to that)? Again, just curious (and previously confused).

                  1. re: TheOffalo

                    1) in a word, no; there are only 2 places on that list that i'd describe as cantonese, and neither serve dimsum: sam woo & seafood village. the places that have survived the last 20 years such as NBC, etc. still have a loyal clientele and as such can't really hide under the radar. and the necessity of having to hire a separate staff to do dim sum means it's an all or nothing kind of commitment, and the newer restaurants that have begun to serve dim sum more recently have typically taken it to the next level. to be fair, since tony listed BMCC which he acknowledges as selling banh mi of indifferent quality, i'd suggest the dim sum equivalent to be some place like say, yum cha cafe, though YCC's prices have crept upwards in recent years. YCC would IMO be probably around number 62 on the list if tony went that far.
                    2) there's some sort of intangible that prompts asians to eat there en masse - primarily asian, now that i think about it. if a non-asian is there, that person is usually part of a group of asians or they typically live nearby and have 'discovered' the place.

                    1. re: barryc

                      Agree w/ Barry - if a place in SGV is under-the-radar, it means it's going to close very soon (or it was DOA).

                    2. re: TheOffalo

                      good point TheOffalo, i agree. i applaud tonyc for writing a good guide for people to get to know more of the SGV, but it certainly shouldn't be touted as "The Definitive Guide to SGV Dining".

                      i'm not an expert, but seeing the support on CH and trying them myself, i'd think if there was a "Definitive Guide" that Sea Harbour would be listed (i know it was called out in the intro as being left off, but then is it really "definitive" then?).

                      as TheOffalo says, this is more like a "Guide to the Underrated / Obscure" restaurants in the SGV.

                      i mean besides Sea Harbour, aren't there supposedly some amazing Pho places in the SGV not listed here as well? and i remember ipse and a few others mentioning some great Pork Chop Rice places not on here also. it's like a few of the "best of the best" SGV restaurants were omitted in favor of... "underrated" ("You should try this, but most people don't know about it")-type eateries?

                      it's still really helpful and i've heard mention of many of these restaurants on the boards here; and i do want to try them. it's definitely a great article introducing many to less talked about restaurants. i can't wait to try some of these. :> thanx tony!

                      1. re: chowseeker1999

                        It's called a headline. What do U expect. My personal choice of interesting restaurants?

                        1. re: chowseeker1999

                          Shouldn't ever blame the writer for the headline of their article. That's almost always in the hands of editors and out of the writer's control.

                        2. re: TheOffalo

                          I would retitle it the "Local's Guide for Non-Locals."

                          1. re: raizans

                            That's good too I like it.
                            Anyways good info in the article

                            1. re: raizans

                              How about "An Insider's Guide to the San Gabriel Valley"?

                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                The Hitchhiker's Guide to the SGV?

                                1. re: TheOffalo

                                  The SGV: Thinking Outside of the (Asian) Box?

                              2. re: TheOffalo

                                Or, since I'm not that familiar with SGV, is there a [dim sum] place on the list that does serve it?

                                China Red

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  to be fair, that place has been open for less than a year.

                            2. re: TheOffalo

                              Here's a more inclusive listing from year before last done for KCRW. Obviously doesn't include recent openings, and it was truncated alphabetically at "S". Amazingly most of the places listed are still open.

                    , 117.989576&spn=0.439494,0.31159&t=m&source=embed

                              1. re: Chandavkl

                                Nice list to complement the OP list.

                                1. re: Chandavkl

                                  "Amazingly most of the places listed are still open."

                                  LOL! Thanks for saying it because honestly I think I stopped trying to track down XYZ seafood and their mythnical seafood snacks years ago when I found so many places have closed, changed chefs, etc... Instead we tend to stick our tried and true places. I see these lists and touts of the next great whatever in SGV and honestly these places sometimes have bigger hype than some of the places on the Westside...


                              2. nos 7, 22, and 2 are my favorites form the ones' that i have already hit up.