Valley Blvd Eats - looking for eating partners
I have this ambitious goal: try ALL the restaurants on Valley Blvd between 710fwy and 605fwy (Alhambra, Rosemead, El Monte, etc.)
Here's a guideline I have in mind:
Two eating a week.
Each eating we visit 4-6 restaurants. Most likely all those restaurants in the same plaza.
Limit budget: $20 per person goes into a pot.
Limit time: 20 min per restaurant.
Limit dish: One (or two) dish per restaurant. We will ask the owner/chef to pick one dish that will represent their restaurant.
If I have three people interested, we can get this started.
that approach will work with some places that are a one trick pony when it comes to their menu. but even then i can envision a lack of enthusiasm on the part of owners who have to set a full table for folks who order one scallion pancake, etc. at a place like chengdu taste, you can spend your entire allotment on a meal there easily.
and frankly, some places are worth missing IMO; i'd say start with ming wa on valley and go east from there.
and FWIW, there are plenty of great places on main/las tunas and garvey worth hitting.
i have a loosely organized group who does a friday lunch in the WSGV. we typically chime in around 10:30 am on facebook friday mornings to see who's available and to decide on one of the choices i put out there. if that works for you, you're welcome to join us if you can't find people to join you in your quest.
The number of awful to decent restaurants on that stretch of Valley probably number 10:1. Against you.
The odds increase against your Chowhound cred if the metric is "awful to great restaurants". Something on the level of 20:1.
Just thinking about it now, there are at least 3 McDonalds on that stretch of Valley, if not more, plus some place called Yoshinoya. And then there's that Thai place in the strip mall on the SW corner of Valley and Lower Azusa, which on last reports was still unable to produce a decent bowl of white rice.
One of the great things about Chowhound is that someone else has probably already done the "heavy lifting" for us in terms of separating the wheat from the chaff.
(pause for eternal respect to heavy-lifting Chowhounds like Chandavkl, ipsedixit & TonyC)
My admonition: Be prepared to sift through lots and lots of mediocre food.
Well I have eaten at every Chinese restaurant on Valley Blvd. except for a couple recent openings, but I had a head start. First authentic Chinese restaurants came to the San Gabriel Valley in the mid-70s, but it took a while for them to move north to Valley Bl. First Valley Bl. restaurant I ate at was Ocean Seafood in 1983 (same Ocean Restaurant as in Chinatown, now home to Boat House). From that point in time it was just a matter of catching the new places as they open. If you start to do that now you'd be 200 restaurants in the hole.
You realize you'd have to eat shit like Shang Hai Yau Fat? And Noodle World? And Petrillo's? Sunday Bistro? And Vittoria Pizza?
I couldn't even be bothered with eating every Chinese restaurant on Valley all the way down to 605. That's just foul. Maybe you can eat every non-Asian restaurant, just to (ironically, but without a mustache) say: this is possibly the worst stretch of road for food in Los Angeles?
What a tremendous waste of time and money. How about a month-long trip back to Myanmar to find ancient Burmese cookbooks instead?
chandval, the restroom cafe has closed right ??????
Did you ever actually try it ??????
but i never made it there.
i can't remember if you sat on an actual toilet there or the food was served in toilet shaped bowls or whether you sat on a real working toilet and took a dump right after your meal as it were. hopefully this wasn't tmi.
but that restaurant does have another thing coming. :)
brutal. this is my first post on chowhound. now I'm scared! just when I thought yelpers where scary, I have no idea what I got myself into on chowhound.
Personally, I love Noodle World. it has been my family's regular eatery ever since we landed in SGV decades ago.
And, yeah, I also like Sunday Bistro back it was on Atlantic Blvd. JJ Cafe, Garden Cafe, Old Country Cafe, Shao May, etc. these places are the ones I grew up eating.
Just because I'm "worldly" now eating at fancy places in DTLA and know how to pronounce prosciutto, foie gras, fondue, hollandaise sauce . It doesn't mean I won't have appreciation for greasy, oily, salty, MSG full Chinese eateries.
Now that I'm on the other side of the restaurant business, I thought I would have different experience trying those places on Valley. The truth is these places still get to my heart.
tony pretty owns his end of the spectrum. but he did express what some of us may have been thinking.
what you want to do has meaning for you. i get that. but do consider the idea that you approached a group of people who care enough to participate here because they specifically DON'T want to eat bad food.
if it's not clear, i'd rather go to a proctologist named DR HOOK than waste time and money deliberately eating at what are considered by chowhound consensus to be bad restaurants. i'd be surprised if any regular participant on chowhound didn't feel much the same way, (we don't have the time to go to all the restaurant we WANT to try, much less the ones we'd otherwise avoid) though they (with the exception of tonyc) may express it more artfully.
if it's what you really want to do, then i wish you luck and i regret that i can't recommend a place where you might find people more sympathetic to your quest. but i'm pretty sure that you won't find anyone to join you from chowhound.
Do whatever you like, regardless of what anyone on here says. =) But just also expect that, if posters disagree w/ you, they're going to do so very bluntly ;)
I'm not interested in joining your exploits (mainly b/c of geographic distance), but I'm certainly interested in reading about them. =)
JJ Cafe sounds so familiar, but I can't place it. I do remember Helena and ABC as (perhaps) being among the first wave of HK style diners here. I was (very, very) young, and I've got fond memories of steak w/ black pepper sauce and spaghetti bolongese.
Nobody's saying don't go to Old Country Cafe or Shau May, or that those places are bad. If you're just going to the places that have some nostalgia for you, I don't see any problem with that.
I just don't know why you would take a shotgun blast approach to eating all these things again when sites like CH exist to share that knowledge. Even if I had a near-death experience and a new lease on life, I still don't think I'd enjoy Wonderful.
Anyway, if you find 2 others daring enough to join you on this, report back!
I'm still thankful for the invitation to the collab, so I'm watching out for your wallet + waist line. =)
Shang Hai Shau Fat wishes it was as good as Old Country/Shau May. We're talking about a whole 'nother level of degenerates here. Like.. Dong Nguyen, Amrose. Good god how is that shit so bad? What else is open on Valley? That sushi restaurant, Yoshi's? There's also the really horrific Mexican joint, Armando's. O man.. Sometimes you gotta feel bad for Latinos in WSGV, eating 38 Degrees, Alondra Hot Wings, Petrillo's..