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SGV: MaMa's Kitchen returns...

Long-time dumpling, noodle, wonton & snack house, MaMa's Kitchen, recently closed in the Alhambra plaza that's home to 101 Noodle House and the bowling alley. Cruising around yesterday, I spotted this sign. I walked in, but apparently everyone was in back. It used to be a steam table joint called Quick Meal and the laminated menus still say Quick Meal while the grease stained menus only list some of MaMa's former menu, but included beef rolls. It's located in a small mini mall at 153 E. Duarte in Arcadia, just west of 2nd and next to a Carl's Jr. Further recon is needed to see if they have all of MaMa's wide variety of dumplings or if they still make a beef roll worthy of TonyC's recommendation.

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  1. thanks for the update!!

      1. wow. i actually recognized ma ma jia before i read the english.

        rather unfortunate that they neglected to proof read the new sign before installing

        1. i'm not driving up to Duarte Rd for a beef roll just like i'm not waiting an hour for XLB.

          it is hilarious they just turned the old "U" upside down though.

          2 Replies
          1. re: TonyC

            That's actually Arcadia on Duarte Rd. Which puts it near the Race Track and Mall. Still too far?

            1. re: Ogawak


              sorry, I've become rather afraid of SGV traffic as I age. Arcadia might as well be Oxnard.

              some richer, closer, Taiwanese Arcadian will have to tell me if Mama's is still as big of an eggy gut bomb.

          2. I went there today with some fellow adventurers. We had some boiled dumplings: pork with leek, pork with fennel, and lamb with carrots. Every dumpling was right on the mark. I especially liked the lamb with carrots dumpling.

            The beef noodle soup wasn't that popular because the beef was too tough. I did not personally try it.

            I tried their beef roll for the first time. They are each about the size of a 1 pint/0.5 liter water bottle. The seasonings were good. The wrapper was thin and fairly crispy. The egg flavor was very noticeable. Like all other beef rolls, it was heavy on the stomach. We thought it was good, but we generally preferred the ones offered at 101 Noodle Express.

            They have a steam table there, so you can order stuff for a quick lunch. They also have lunch specials. As before, you can order bags of frozen dumplings, including what appeared to be potstickers the size of a small calzone. The freezer is next to the door in the dining area (you can see it in the picture)

            Parking is a pain. From the street, it looks like one long strip mall. In reality, it's a few small strip malls put together. The lots are physically separate, so you need to make sure you enter the right one.

            Seating is cramped. I think it can fit about 18 people if everyone was skinny. Decor is about average.

            There was no AC, so on a hot day (100F today), it can get quite uncomfortable.

            Finally, they fixed the sign. It says "Quick" instead of "Qnick".

            7 Replies
            1. re: raytamsgv

              Thanks for the report. Wonder if the steam table is why Quick Meal is still on the markee.

              1. re: raytamsgv

                i have to ask: did they actually replace the sign, or put an obvious patch over the 'n'?

                no A/C? UGH.

                1. re: barryc

                  Either they actually replaced the sign, or it's the best repair job I've ever seen.

                  1. re: raytamsgv

                    in which case i assume that whoever did the sign screwed up and was forced to replace it free of charge. good for 'mama'!

                    1. re: raytamsgv

                      they flipped the u upside down.

                      happy to hear the eggy beef roll remains the same gut-bomb. awesome, but p.p. pop is 30 minutes closer so... eeeenh.

                  2. re: raytamsgv

                    Thanks for the report ray. Sounds like they pretty much maintain the wide variety of dumplings? Yeah, it is hot in there (low 90s the day I tripped over it) and I should have mentioned the multi-mini mall lot puzzle. Maybe they swapped the sign with the one on the side of the building, which read "Quick"?

                    1. re: JThur01

                      They have pretty much the same menu from their old location on Valley Blvd. in Alhambra.

                      Both signs on the front and the side are correct.