Welcome to Meanwhile, In SGV a regular feature in which TC, our fearless leader in all things San Gabriel Valley, brings word of restaurant openings, closings, and other unsung, curious neighborhood goings on.[Photos: Sinosoul]
1) Arcadia: Bun Bun Tea House grand opened on July 5 yet has managed to sell out of its daily burger allotment after only a week of operations. This burger shack slash tea house, conceived by a team consisting of a 25-year industry veteran and a young first time restaurateur, is located next to the venerable Taiwanese snack shop Sinbala. Most popular menu item? The Taiwanese Burger - a thin formed to order seasoned/marinaded pork (or beef) patty, topped with a fried egg, sandwiched between a potato "Bun Bun" with sesame seeds. An In-N-Out sits a mere 2.5 miles away, but Bun Bun, sporting items inspired by Mei-Er-Mei and MOS Burger, seems unfazed. 651 W Duarte Rd.
2) Monterey Park: The ever popular greasy spoon Sam Woo has undergone a switcheroo. About a week ago Sam Woo Monterey Park transformed into Sham Tseng BBQ Shop. Sham Tseng region in New Territory, Hong Kong, is famous for its roast goose. However, based on the Monterey Park locale's cartoony logo, it's safe to say this Sham Tseng is officially unrelated to any of the Hong Kong roast duck purveyors. 634 W Garvey Ave.
3) Arcadia: The third branch of Lu's Garden opened last week. This Lu's serves up more Taiwanese small plate home cooking (to be paired with rice congee) under the auspices of a WYSIWYG ordering system. Want to eat pig ear, pork belly, and tripe without paying French cuisine prices? Come here. 921 S. Baldwin Ave.
4) Arcadia: Grandpa's Tea House opened on July 1. This shoebox-sized tea parlor promises "healthy" boba tea drinks, and features popular Taiwanese snacks such as popcorn chicken, deep fried tempura, along with squid balls. ?1147 W Huntington Dr.
5) Alhambra: After months of stinging reviews and an empty dining room, 15 Cats, the sister restaurant to Jazz Cat, has shuttered. The restaurant is concurrently sporting schizo "Grand Opening" and "For Sale" signs. 640A W Valley Blvd.
6) San Gabriel: ID Cha House, once sporting the 85 Degrees Cafe, has closed. This previously busy tea house suffered a Humpy Dumpy-esque fall after being served with a cease and desist letter by 85C Bakery in Irvine. Business steadily declined since 2009, and as of last weekend the phone number is dead. 425 W Valley Blvd.