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.
1) Arcadia: The wildly popular China chain Hai Di Lao, or "Fishing In the Sea," soft opened last weekend, and is planning a grand launch around September 27. In an attempt to out-Hakkasan, Hai Di Lao, with over one million followers on China's Twitter-equivalent and 80+ branches, has private rooms, a full bar, aprons for diners, gratis snacks upon entering, and a table-side noodle tosser. Sadly, a majority of the foreign investment went to the US interior designer and no translator was hired to compose apron slogans, which read: "Sincerely For Your Service." A quick peek during dinner service sadly reveals no complimentary mani/pedi, and management advises trial dinners are currently by reservations only. Dinners are completely booked through the weekend, but lunch service starts this Saturday. For those who can't wait, nor afford the spendy hot potting, prepackaged Hai Di Lao soup base is available at Hawaii Supermarket.
2) El Monte: SGV's first Chinese-Peruvian restaurant has opened in the old 10053 Dumpling space. Beyond the Peruvian "chifa" menu, Ming Yuen features a panoply of Chinese dishes. Mark us down in the "very afraid" column. 10053 Valley Blvd. Ste 2-3
3) San Gabriel: Gourmet Vegetarian pulled a switcheroo to become Vege Paradise. 140 W Valley Blvd. Ste 222
4) Monterey Park: Lolliberry, an ex-Lollicup franchise that refused to renew franchise rights, has called it quits. 2337 S Garfield Ave.