And now, a semi-regular update from San Gabriel Valley's vibrant restaurant scene:
1) San Gabriel: Ramen Fujisan has shuttered after a three year run despite plenty of positive reviews. He's Kitchen is the replacement. This noodle shop also focuses on braised and stewed dishes; pricing is extremely cheap at $6 for a bowl of noodle soup. 529 E Valley Blvd
2) San Gabriel: Image Chengdu, clearly a knock-off of Szechuan Impression, has closed after only six months. This was the location of the ancient and critically acclaimed Sichuan restaurant Chung King. Pho Hai Kieu will be opening in its place. Beer and wine license has just been transferred to new ownership. 1000 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
3) El Monte: The beloved pan-Vietnamese restaurant Hoa Binh has been taken over by Grand Central Cafe. Grand opened on June 27, the chef behind Citi Cafe on Garvey Blvd — shuttered in 2011 — has brought HK cafe fare into the nether regions of El Monte. It is a sign that the Cantonese Chinese population is being pushed further and further into East SGV. Look for various iterations of Hainan chicken rice (with bone, white meat, bone-in dark meat, boneless dark meat), and beef brisket curry rice, as well as fried plantains. 9911 E. Garvey Ave.
4) S. El Monte: Yummy has reopened as "Spicy Mama" (or, "MILF") after a short closure. The restaurant's English name has not actually changed, but the menu is now decidedly Sichuanese instead of Cantonese. 2541 Rosemead Blvd
5) San Gabriel: The universally beloved Pa Pa Walk has called it quits. The Taiwanese snack shop, famous for its foot-tall mango shaved ice mountain, is already completely devoid of furniture. Pa Pa Walk, with its cute decor and equally adorable coffin bread chowder, had soldiered on for over 10 years as a beacon of Taiwanese cuisine before a sea of invading Sichuanese eateries came in. It will be sorely missed. 227 West Valley Boulevard 148B
6) Montebello: A1 has finally shuttered after repeated ownership shuffle in the last few years. The location started off as a Sam Woo BBQ in the mid-Nineties. Most recently it was a lamb soup specialty shop. 2809 Via Campo