Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, a regular report for San Gabriel Valley’s prolific and ever-changing restaurant scene. Roving reporter Jim Thurman finds all the latest highlights from America’s vibrant epicenter of Asian cuisine.
1) Arcadia: The second Shaanxi Gourmet location has shuttered, replaced by Tasty Restaurant (Weixuan Tasty in Chinese). Some of the favorite items from Shaanxi Gourmet remain on the menu, which combines Shaanxi fare with the ever popular Sichuan-style items. 921 S. Baldwin Ave.
2) Rosemead: Chengdu Taste. The second location of chef Tony Xu’s popular Sichuan eateries is temporarily closed while undergoing a re-model. A note on the door points folks to either the original Alhambra location or restaurant number three in Rowland Heights. Look for the Rosemead location to re-open in November. 8526 Valley Blvd. #108
3) Rowland Heights: In further re-modeling news, Shufeng Garden, once the premier Chengdu-style Sichuan restaurant in the SGV, has undergone renovation and a serious upgrade in décor. We're told the ownership and chefs are unchanged. Interestingly, a business card is shared with recently opened Chengdu hot pot place, Old House, located just across the street. 18459 Colima Rd.
4) Rowland Heights: The hot pot rage continues unabated as Shancheng Lameizi, a Sichuan-style hot pot restaurant has opened in a former Burger King. The restaurant has a Beijing location and has drawn large crowds during its soft opening. 18932 Gale Ave.
5) Rowland Heights: Popular Koreatown dessert spot Sul and Beans opened last month in Diamond Plaza. Look for bingsoo (Korean shaved ice) and sweet injeolmi toasts, along with coffee and healthy homemade drinks. The opening marks the third Korean dessert spot to open in the SGV in the past year. 1330 Fullerton Rd., Unit 110
6) Temple City: In other dessert news, popular Taiwanese chain Meet Fresh opened this week in the new Camellia Square. Specializing in desserts such as taro balls, herbal jelly and tofu puddings, the chain is in eight countries, including a first U.S. location in Irvine in 2014. The Temple City location will be their first foray into the SGV fray. 5770 Rosemead Blvd.
7) Rowland Heights: Spicy Moment, featuring Yunnan and "Southwestern" items, opened in the oft changing space at the front of the 99 Ranch building. In addition to dry pots, look for some deep Yunnan dishes, such as the first local sighting of Yunnan-style fried tofu, made from chickpea flour. Even though it has Yunnan dishes, don’t look for the province's signature Crossing the Bridge noodles. 1015 S Nogales St., Suite 130
8) City of Industry: Miss Tong’s Private Kitchen has opened in the upstairs space at Four Seasons Plaza last held by New JJ Restaurant, but still fondly remembered as location of the short-lived eastern outpost of Beijing Pie House. The chef described the restaurant as offering "private kitchen" food. Fusion is applicable, as the restaurant specializes in Tagine (Tajine) entrees using the North African earthenware cooking vessel to prepare dishes. 18558 Gale Ave., Suite 272
9) Rowland Heights: Another Taiwanese chain reaches the U.S. with the opening of Hot Star Large Fried Chicken, a Shilin Night Market favorite. As the name implies, the specialty is a large, flattened and seasoned, crispy fried chicken breast (think schnitzel or chicken fried chicken). A couple of other chicken breast variants, a few wing options and two fries - including sweet potato fries with plum powder - make up the 8 item menu. The chain has rapidly expanded around the globe and folks flocked to the Rowland Heights opening. 1606 Nogales St.