This month in Meanwhile in the SGV, a one-time Jonathan Gold fave closes, the seafood craze continues unabated, more additions to Main Street Alhambra and Beijing duck pizza comes to Rowland Heights.
San Gabriel: One of the more touted Sichuan places in the pre-Chengdu Taste era, Lucky Noodle King, has closed. The small, perpetually hot, and sticky-tabled eatery in Valley Plaza was once Jonathan Gold’s go-to spot for dan dan mian (which made his 2011 favorite dishes list). Replacing it is Brother Spicy Hot, which appears to be stressing street food items. More specifically, food from Xita Street – the Korean district in the northeastern city of Shenyang. Look for items such as Xita cold noodles, seasoned chicken bones and, of course, skewers. 534 E. Valley Blvd., Suite 10
Rowland Heights: With the opening of Café Gunul 2, another OC restaurant has arrived in the ESGV. Some of the fairly broad ranging Korean menu carries over from their original Buena Park location, along with novel dishes like mac & cheese with corn and flamin’ hot Cheetoh crumbles, and stuffed squash dishes named for The Powerpuff Girls. There are, of course, bar eats and the soju and beer to go with them. It replaces karaoke spot Café Casablanca. 1616 Nogales St.
Alhambra: Opening soon in one of the fairly new downtown mixed-use buildings will be Earth Kitchen. The concept will be build your own hot pot. This is a few short steps away from the above mentioned Our Times Café as the western portion of downtown's Main Street continues to re-develop. 235 W. Main St., Suite B
City of Industry: In further hot pot news, World Hotpot has closed. It has been replaced by another hot pot place, the curiously named Freezing Hotpot. 18009 E. Gale Ave.
Alhambra: Back in September 2015, we heard about Chef Ritter and his plans to open a restaurant in the SGV. After lengthy delays, Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking has finally opened. To write that it’s been a hit would be an understatement. Featuring a menu of Cajun and Creole-style fare prepared in counter side steam kettles, this is the third Ritter’s Steam Kettle Cooking, joining two Orange County locations. The previous tenant in the space was Green Papaya Thai, which was there for something like 10 years. 1800 W. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra: The site of one of the earliest locations of The Boiling Crab chain will soon become another seafood and crab house, The Crabby Crab. This location will join the original in Sherman Oaks and marks their entry into the ultra-crowded SGV crab and seafood scene. 742 W. Valley Blvd.
Rowland Heights: Last month, we mentioned the upcoming Garden Bistro. We can now report the concept is Italian-Asian fusion. This means a small menu of items such as pizzas topped with Beijing duck, Japanese roast eel or Thai sweet chili pork, and some pasta and panini options. The rest of the menu is some of the HK-style café fare found at their Rowland Garden location. Italian-Asian fusion seems particularly popular in the Rowland Heights area, as this is at least the third attempt at the approach in recent years. 1390 Fullerton Rd., Suite 101
Alhambra: A new Taiwanese snack and tea house, Our Times Café, has opened on the revitalized western section of Main Street. Look for Taiwanese favorites like popcorn chicken and pork chop rice, along with a good selection of flavored teas. With European-style Mattlorna Café and Taiwanese chain 85°C Bakery-Café on opposing corners, the intersection is something of a epicenter of coffee, tea, pastry and snack options. It replaces a Saladfarm. 301 W. Main St.
Monterey Park: Taiwanese chain Sunmerry Bakery is readying a new location in Atlantic Times Square. This will be their second SGV location, as the first at Temple City’s Camellia Square opened in late January. 500 N. Atlantic Blvd.
San Gabriel: In another change at Valley Plaza, it’s one snack and tea house in, one snack and tea house out, as Machi Teahouse has replaced Milk & Honey. Look for the same beverage and snack menu. Literally the same, as at least for the time being, they’re using the Milk & Honey menus. 534 E. Valley Blvd., Suite 1