Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, a regular update of San Gabriel Valley updates from Eater’s roving reporter, Jim Thurman.
Rowland Heights— Once one of the most touted Sichuan restaurants in the SGV, Shu Feng Garden has closed after more than a decade. The Chengdu-style restaurant, which Jonathan Gold wrote and spoke well of, continued to be solid in the wake of the Chengdu Taste juggernaut. Interestingly, the replacement will be a new outlet of Mian, Tony Xu’s Chongqing noodle concept. Mian is set to open in November. 18459 E. Colima Rd.
Alhambra— Mr. Fish Szechuan Bistro brings Sichuan favorites and the flavors of Chengdu to Main Street. While the menu features some dishes one sees at the noted Chengdu-style places, such as bean jelly, fish filets in chili oil and cold chicken in chili sauce, it’s not a mirror imitation of those places. Perhaps even more refreshingly, dishes such as toothpick lamb or bo bo chicken, are nowhere to be found. Interestingly, the Chinese name reads “Chengdu Taste.” It replaces Asian fusion spot Buddha’s Belly. 39 W. Main St.
Rowland Heights— The signature dish at recently opened Old Place is a first for the SGV, at least under its billing, Chongqing-style chicken pot. As usual, you choose size of your pot, spice level and add-ins. Pan roasted fish, crayfish, dry (hot) pots and appetizers make up the rest of the small menu. It replaces the rather well-received Noodle Kitchen Shanghai Cuisine, which opened in May 2017. Despite these changes, ownership remains the same. 18997 Colima Rd.
Rosemead—The space which housed famed tiki bar Bahooka for 37 years is vacant once again. Cinnabar Restaurant & Bar, which featured Hunan dishes alongside the seemingly required Sichuan items, has shuttered. Cinnabar opened in December 2016, replacing the original Bahooka replacement, Moonlight Bar & Grill. 4501 Rosemead Blvd.
City of Industry— From 2012 through late last year, Remy’s Noodle Palace served noodles and Taiwanese fare. Last December, it was replaced by the eastern branch of Yunnan rice noodle specialist Ludingji. Now known as Remy’s Taiwanese Cuisine, the restaurant has relocated just around the corner of the same plaza. The menu of noodle dishes, including their somewhat noted beef noodle soup, and other Taiwanese eates remains. It replaces the SGV branch of long-time Thai Town favorite Ruen Pair. 18219 E. Gale Ave.
City of Industry— Though the English signage remains the same, there’s a new tenant in the space that housed Jade House. Liu Roast Fish specializes in Sichuan-style pan roasted fish. The most unique thing here is naming the base flavors after U.S. cities: Seattle (sweet & sour), San Francisco (spicy) and LA (black pepper). Skewers, lamb noodle soup, cold appetizers and other seafood are available as well. 18207 E. Gale Ave.
Monterey Park— After a series of closures, one due to fire, there are now just a few SGV restaurants dedicated to food from China’s Northeast. Shen Yang (not to be confused with the recently revived Shen Yang in San Gabriel) has closed after five years. Its replacement is Guan Dong Dayuan (Garden), which also serves Dongbei-style cuisine, making a net gain/loss of zero. The menu is only in Chinese right now, so one better have some sort of translation app on their phone, know the language, or go with someone who does. Somewhat bizarrely, the previous tenant was a short-lived and overlooked western outpost of Shufeng Garden. 639 W. Garvey Ave.
Alhambra— Fresh, made-to-order dumplings are always welcome. That’s the case at You Kitchen, a small dumpling and noodle house in the bowling alley plaza. Oddly, for such a small place, a computerized kiosk with touch screen menu sits by the door, with another mounted on the wall to the right of the counter. Despite these modern touches, the menu features 10 different dumpling fillings, including their house special fish dumplings. A small selection of noodles, noodle soups, pancakes, steamed buns, appetizers and desserts round out the menu. It replaces Three Princes Rice Kitchen, which sort of evolved out of Rice Kitchen. 1402 E. Valley Blvd.
Rowland Heights— New to Pearl Plaza is Sajiao, a Sichuan restaurant with a menu featuring dishes familiar to anyone who has visited Chengdu Taste and Sichuan Impression. These include bo bo chicken, steamed chicken in chili sauce and the inevitable toothpick cumin lamb. 18938 Labin Ct., Suite A106
Temple City— The original location of spicy beef noodle soup specialist Bull Demon King has closed. The replacement in the tiny space is (DFT8) Best Bun, a noodle and bao house that has a 31 item menu, including xiao long bao, clay oven rolls, Jinling salted duck and cold dishes. Bull Demon King Café continues with their newer, and larger, locations in Rosemead and Diamond Bar. 5953 Temple City Blvd.