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Hot Pot Continues to Dominate San Gabriel Valley’s Restaurant Scene

Plus a new Indonesian restaurant to know about

Nice to Meet You Chuan Chuan Hot Pot in Rowland Heights
Nice to Meet You Chuan Chuan Hot Pot in Rowland Heights

Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, a regular update of San Gabriel Valley updates from Eater’s roving reporter, Jim Thurman.

San Gabriel— A new residential and commercial development is home to a couple of new eateries, one of them being Oni Hot Pot. The restaurant serves Taiwanese-style hot pot, including a “surf and turf” combo option. Two house noodle dishes and two house special offal dishes (tripe, intestine) round out the menu. 416 E. Las Tunas Dr., Unit A

Arcadia— A hot pot and grill place, appropriately named My Grill’n Pot, has opened in a new space. The novel approach features a tabletop half hot pot/half griddle, which allows for a simultaneously cooked combo order. A full-size hot pot can be ordered as well. Most interesting among the hot pot flavors is milk beef, featuring a creamy broth base. 55 E. Duarte Rd.

Maio Miao Xian Chongqing Wrapped Grilled Fish in Rowland Heights

Rowland Heights— A cartoon cat with a fish in its mouth announces Miao Miao Xian Chongqing Wrapped Grilled Fish. A fairly compact, yet wide-ranging menu features paper wrapped fish and grilled whole fish, with a couple of fish choices out of the norm. Also featured are some Instagram-worthy items, such as dumplings in striped wrappers, cactus macaron (in a pot of oreo crumbs) and other insanely colorful desserts. 18888 Labin Ct., Suite B-109.

El Monte— The SGV now has two restaurants serving food from the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo (Kalimantan). Singkawang Café features a small menu of Kalimantan, Indonesian and Thai dishes. It replaces Rice + Tea in a plaza in front of a badminton club, which is always a good place to look for Indonesian food. 10404 Valley Blvd.

San Gabriel— In a bizarre situation, New Taiwanese Cuisine opened and apparently closed in just a matter of days. Located in the space previously occupied by Gochome Japanese Restaurant, an eviction notice dated November 7, is posted on the door. Oddly, that’s the date of its’ sole Yelp review. The restaurant served Taiwanese favorites such as three cup chicken, pork chop rice and lu rou fan (stewed pork over rice). 708 E. Las Tunas Dr., Unit C

Rowland Heights— Hole-in-the-walls seem to be making a bit of comeback. Another example has arrived with Qing Feng Bao Food. Despite the name, only seven of the 33 item menu are baos. The rest of the menu features congees, noodle soups and snacks. It replaces Chongqing Noodles & Thai Ice Cream, which was a one-man effort that served Chongqing-style street noodles. 18472 Colima Rd., Suite 100

Hacienda Heights— After more than eight years of operation, the “first” San Gabriel Valley branch of Chinese chain Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot has closed. Official corporate history aside, there were earlier Little Sheep locations of varying degrees of legitimacy around the SGV. Little Sheep retains an area presence with their Focus Plaza location. 1655 S. Azusa Ave., Suite E.

Rosemead— One skewer joint replaces another, as Mr. Dong has replaced BBQ Power. In addition to the traditional skewered meat, crawfish, and vegetable items, it serves oysters on the half shell, scallops, and appetizers. 8450 E. Valley Blvd., Suite 116

San Gabriel— Adjacent to the above mentioned Oni Hot Pot is Feel Recipes. The main focus is on skewers, but the restaurant serves more than a typical skewer joint. Most notable among those are fish with corn cakes, and dan bing, a Taiwanese egg crepe wrap filled with items that can include a hot dog and Chinese donut stick (you tiao). For now, the menu is solely in Chinese. Let’s see, new plaza: hot pot, check; skewer place, check; stylish tea house, check. 416 E. Las Tunas Dr., Unit B

Nice to Meet You Chuan Chuan Hot Pot in Rowland Heights

Rowland Heights— New to the plaza Colima & Fullerton is Nice To Meet You Chuan Chuan Hot Pot, a name that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue in English. The unique concept here is the option of selecting skewered items to cook in hot pots (the chuan chuan, at 38 cents apiece). Otherwise, prices are based on size of color coded plates or bowls. It replaces Little Highness Fishpot, which opened last year. Little Highness Bun, continues on in the tiny adjacent space. 18331 Colima Rd.

El Monte— Crawplay opened last month in Midway Plaza. In addition to four different “flavors” of pan-roasted crawfish, the restaurant has a small, yet fairly far reaching menu of other shellfish and non-shellfish options. It replaces Yang’s Dining Room which opened in December 2015 and served Sichuan fare. 10502 Lower Azusa Rd.