Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, a monthly feature where Eater LA’s roving reporter Jim Thurman explores the San Gabriel Valley’s dynamic restaurant scene. This month, a leading dim sum spot increases its square footage, the return of a Korean fried chicken chain, and no more penis fish dumplings.
Rosemead— One of LA’s most impressive (and expensive) dim sum restaurants, Sea Harbour, is getting welcome additional space, as a building extension is under construction. Not to worry, the always bustling dim sum hot spot continues to operate while work is finishing up. The addition is being made on the south end of the building, which was originally a Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. The extra space should open in a couple of weeks time and somewhat help alleviate the inevitable weekend waits for quality dim sum. 3939 Rosemead Blvd.
San Gabriel— Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has opened in San Gabriel Plaza (the one kitty-corner from Golden Deli). It marks a return to Metro Los Angeles for Bonchon, which was last seen locally seven years ago in Koreatown before closing a few years after. Notably, this location serves beer, a necessary companion to Korean fried chicken. A heads up: construction has turned the already tough parking lot into an even worse nightmare for the time being. 710 W. Las Tunas Dr., Suite 2
Hacienda Heights— Pasadena’s popular Cluck2Go will soon bring their Hainan chicken to Bixby Hacienda Plaza (the one with 168 Market, 85°C and Delicious Food Corner). Run by the folks behind chicken specialists Man Chan Chicken, it replaces Korean wings spot Arri Chicken, which was open one year. 17110 Colima Rd., Suite A
Rosemead— The replacement for Burmese eatery Ah May in Lucky Plaza is My Van. While the banner touts the restaurant as a Vietnamese noodle and drinks place, a fairly extensive menu features a wide range of Vietnamese dishes. 8526 W. Valley Blvd. #106
Rowland Heights— Na Jia Café has opened. The restaurant features a decent-sized menu of Shanghainese cuisine. There’s a good selection of Shanghai-style noodle soups with various proteins, xiao long bao and particularly nice looking shen jian bao, among others. A rather unique menu item is Shanghai fried rice cakes served with crab. 18406 E. Colima Rd., Suite B
San Gabriel—The water damage caused to the building that houses acclaimed Sichuan restaurant Nothingness necessitated a lengthier renovation than first thought. The restaurant now hopes to re-open April 15th. The same water main break also shut down adjacent Victory Kitchen, which hopes to re-open on April 1st. 288 S. San Gabriel Blvd.
Rowland Heights— The closure of Qingdao Seafood Village deprives the SGV of an ultra-specific regional cuisine. While Qing Dao Bread Food continues serving its dumplings and baos, seafood delicacies from the Shandong Province city are now absent from the region. These include sea intestines, dumplings filled with the same (listed as penis fish on the menu), and mackerel-filled dumplings, among other seafood items. While the ownership lineage is unclear, the name of the restaurant was changed from M&T Seafood Village just a few months ago. Whatever the situation was, both restaurants featured Qingdao-style seafood and were connected to Flushing, New York restaurants. No indication of the replacement, but busy interior construction portends an upcoming arrival. 18904 E. Gale Ave.
San Gabriel— Noodology has replaced Machi Tea House. The Sichuan-style rice noodle specialist already has locations in Rowland Heights and Irvine. Prior to Machi Tea House, the space housed another tea house, Milk & Honey (thanks to David Chan for this tip). 534 E. Valley Blvd., Suite 1
Arcadia— Izakaya Tonchinkan has replaced Hinotori Yakitori. Look for chef-inspired izakaya-style items and, of course, sake. Hinotori was around for seven years. 713 W. Duarte Rd., Suite H
Alhambra— After seven years, New Noodle Guy has been replaced in Valley Square by Pho Orchid. The new place features pho and other Vietnamese items. 1257 E. Valley Blvd.