Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, a regular update of San Gabriel Valley updates from Eater’s roving reporter, Jim Thurman. This month, a Hong Kong breakfast titan expands to San Gabriel, more Uyghur cuisine for the valley, and Yunnan moves on, kind of.
San Gabriel— Hong Kong café powerhouse Delicious Food Corner has opened in the space occupied for over a decade by Yunnan Garden/Yunnan Restaurant. This is their third location serving a typically wide-ranging HK café menu, though it’s their breakfast specials that they’re best known for. The bustling, perpetually packed original Monterey Park location led Jonathan Gold to call it: “the most Hong Kong place in the San Gabriel Valley.” With a parking lot even smaller than the Monterey Park location, look for even more side street spaces to be filled, as well as the usual standees waiting out front. As for Yunnan, there’s more on that below. 545 W. Las Tunas Dr.
Alhambra— There aren’t many restaurants serving Uyghur food in the entire United States, but with the opening of Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine, there are now three in the SGV. Halal lamb and beef are the most common meats, used in a variety of dishes, but there are chicken dishes and fish as well. Also available are manti, Uyghur dumplings filled with beef or pumpkin. The building housed the original location of The Boiling Crab and last housed Crabby Crab. 742 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel— The above mentioned Yunnan Restaurant has relocated a few miles east, though it’s sometimes being referred to as Green Yunnan. Ownership has also changed and the restaurant is apparently again related to the Yunnan Restaurant on Garfield in Monterey Park, as the two restaurants again share a menu. There’s more, including a complicated on-again, off-again relationship between those two restaurants and the extended families, but this is confusing enough as is. Look for the combination of Yunnan and Sichuan dishes that have featured for years on the menus of the various restaurants under their many different names, along with their signature large selection of cold table items. It replaces Szechuan Chef, which opened in summer 2015. 937 E. Las Tunas Dr., Suite B
Alhambra— Ming Wa Noodle, another long-time restaurant, has closed. Its replacement is Bistro Xia’s, which features a small menu of dishes from Xi’An in the north, along with a few from Shanghai in the south. Chinese hamburger, big plate chicken, Xi’an style cold noodle, and cold sesame noodles are among the Xi’An fare, while xiao long bao and a couple of soups are among the Shanghainese items. This has to be the most oddly disparate combo since Xiang Yuan Gourmet’s ultimate odd couple pairing of Hunan and Cantonese styles. 1227 Valley Blvd., Suite 105
San Gabriel— New to Sunny Plaza is Zaza Noodle, a restaurant with a nice décor and a menu of noodles, dumplings and wontons eerily familiar to anyone who has eaten at nearby Mian. Cold table appetizers, Sichuan bean jelly, and braised duck head or neck also feature, as does a special dessert — soft tofu in fermented glutinous rice soup. But the most notable difference between this place and Mian is brand name beers, since the latter doesn’t serve alcohol. The space has seen plenty of turnover, including an Anhui-style restaurant, a couple of hot pot places, and a bar in just the last two years. 529 E. Valley Blvd.
Arcadia— Already home to a Korean BBQ named Fork Over Pork, and 100% Fensanity, Arcadia continues to be the SGV leader in cleverly named restaurants, as Porkfolio Korean BBQ has opened at Santa Anita Mall. As might be suggested, the emphasis is on pork, specifically pork belly. Marinated pork belly is available in eight different flavors, there are Korean-style skewers, banchan and mozzarella kimchi fried rice. Set combo meals are also available. 400 S. Baldwin Ave.
Monterey Park— With a 55 item menu that features haggis soup, Korean-style cold noodles (naengmyeon), and Northeast China style sauerkraut, Good Brothers Garden leans to food from northern and northeastern China, though some Dongbei staple dishes are conspicuously absent. The space, which faces away from Garvey Avenue, has housed several restaurants. The most recent being Taiwanese eatery Gi Gi Tea House, which despite the name, wasn’t a tea house. 122 W. Garvey Ave.
Temple City— Sichuan eatery Delicious Chengdu has replaced Yao Dian Zi. While the ownership remains the same, the menu has changed to feature different Chengdu-style and Sichuan items. This latest is at least the third iteration of a Sichuan restaurant in the space. 9679 Las Tunas Dr.