Welcome to Meanwhile in the SGV, monthly updates from the San Gabriel Valley from Eater’s roving reporter Jim Thurman. This month, exciting expansions from two beloved restaurants, plus a closure of a premiere hand-pulled noodle purveyor.
Alhambra— Xian bing or “doorknob” pies arrived on Main Street with the opening of Beijing Pie House. The original location, which opened in Monterey Park in 2011, has remained a SGV favorite. The new branch offers the same small menu of meat and veggie pies, dumplings, and appetizers. This marks Beijing Pie House’s second attempt at expansion; an outlet in City of Industry operated from 2014-2015. 235 W. Main St.
Alhambra— Located across the street from the new Beijing Pie House, Greedy Cat has closed after little more than a year. The restaurant served skewers, along with pan-roasted fish, shrimp, and crab in various city-themed flavors, including the intriguing “Chicago Frog.” At one point, Greedy Cat boasted five locations, four of which were scattered across LA County. Now, just the location near UC Riverside remains. 301 W. Main St.
Monterey Park— A rare opening in the current SGV scene, Yummy Cuisine is a Cantonese-style snack house. Rice noodle rolls, including some unusual combos such as pork with jicama, green bean, and corn, dominate the 22-item menu. Fried items include popcorn chicken, wings, squid, and fishballs. It replaces Noodle Street 108, which opened in September 2017. 421 N. Atlantic Blvd., Unit 108.
Monterey Park— When Ocean Star Seafood closed May 1, it marked the loss of yet another long-time Cantonese seafood palace and cart-style dim sum purveyor. Ocean Star opened in 1982. Nearby Empress Harbor shut down earlier this year. 145 N. Atlantic Blvd., Suite 201.
Rowland Heights— Northern Café has opened another branch, appropriately called Northern Café RH. As the name indicates, northern and northwestern Chinese cuisine, such as lamb noodles and lamb skewers, are served. Hand-pulled noodles in a variety of thicknesses are also on the menu. This Northern Café is related to the Monterey Park Northern Café and not the many other Northern Café locations. 18495 Colima Rd., Suites 3 & 4.
Alhambra— China Tasty has not returned from its long hiatus. After initially serving a Hunan and pan-Chinese menu, the restaurant transformed into a hand-pulled noodle specialist. Those seeking lamian should look to the Northern Cafés in Monterey Park and Rowland Heights (see above), as well as long-time east SGV spot Malan Noodles. The restaurant will be replaced by Xiao Jun Gan, another chuan chuan hot pot restaurant taking the skewered item approach. 1308 E. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel— The first SGV outlet of China-based hot pot mega-chain Hibiscus Tree has replaced Green Zone in Valley Plaza. When Green Zone opened more than a decade ago, its focus on organic food was novel and extremely popular. After expansion and contraction, Green Zone marches on at Temple City’s Camellia Square. Hibiscus Tree, which originated in Chengdu, features a small menu of individual or large pots of various meats (and one veggie option) marinated with its branded sauce. After holding steady for years, all but two of the restaurants in Valley Plaza have turned over in the past year. 534 E. Valley Blvd., Suite 4-5.
Rosemead— Hong Kong café Delicious Food Corner continues to expand. The newest location will take over the former 626 Lobster space. Look for the same large menu of Hong Kong favorites, like congee, rice noodle rolls, and breakfast specials. This is Delicious Food Corner’s fourth location and second to open this year. 8632 Valley Blvd., Suite E.
Monterey Park— Good Brothers Garden has closed after just five months. The restaurant served northeastern Chinese fare (Dongbei). While signage remains from the previous tenant, a banner announces the replacement: Traditional Guilin Noodles, where 21 gui lin-style rice noodle soups dominate the menu. 122 W. Garvey Ave., Suite 122C.
Rosemead— Destroyed in a blaze last year, Tasty Thousand (formerly Thousands Tasty) will rise from the ashes sometime this summer. 8817 Valley Blvd.
Rowland Heights— Taiwanese breakfast and snack spot Yummy University has closed after 11 months. The replacement is Tenju Tea House, one of the better tea spots in the neighborhood. Tenju closed its cozy Hacienda Heights location, which shared a space with a dried food outlet. It’s worth noting that there are now five teahouses in this plaza. 18311 Colima Rd., Suite B.
San Gabriel— Da Long Yi Hot Pot, another China-based hot pot chain with locations worldwide, has opened next to Shanghai No. 1 on the upper floor of Life Plaza. It replaces the pricey, high-end Chongqing-style Yu Tian Xia Hot Pot that opened in February 2016. 250 W. Valley Blvd., Suite L.