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Hun yuan cold jelly at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
Wonho Frank Lee

11 Excellent Places to Eat While Shopping at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Mall

Soup dumplings, Taiwanese sausages, and homey Korean cooking

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Hun yuan cold jelly at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
| Wonho Frank Lee

The holiday shopping season is officially underway, and thankfully mall food courts have come a long way in recent years. The dining options inside and nearby the Shops at Santa Anita are as diverse as they are delicious. From regional Chinese cooking to Seoul-style street foods, here now are 11 excellent places to eat while shopping at the Santa Anita mall.

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Omma Tofu House

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While the mall’s food court is a perfectly adequate place to nosh, hop over to the President Square Food Court nearby for a quieter lunch with more unique offerings. Fast-casual stall Omma Tofu House prepares homey Korean cooking that can compete with K-town’s finest. The combination meal with sizzling galbi and cold noodles is particularly solid.

Galbi and cold noodle combination at Omma Tofu House in Arcadia.
Galbi and cold noodle combination at Omma Tofu House in Arcadia.
Cathy Chaplin

Soonheene

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This restaurant hails from South Korea and specializes in a variety of street foods including mung bean pancakes, gimbap, fish cake soup, and tteokbokki. The star is the crispy pancake — a hefty disc of garlic-laced mung beans, kimchi, and bean sprouts. Drizzle on the accompanying sauce and marvel at its texture and flavors.

Korean street foods including gimbap, tteokbokki, fishcake soup, and mung bean pancake on a wooden tabletop.
Korean street foods at Soonheene in Arcadia
Cathy Chaplin

101 Noodle Express

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It’s all about the beef roll at the Arcadia outlet of this San Gabriel Valley institution. The hefty beef roll is comprised of a fried wheat pancake smeared with a hoisin-like bean paste and stuffed with fresh cilantro and thin cuts of beef.

Beef roll at 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia.
Beef roll at 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia.
Cathy Chaplin

Kiyosuzu

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Pop into this simple mom-and-pop restaurant owned by Olympian Mirai Nagasu’s parents for dependably good Japanese cooking. The lunchtime specials are always a steal, like the udon noodles with spicy cod roe.

Lao Xi Noodle House

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Grab a seat at Lao Xi Noodle House to taste hyper-regional dishes from China’s Shanxi province. From “Wife’s Special Noodle” with fried pork to the buckwheat noodle in lamb soup and the supple hun yuan cold jelly, come with a small group and order up a storm to share.

House special fried noodles at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
House special fried noodles at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
Matthew Kang

Sushi Kisen

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Tucked into a bustling strip mall, this unassuming spot serves excellent sushi from chef Hiro Yamada (Sushi Gen, Shiki). The $33 lunch special comes with nine pieces of nigiri, a cut roll, miso soup, and a few small bites. The price jumps up at dinner, where most opt for the more elaborate, edomae-style omakase.

For edomae-style sushi without leaving the San Gabriel Valley: Kisen Sushi.
For edomae-style sushi without leaving the San Gabriel Valley: Kisen Sushi.
Cathy Chaplin

Sinbala

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Come to Sinbala for a taste of Taiwanese night market food. The sausages are a highlight, and the ones topped with fried basil and served with garlic slivers are particularly good. Round out lunch with oyster pancakes and popcorn chicken.

A trio of Taiwanese sausages.
Sinbala
Cathy Chaplin

Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant

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Here at the second U.S. outlet of the Beijing-based Sichuan restaurant, diners indulge in crispy plates of fried chicken, steamy cauldrons of mapo tofu, and platters of Peking duck carved tableside. Consider this dining room the prettiest in the whole mall.

HaiDiLao Hotpot

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Whichever set menu one settles on here, be it seafood-focused or squarely land-based, make sure to order the hand-pulled noodles to go with it. Skilled noodle dancers flit to each table, whipping and pulling stretchy balls of dough and plopping the finished product into the hot broth to cook.

Din Tai Fung

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Din Tai Fung always has a line of eager dumpling-goers snaking out its doors, so plan ahead especially during peak dining hours and on the weekends. The soup dumplings are a must, as are the spicy wontons and expertly made fried rice.

A steamer full of pleated dumplings
Din Tai Fung
Matthew Kang

Side Chick

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The Hainan chicken rice at Side Chick is deceptively simple — just poached chicken served over rice with cucumbers, cilantro, and a few dipping sauces. But take a bite to discover layers of flavor, each one more complex than the next.

Hainan chicken at Side Chick
Hainan chicken at Side Chick
Wonho Frank Lee

Omma Tofu House

While the mall’s food court is a perfectly adequate place to nosh, hop over to the President Square Food Court nearby for a quieter lunch with more unique offerings. Fast-casual stall Omma Tofu House prepares homey Korean cooking that can compete with K-town’s finest. The combination meal with sizzling galbi and cold noodles is particularly solid.

Galbi and cold noodle combination at Omma Tofu House in Arcadia.
Galbi and cold noodle combination at Omma Tofu House in Arcadia.
Cathy Chaplin

Soonheene

This restaurant hails from South Korea and specializes in a variety of street foods including mung bean pancakes, gimbap, fish cake soup, and tteokbokki. The star is the crispy pancake — a hefty disc of garlic-laced mung beans, kimchi, and bean sprouts. Drizzle on the accompanying sauce and marvel at its texture and flavors.

Korean street foods including gimbap, tteokbokki, fishcake soup, and mung bean pancake on a wooden tabletop.
Korean street foods at Soonheene in Arcadia
Cathy Chaplin

101 Noodle Express

It’s all about the beef roll at the Arcadia outlet of this San Gabriel Valley institution. The hefty beef roll is comprised of a fried wheat pancake smeared with a hoisin-like bean paste and stuffed with fresh cilantro and thin cuts of beef.

Beef roll at 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia.
Beef roll at 101 Noodle Express in Arcadia.
Cathy Chaplin

Kiyosuzu

Pop into this simple mom-and-pop restaurant owned by Olympian Mirai Nagasu’s parents for dependably good Japanese cooking. The lunchtime specials are always a steal, like the udon noodles with spicy cod roe.

Lao Xi Noodle House

Grab a seat at Lao Xi Noodle House to taste hyper-regional dishes from China’s Shanxi province. From “Wife’s Special Noodle” with fried pork to the buckwheat noodle in lamb soup and the supple hun yuan cold jelly, come with a small group and order up a storm to share.

House special fried noodles at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
House special fried noodles at Lao Xi Noodle House in Arcadia.
Matthew Kang

Sushi Kisen

Tucked into a bustling strip mall, this unassuming spot serves excellent sushi from chef Hiro Yamada (Sushi Gen, Shiki). The $33 lunch special comes with nine pieces of nigiri, a cut roll, miso soup, and a few small bites. The price jumps up at dinner, where most opt for the more elaborate, edomae-style omakase.

For edomae-style sushi without leaving the San Gabriel Valley: Kisen Sushi.
For edomae-style sushi without leaving the San Gabriel Valley: Kisen Sushi.
Cathy Chaplin

Sinbala

Come to Sinbala for a taste of Taiwanese night market food. The sausages are a highlight, and the ones topped with fried basil and served with garlic slivers are particularly good. Round out lunch with oyster pancakes and popcorn chicken.

A trio of Taiwanese sausages.
Sinbala
Cathy Chaplin

Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant

Here at the second U.S. outlet of the Beijing-based Sichuan restaurant, diners indulge in crispy plates of fried chicken, steamy cauldrons of mapo tofu, and platters of Peking duck carved tableside. Consider this dining room the prettiest in the whole mall.

HaiDiLao Hotpot

Whichever set menu one settles on here, be it seafood-focused or squarely land-based, make sure to order the hand-pulled noodles to go with it. Skilled noodle dancers flit to each table, whipping and pulling stretchy balls of dough and plopping the finished product into the hot broth to cook.

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung always has a line of eager dumpling-goers snaking out its doors, so plan ahead especially during peak dining hours and on the weekends. The soup dumplings are a must, as are the spicy wontons and expertly made fried rice.

A steamer full of pleated dumplings
Din Tai Fung
Matthew Kang

Side Chick

The Hainan chicken rice at Side Chick is deceptively simple — just poached chicken served over rice with cucumbers, cilantro, and a few dipping sauces. But take a bite to discover layers of flavor, each one more complex than the next.

Hainan chicken at Side Chick
Hainan chicken at Side Chick
Wonho Frank Lee

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