Inspired by @Chemicalkinetics post, I was thinking about how certain Chinese regional cuisines actually have come and gone in SoCal over the past decades due to changing tastes and immigration patterns, especially as a friend and I were mourning the recent loss of Shanghai Restaurant from Focus Plaza due to the major renovations taking place there.
What cuisines are less represented than they used to be? What restaurants do you still miss? Any good “replacements” that have entered the scene?
Hunan – there used to be a lot more Hunan restaurants throughout the SGV, but many of the larger ones have closed over the years due to various economic factors and changing tastes. Where are the better examples these days?
Shanghai Restaurant [140 W Valley Blvd Ste 212, San Gabriel] – while never in contention for any Michelin awards, I always enjoyed my meals there and appreciated that there was a restaurant serving more Shanghai-style food in a nice, sit-down, family banquet-type of setting. I found their Stir-Fried Rice Cakes w/ Pickled Cabbage (read: pickled mustard greens) to be one of the better renditions in the area, and their Pea Shoots House Special with mushrooms, salted egg yolk, century egg and bacon was just as good as their Lamb w/ Celery, Scallions, Chili and Cumin. They will be missed!
Dalian Small Stone Restaurant [ [7637 Garvey Ave, Rosemead] – this one was only around for a few years in Rosemead and gone by mid-2015, but I still remember their Sauteed Pork Kidney with Chili quite fondly. Dalian cuisine doesn’t seem to have much representation in SoCal.
Best Noodle House [9329 Valley Blvd, Rosemead] – So this one is technically still there, but it’s a very different restaurant from when it first opened and was being operated by the mysterious woman who kept leaving and returning before apparently flying the coop for good. The original chef left and opened Chong Qing Special Noodles in nearby San Gabriel, but it wasn’t quite as good as the halcyon days of Best Noodle House’s initial months.
101 Noodle Express [1408 E Valley Blvd, Alhambra] – Another one that’s thankfully still around (along with a sister location in Arcadia), but there used to be 5 or 6 locations throughout SoCal at one point, including a location at the Fox Hills Mall food court in Culver City! Now down to 2 locations after the Irvine and Monterey Park locations have also since shuttered. Hopefully they can continue to survive post-pandemic.