What does SGV have that SFBA does not?

Hello Folks, I’m brand new to HO even though I’ve been quietly watching on the sidelines on CH for years (like maybe 10 +). I’m visiting from SFBA to SGV this Sunday and was wondering if there are spots I should not miss… what SGV does well or what it has that SFBA does not (in terms of Asian cuisines). And please we can skip DTF for the XLB; I do love XLB but I’ve had the real deal in Taipei. I might have a chance to hop over to Westminister too during some part of my trip.

Will be staying near Disneyland for the trip - oh my tongue and tummy are already grumbling skeptically about the 2 days in the park w/ its lackluster dining options.

Thanks!

Welcome to Hungry Onion!

Do you get down to the South Bay much? I’m really curious to hear a one-to-one comparison between some of the South Bay’s better regional chinese restaurants and the top ones in SGV. I asked a question similar to yours on CH right before it imploded, but didn’t get a lot of specific feedback. One person mentioned a Lucky Peach dumpling crawl that you might be able to create a local analogue to, but the SGV one sounds good!

I’ve only been to SGV twice, and some of the things I ate that had no equal here are:

  • The chicken rack in cumin sauce at Shen Yang in San Gabriel (there are other locations, might not be as good) is amazing, and an umami/salt bomb. There’s only one SFBA place that has that, and it doesn’t come close. I had a mixed experience with some of their other Northeastern Chinese dishes, but thought their Shenyang “marinated pork bone” was great, and their braided Chinese doughnut better than one I had at a South Bay restaurant.

  • Kang Kang food court (Alhambra): has a ton of delicious looking items from the steam tables, but their Sheng jian bao were why I went. The SJB are fried pleat side down, which only two places in the SFBA do (I’ve only been to one, and I think Kang Kang’s are better, but with only 1/4-1/3 as much soup as Yang’s in Shanghai).

  • What are the good Shanxi restaurants in SGV? I had a disappointing meal at JTYH.

  • 101 noodle express (Alhambra) has better Shandong Beef rolls than I’ve eaten in the SFBA.

  • I’d be curious to hear how Omar (San Gabriel) Uyghur/noodles compares to the two Eden Uyghur’s in the SFBA.

Sichuan far superior than anything in the SFBA. Try Chengdu Taste, Szechwan Impression, and Lucky Noodle King. For example, the chopped rabbit dishes at the first 2 restaurants I named are superb.

Check out Jonathan Gold’s annual list of 100 best in the LA Times for more ideas and just pop into various little malls in the area and look around. The variety is amazing.

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At the risk of being way too general, SFBA Chinese food seems to be more conservative and less risk taking than SGV. There’s a certain energy that I feel in SGV with new restaurants opening all the time that I don’t get in the SFBA. Like Thomas says, Sichuan in SGV is super!

But, then again, for more traditional food, I much prefer the SFBA. No dim sum in LA can compete with Koi Palace.

Interesting that the SF based Foodnut blog just rated SGV’s Sea Harbour dim sum a bit better than Koi Palace. I don’t get to Sea Harbour too often because the wait is ridiculous. But personally I prefer Dragon Beaux to Sea Harbour.

There’s a bunch of Shaanxi in the SGV. Shaanxi Gourmet probably the best, also Shanxi Noodle House. I think Jim Thurman did an LA Weekly survey on the topic.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold