Chandavkl's Profile

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Cube Cafe and Bakery--Copycat Alternative To 85°C

Theirs looks completely different from 85 degrees. Lot more interesting stuff I want to try first.

about 6 hours ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Valley Blvd Eats - looking for eating partners

Just because I ate there doesn't mean I remember anything about them. All I remember is that they were in El Monte. Thank goodness for databases. I've eaten at 525 Chinese restaurants on Valley Blvd. over the years.

about 20 hours ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Valley Blvd Eats - looking for eating partners

Well I have eaten at every Chinese restaurant on Valley Blvd. except for a couple recent openings, but I had a head start. First authentic Chinese restaurants came to the San Gabriel Valley in the mid-70s, but it took a while for them to move north to Valley Bl. First Valley Bl. restaurant I ate at was Ocean Seafood in 1983 (same Ocean Restaurant as in Chinatown, now home to Boat House). From that point in time it was just a matter of catching the new places as they open. If you start to do that now you'd be 200 restaurants in the hole.

about 21 hours ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Cube Cafe and Bakery--Copycat Alternative To 85°C

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of going to all the new branches of 85°C and seeing the same centrally produced items. For those of you wanting some variety you might want to try Cube Cafe and Bakery at 1355 S. Nogales in Rowland Heights. They've got the clear bins of pastry, just like 85°C, as well as drinks. But they have more varieties of different pastries and buns than I can recall seeing anywhere else. For example, the Hungary Hot Dog Bun, which (1) I decided to try since I just came back from Hungary and (2) I assumed was another infamous Chinese misspelling. However, it was the proper use of Hungary, as it was heavily dusted with paprika. Other intriguing varieties included the singed boroh pudding bun, the giant onion tuna bun, and many different types of breads. Not as buttery or sweet as 85°C, but in my mind that's a good thing. Also explains why the place was nearly empty when I stopped by.

1 day ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Alice In Wonderland Themed Eatery Opens on Gale Ave. in Industry

Well, they do have Taiwanese snacks, but the greater portion of the menu is sandwiches and salads.

2 days ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

I should point out there's a deminimis exception for small contributions on the receipt requirement, but you'll notice that charities will nevertheless issue you an acknowledgement anyway for smaller amounts. The Von's bag is iffy, though I don't think anybody is going to contest you over $5. But if a merchant tells you all or a portion of its proceeds are donated to charity, you certainly don't get the deduction.

2 days ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Alice In Wonderland Themed Eatery Opens on Gale Ave. in Industry

Well, Magic Restroom Cafe may have gone down the drain, but our Taiwanese restaurant entrepreneurs are busy with new concepts. Actually this one opened this past spring just a few blocks away from Magic Restroom so I'm surprised Lin's Wonderland hasn't hit the radar yet. Lin's Wonderland is another one of your boba/tea/snacky places, except it has pastel colored booths and ceiling decorations, and dishes such as "Basket of Mr. Rabbit", "Cheshire Cat's Smile" and "Alice's Morning Light." Perhaps the most remarkable thing is that Lin's Wonderland replaced a Starbucks Coffee location. Kind of tells you about the demographics of the area. Lin's Wonderland is at 18248 Gale Ave.

2 days ago
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

OMG! Liang Pi And Guilin Noodles in Los Angeles Chinatown!

You should have told us! While authentic non-Cantonese food in LA was probably inevitable based on recent events in San Francisco Chinatown, this is earth shattering stuff from a cultural/demographic point of view.

Jul 28, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

No, you need a receipt directly from a charitable organization to have a deductible contribution.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

All the shoppers at the Chinese markets in Rowland Heights go Costco style. They don't believe in paying for bags or using reusable ones.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
1

FARMSHOP charging .30 for paper bag. Every other market in area charging 10 cents

You should bring in paper (or even plastic) bags bearing the name of a competitor.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
1

OMG! Liang Pi And Guilin Noodles in Los Angeles Chinatown!

Sorry for the caps, but this is the equivalent of a 7.0 earthquake in the world of Los Angeles Chinese food. As many of you know, from the time of the Gold Rush to the end of World War II, probably 95 percent of Chinese Americans and 100 percent of Chinese restaurants were Cantonese. Even when widespread Chinese immigration was legalized again by the US in 1965, an influx of Hong Kong immigrants maintained the dominance of Cantonese food for decades more, though large numbers of Taiwanese and other non-Cantonese immigrants came to the US and began to introduce new styles of Chinese food. While we know all about the dozen and a half or more regional Chinese cuisines now represented in the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles Chinatown, like its San Francisco counterpart, has remained largely Cantonese to this day, aside from a small number of Americanized places and a couple of purveyors of popcorn chicken. Indeed, I can't think of anywhere in LA Chinatown that serves dumplings (not counting XLB at some dim sum places and an Americanized Shanghai restaurant on Broadway).

With this background, apparently while I was in Hungary, Qin West opened in Chinatown, the "West" not referring to West Los Angeles, where the neighboring Chego moved from, but western China, into the space formerly occupied by San Woo BBQ Express, successor to Sam Woo BBQ Express. Didn't get a chance to stop by for more than a few seconds, but things like "Guilin soup", "Lizhou soup" and "baozi noodles" immediately caught my eye (as well as Peking duck and shrimp fried rice). I'm guessing that Qin West has quite a few dishes never seen before in Los Angeles Chinatown (aside from the times I stopped off there with San Gabriel Valley leftovers in my car). Qin West is in the complex formerly known as the Food Center, 727 N. Broadway, #111.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
2

AYCE Korean BBQ for 1 person (most AYCE places require a 2-person minimum)

This is more of a novelty response than anything. Szechuan Hot Pot in Monterey Park also has an all you can eat Korean bbq option for $7.99 at lunch, $10.99 at dinner, an extra dollar on weekends, and you can eat by yourself. This is an alternative to their similarly priced AYCE hotpot. Even though they raised their price by $1, I still don't understand the business plan because it seems to me the cost of the raw ingredients (which in fact are quite decent) you consume exceeds the price. Maybe they hope to make it up in volume.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
1

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

I think everybody needs to try China Red and Shi Hai to see how they line up below Sea Harbour.

Jul 27, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

SGV runaround

It's much worse in NorCal. Remember being in Milpitas Square (their version of Focus Plaza) last year at 2:30pm and none of the Chinese restaurants were open. Same deal another time in Cupertino at 4 pm.

Jul 24, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

Drove by Shi Hai this morning and when I saw there was no crowd outside I jumped out of the car and ran in. Negligible wait. (Taking over the former takeout area has increased dining capacity.) Ordered 6 items but only 5 showed up--would have gotten out 20 minutes sooner if they had told me #6 was not available--and after asking three times. The others came out slowly over a 30 minute period.

-Baked bbq pork and chicken buns - Chicken bun was pineapple top, bbq pork wasn't. Both very good, but not superior either. Both also a little on the salty side, which is a little unusual for these items.

-Turnip bowl. Quite good, again not superior.

-Taro egg roll. A little salty and nothing exceptional

-Pan fried shrimp and vegetable roll. Essentially small empenadas. By far the best of the bunch.

Lots of other interesting stuff on the menu. For an interim grading, I'd rank them with Lunasia/King Hua/China Red. Whether it's up with Sea Harbour remains to be seen.

Jul 23, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

Agreed that China Red is in that tier.

Jul 22, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

The Orange Chicken Burrito

I really miss the orange chicken sandwiches from East West Sandwiches in Westwood, so maybe this will be a good replacement.

Jul 22, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Sam Woo expanding to Rosemead, and other openings

Looks like they're quite aways from opening.

Jul 21, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

The Pot Sticker in Chinatown [San Francisco]

I'm guessing they're still plying their Union Square hotel tourist delivery trade for which Hunan Cuisine might be a better fit than something Sichuanese.

Jul 21, 2014
Chandavkl in San Francisco Bay Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

Well, the restaurant has a double parking lot, one with an entrance on Valley, the other on Garfield. But if you can't squeeze in those lots you may have a good hike.

Jul 20, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

San Gabriel Valley's Low Price Leader-Szechuan Hot Pot & BBQ in Monterey Park

They raised all their prices by a dollar. The nerve of them. Weekday lunch is 7.99, happy hour 6.99, dinner 10.99, a dollar extra on weekends. AYCE Korean BBQ follows same price schedule. Almost everybody was choosing the hotpot option.

Jul 20, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

That's what TonyC just tweeted. His Friday Eater LA column indicated that the restaurant just opened. I presume it's going to be a madhouse for quite a while so I'll let the others fight the crowds.

Jul 20, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Newport Seafood San Gabriel Location Closing?

According to the grapevine, the Las Tunas Dr. branch of Newport Seafood will be closing when its current lease expires. Supposedly the landlord asked for a substantial rent increase to share in the extreme popularity of this restaurant and the owners declined. If this is true there are significant implications. This would make the upcoming opening of Newport Seafood on La Cienega's restaurant row not merely a westside branch, but rather its flagship location. As such the feared dumbing down of the menu might not occur. And might we achieve the holy grail of westside Chinese dining, i.e., SGVers coming west for Chinese food?

Jul 20, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
3

Paprika Potato Chips?

The paprika chips we had in Hungary and Poland were much more subtle than US bbq chips. I actually dislike bbq chips but really like the paprika ones.

Jul 20, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Paprika Potato Chips?

Anybody in LA sell them? I know Amazon has them for $4 a bag but shipping is prohibitive.

Jul 19, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

unlucky locations in the SGV

Second hand report that their new Sichuan menu is excellent. However since I received the report while I'm here in Poland, it has to be considered unconfirmed.

Jul 12, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

+1 for Porthos and his reports from New Orleans, Manhattan and San Francisco, among others.

Jul 12, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

SGV Changes: Man Chan Cuisine, Hot Kitchen, Bambu Desserts & Drinks

Thanks for the update. I'm not even bothering with Chinese food here in Poland. So Man Chan is back in San Gabriel for a third time (Noodle Island was one location--was Sweet Island the other?) I think that ties them with Green Village for recidivism.

Jul 12, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area

Who do you follow on the Los Angeles board, and why?

ipsedixit - besides being the leader of the SGV mafia, he knows his food equally in many other cities, including Manhattan, Phoenix, Washington DC and San Diego.

Jul 11, 2014
Chandavkl in Los Angeles Area
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