Part I: Eats: Knowing the San Gabriel Valley Basics

Here are a few examples of the diversity of Chinese restaurants you’ll find:

(Image via Yelp)

  • Cafes: The San Gabriel Valley is stocked with “Cafes”: Baccali Cafe, Garden Cafe, JR Cafe, etc. These cafes serve a Cantonese-interpretation of American food (What? Chicken steak with black pepper sauce over white rice?) These places are known to have big portions, bad service, cheap eats, and a loud atmosphere to sit around for hours and talk with your friends. $10 – 15 per person


  • Large Seafood restaurants: During the day, these restaurants serve dim sum, or Cantonese tapas. Older ladies push carts piled high with dim sum around the restaurant. Pick what you want to eat and they’ll keep a tab of all that you order. At nights, the restaurant puts away the carts and serves amazing seafood dishes, including live crab stir fried in green onions and garlic. NBC seafood restaurant, Ocean Star, Empress Pavillion, 888 Seafood. $20+ per person

(image via Din Tai Fung and Yelp)

  • Specialty restaurants: Some places will only serve dumplings (Din Tai Fung), Taiwanese food (Old Country Cafe), Hainan Chicken (Savoy Kitchen). Unfortunately, for people are aren’t familiar with the San Gabriel Valley, it could be rather difficult to find. But your best bet is to go into a restaurant, survey the patrons. Is everyone non-Asian in here? Is the word “Oriental” in the title? Is the restaurant sign spelled out in a bamboo stick font? If any of the above is true, skip it. Just like clubs in Hollywood, look for the one with the longest wait. $10 per person

(Find more information about San Gabriel Valley in the WanderRegions section of our site.)

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