Following TonyC’s Eater tip we headed to HJH Sauce Simmer Pot at 308 N. Lemon Ave. in Walnut. HJH is the first US branch of a Chinese simmer pot chain, which according to our server, has several hundred branches in China. The fact that they chose to open up in Walnut (as opposed to San Gabriel, Hacienda Heights, or even Flushing) says a lot about the direction of Chinese food these days (pun intended). A simmer pot is essentially a hot pot with gravy instead of soup. Same method of choosing a base and then add ons like beef, fish, tofu, fishballs, etc. The raw ingredients are dry cooked in a vessel on your table for about 10 minutes. Then the sauce/gravy is added and after a couple more minutes the dish is complete. Our sauce with four types of vegetables was a little under $10, and then about $20 for the extras, so for $15 pp it wasn’t bad for a very tasty meal.
That general area in Walnut (around Lemon, La Puente, Valley) is pretty interesting, especially when it comes to Chinese vegetarian with Heartland, Happy Veggie Garden, Happy Family, and Sweet Veggie (nee Rowland Heights).
Clearly the Taiwanese health nutjobs have all moved to Walnut and adjacent (see: Health Station 1+2)
Me? Waiting for Chengdu Taste to completely fuck up its competition with nothing but chili oil in 2016.