JThur01's Latest SGV Eater Update

#1
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#2

and again predominantly WSGV.

#3

ESGV has had like 3-4 Cantonese places opened in the past few months…

#4

I haven’t stumbled across much of note in the ESGV lately, but I have noticed some impending changes. I’m hoping to spend a lot more time out there for April. I still get to it more often than TonyC did in his later reports :wink:

Jeet, which ones? :confused: <— this purports to be a “confused” emoji

Also, if anyone wants to kick in extra $$$ for me to cover the ESGV more, feel free to send it to me :laughing:

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#5

One would be Tai Ping Sa Choi Kee that I tweeted earlier this week. Maybe the noodle/dumpling place in Diamond Bar, which I guess technically isn’t ESGV.

#6

again, commenting in response to what seemed to be a prevailing sentiment that new growth would be limited to the ESGV… that’s all.

everyone has a different opinion. i classify pasadena as SGV geographically, but not culturally/demographically, if that makes any sense.

#7

I love these updates and appreciate all the hard work that goes into them, so thank you Jim!!

One thing, though - I would definitely kick in a few bucks for some qualitative language, if that’s possible. Maybe a line for which ones are worth checking out and which ones are probably skippable and will be something else by the time the next update comes.

I know that’s more work than it sounds like! And you should get paid more if you’re also evaluating places, and maybe the folks at Eater aren’t into that kind of thing. But just tossing it out there.

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#8

Tasty Box
Noodology
Red Chili Hunan
La Kung Fu
Sheng Hui

#9

Thanks @ipsedixit. Any of them worth visiting?

#10

No

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#11

LOL, I mean if they aren’t worth visiting is it worth even writing about them? The SGV has always had a constant stream of new openings and closures but its rare we get something extraordinary.

#12

Things are still moving eastward, but far further eastward. The recent trend seems to be buildings in the WSGV that have sat vacant for a while finally getting new tenants. That, and spaces that housed other businesses being converted into restaurants.

As far as what truly constitutes the SGV, I would think the valley would be defined by the river that created it. But, more on that later…

#13

Let’s see, one Diamond Bar, two West Covina, one I reported and…Chino Hills? C’mon ipse, that isn’t even in the county, let alone the SGV!

#14

if conversion is necessary, they would by definition be dormant for a certain amount of time. the other options would be to build a new building (not happening) or taking over places that previously housed restaurants. in the WSGV i’d have put places like dolans’ and jian nan spring and delicious food corner in that category. though to be fair, the last two would more accurately be described as expansions of existing places, but jian nan spring put a lot more into the prettying up the place and setting prices accordingly as compared to the kinds of holes-in-the-wall that dominated the SGV for so long.

but yes, there are a lot of places in the WSGV that have been vacant for so long, homeless are using some entryways as their regular sleeping places at night. one place on main in alhambra a block east of garfield even has a tarp put up across the opening so as to afford them some privacy at night. that entire block is essentially empty of businesses. meanwhile, the stretch between atlantic and garfield is rotating places enough that it’s hard to keep track of what’s there though a few locations have also lain dormant for a while. (BTW, what i think used to be honey badger near sixth on main has become a hot pot place.) .and as previously mentioned, a few asian (overseas) chains such as pepper lunch have branches along that stretch as well.

#15

Srsly, thank you for reading and for the kind words. Since the places in the updates have all recently opened, I prefer not to qualify them and give them time to find their footing. Even though I’m guilty of it too, I try to avoid writing about a place too early. Sadly, some of the most interesting places are some of those that disappear the quickest, while a very average, ordinary place will continue on for years.

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#16

Well, when you put it that way Johnny :laughing: I don’t disagree. Eater covers openings and closings in many neighborhoods around Greater Los Angeles, and many of those places in those neighborhoods are every bit as uninteresting, so I’m glad to do the same for the SGV. I just took over from TonyC, though I don’t do it nearly as well as he did.

#17

Except Eater will sometimes give a small page to any random eatery while SGV, which culturally encompasses an area similar in size from DTLA to Santa Monica gets, unfortunately gets condensed into a list to be rattled off.

Maybe I’m just jaded but having been around the scene for so long now there isn’t much we haven’t seen in the SGV already so unless somebody is doing something exceptionally better than everyone else its just white noise to me.

#18

For whatever reason there is an unusually high interest in San Gabriel Valley restaurant openings, particularly Chinese restaurants, unmatched in any other geographic area in LA. To quote what I said many years ago on Chowhound, “there are teams of Chowhounds continually criscrossing the San Gabriel Valley searching for the next unreported Chinese restaurant opening.” And from my understanding, it’s many times more intense on Chinese language social media, where glowing reports on newly opened Chinese restaurants seemingly results people dropping what they’re doing and immediately swarming the restaurant in question. Not sure what the underlying explanation is for this phenomenon. My guess is that if you dine in the SGV as satisfied as you may be with your existing dining rotation, woe is you if a better place opened up and you missed out.

Note also that while most individual Chinese restaurants may be incremental in affecting the Chinese food scene in the SGV, the shift is more than incremental when you look at five or ten year periods.

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#19

It’s probably because rich mainland kids don’t have to work and they pretend to go to school or whatnot and they want a taste of home? I know I’m not dropping what I’m doing at any moment because I’m probably at work.

#20

I think it’s more than that. I remember 40 years ago when I first got really interested in Chinese food and the first authentic places started opening up in the San Gabriel Valley there was a lot of chatter among working Chinese-American adults about what new places were opening up. And indeed, because new openings weren’t that frequent in the SGV (which might have explained the degree of interest back then), the local grapevine would pick up what was new in the Bay Area, and for a while, even New York.