Saw Orange Bistro opened in Alhambra. A friend went and gave it a thumbs up so I gathered the troops. Can’t say no to Taiwanese home cooking.
My friend arrived first and recognized the owner. He said she was in charge of the now defunct Bebe Fusion in Monterey park. She had moved to another restaurant in Chino Hills before opening Orange Bistro. Some real Taiwanese classics on the menu.
Fried Taro strips, peanuts, Sakura Shrimp, dried fish
Crack. This dish is actual crack. It’s so addicting I might start dealing it on street corners and my wife is gonna have to indict me for distributing an abused substance.
I don’t even like taro. But I don’t know what seasoning they put on here other than it must be crack. It’s also not oily. Feels like something that would in a sealed bag that my mom smuggled in from taiwan for me to eat from some lady that only makes this one thing and has done it to perfection. Put it in a bag and imma just eat it. I might just do that. I can make a fortune once people try it.
Salted Pork and Garlic Stems
I love garlic stems. Tender little bites of garlic and then intermingled with the smoky savory stir fry of the pork. Owner recommended it but I didn’t see it on the menu. Maybe it’s just under Hakka salted pork - no clue.
Salted Egg with Loofah
I think it’s established that I’m a fiend for loofah. The braised loofah with salted egg screams for a bowl of white rice. At home I’d just cook this and eat two bowls of rice. Can’t go wrong. Trying to explain what loofah is to my pigment free friends is always funny.
Sacha beef with on choy
Taiwanese love their sacha stir fried with a protein. Offhand. - I had no clue sacha was made of seafood until a couple years ago. The vegetarian version tastes pretty identical to me though.
My friend insisted that the chef makes the best 3 cup chicken outside of taiwan so we ordered it. My poll of the table - everyone enjoyed it.
A couple years ago I took my friend Cameron to Ding’s Garden. He’s from Alabama but always down to try anything once. I think Ding’s in Arcadia has one of the absolute stinkiest mala boiled stinky tofu in LA and I video recorded him almost dying.
So he was at lunch today so had to order their Mala Stinky Tofu hot pot. Huge serving filled with stinky tofu, duck blood, small intestines, mushrooms and leaks. With the tofu was stinkier. Was very very mild to me. But flavor was tasty.
Off menu item - eel with sticky rice
Sticky rice could be a little more sticky but it was tasty and fragrant. Eel was fatty and moist. I ate half of that plate. Order early as it takes about 30 minutes for them to make this eeel sticky rice cake.
Inevitably the place is going to get comparisons to Eat Joy Food due to them both being one of the few Taiwanese home style restaurants in LA. While I think the execution on some dishes is a little sloppier than EJF the flavor is still pretty good. Price is cheaper than EJF which is a positive. There’s definitely room for both considering they are pretty far apart.
Side note - for all the affluent Taiwanese in SGV it’s surprising to me there aren’t way more of these.