Category Archives: *East LA

Monja TaiKer 艋舺台客

18558 E Gale Ave
Ste 108
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

Monja TaiKer has 2 locations.  I’ve only been to the Rowland Heights location, but supposedly there’s also a location in the SGV.  The Rowland Heights location is located in the mega-plex off of Gale,  which has boasts Half and Half TeaHouse, Music Box Karaoke, JJ Bakery Cafe, and the Magic Restroom Cafe.  Free parking is relatively easy to find, either the surface parking or the underground parking.  I’ve been to Monja twice, and haven’t had to wait for a table.  But the restaurant is medium-sized, so during peak times, I think it’d be about a 20-30 minute wait.

Monja TaiKer serves traditional Taiwanese food, ranging from small eats 小吃 like spicy wontons 紅油抄手 to assorted stewed goodies 滷味, to soups like four-flavor soup 四神湯 and pork chop noodles 排骨麵.  Portions are pretty generous and the taste is authentic.  Feels like you’re in Taiwan!


The assorted stew combination 攪和攪和.  There’s tofu slices, seaweed and stewed pig ear.  It’s a cold dish, but nicely flavored with a bit of a kick.  Mmmm…. $5.99


We had heard that Monja has really good beef noodle soup and they do!  This is the tomato sauce beef noodle soup 招牌茄汁牛肉麵.  The broth is light yet packed with flavor.  There’s lots of tender chunks of beef, with stalks of bok choy.  You can select either the thin or thick noodles.  We ordered the thick noodles, which has similar consistency to udon noodles.  Really good!  $7.50


We also ordered the house specialty – the Monja Red Grain Pork Noodle Soup 艋呷燒肉湯麵 with the thin noodles.  The Red Grain Pork is basically Taiwanese-style bbq pork 紅糟肉.  The Monja version is crispy on the outside yet juicy on the inside.  The pork comes on the side, and there’s both dark and white meat.  🙂  The noodles are in a pork broth, topped with stewed minced fatty pork and sprinkled with scallions.  Yummy!  Easily shared among 2 people.  $7.50

Atlantic Seafood & Dimsum Restaurant

500 N Atlantic Blvd
Ste 200
Monterey Park, CA 91754

(626) 872-0388


This is my favorite dimsum restaurant of late.  Atlantic Seafood is conveniently located in the large shopping center, on Atlantic, where the huge AMC Theater and wide range of restaurants are located.  Free parking is easy to find in the attached parking structure.  Finding the restaurant, however, is a bit tricky.  I almost couldn’t find it, when I went the first time.  So, make your way to the 24 Hour Fitness near the corner of Atlantic and Hellman, and you’ll see the restaurant located on the second floor.

Atlantic Seafood is a huge restaurant.  However, it gets very packed during the weekends.  If you want to avoid the crowd, go before 11:30am.  Otherwise, expect at least a 40 minutes wait.  Atlantic Seafood serves traditional dim sum, served in the rolling carts.  The carts circulate pretty often and if you don’t see what you want, just ask a waiter — they’ll usually bring it around to you. Service is pretty fast and friendly, although the dimsum cart ladies are a little pushy and will try to sell as much dimsum as they can!  😉  All of the dimsum that I’ve tried at Atlantic Seafood is very tasty.  Oh, and ALL the dimsum dishes are $1.88 each on the weekends (and only $1.58 on the weekdays)!  ^ ^


The meat-stuffed rice cakes.  Crispy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.  Mmmm….


1. The shumai is excellent and is a little bigger than other dimsum places

2. The leaf-wrapped sticky rice (no-mai-gai) is also tasty

3.  Steamed custard buns seemed like they’ve been in the steamer for too long – the filling wasn’t runny anymore.  Maybe they would be good if they were freshly steamed?


Eggrolls – stuffed with bamboo inside.  Very crunchy and delicious.  Loved it!


Beef meatballs had pretty good flavor and texture.


The egg tarts were fresh and so good out of the oven!  The crust is flaky and the filling is full of yummy egg flavor.  Mmmm!


Other notable items that I forgot to photograph were shrimp dumplings (har-gow), tofu pudding (do-fu-hua) and the fried rice.  I can see why this place is packed during the weekends!  Give it a try if you’re in the area.  🙂

Savoy Kitchen

138 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801

(626) 308-9535




All of my friends have raved about the Hainan chicken rice at Savoy.  For some reason, I just haven’t had a chance to try until recently — maybe it’s because there are simply too many food choices in the area.  Good thing I got there relatively early for lunch (around 11:30am) — the seats were all full inside the restaurant, however, outdoor seating was available.  I’ve heard that the usual wait is anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour.  There is only street parking available, and that can be a little tough to find, so be prepared.

Hainan chicken is basically steamed/poached chicken.  It is then chopped into slices and served with a side of rice.  During my time in Singapore (the birth place of Hainan chicken rice), the ones I’ve had usually had the chicken drippings mixed into the rice, to give it extra flavor.  Outside of Singapore, I’d say Savoy makes a pretty good version of Hainan chicken rice.


The store front.  There are benches outside for the waiting crowd.


Jot down your name and the number in your party on the clip board, just outside the restaurant.  Also, indicate if you’d like to be seated indoors or outdoors, or any. Then, wait to be seated.



The menu.  Lots of choices!  I will have to come back to try their other dishes.  FYI – there’s free refill on the iced tea with lemon!


The Hainan chicken rice.  The chicken is really juicy and tender.  Loved the ginger sauce, it complements the chicken perfectly.  And the rice was fluffy and flavorful. Yum!  $6.95

[Arcadia] 626 Night Market!

The 626 Night Market will be this weekend at the Santa Anita Park!  There will be over 150+ vendors and food trucks, with entertainment (including Youtube sensation Jason Chen!).  There is an admission charge this time (I’m assuming to cover the venue and the free parking):

ADMISSION: Free Parking
$2 / person 4PM-6PM
$3 / person after 6PM
Free for ages 12 years and younger

And here’s the list of vendors!

Seafood Village 避風塘

684 W Garvey Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754

(626) 289-0088


Seafood Village is a great place to host large gatherings.  It’s authentic Chinese food, and everything is served family style.  I’ve been going to this restaurant a few years now, and quality has always been consistent and portions are generous.  I’ve only been during dinner times, but I’ve heard the lunch specials are quite good as well.  There is a parking lot for the restaurant and I have not had any problems parking in the lot.  But in case the lot is full, there should be plenty of street parking around the area.


In addition to the menus at the table, there are pictures of the popular dishes plastered along the walls of the restaurant.  So, it gives you a better idea of what to order – just point at the pictures!  🙂  There is a good selection of live seafood, you can scope them out at the tanks.  If you are going to order live seafood, make sure to check the prices with the waiter – most of the seafood is charged by the pound. White rice is provided, and is automatically added to your tab at $1 per person.  Tea service is complimentary and the servers come quite frequently to refill the hot tea.


Here’s what we ordered from our recent dinner – just enough for a party of 7:


Stewed peanuts are served as a complimentary appetizer.    But the peanuts this time were not stewed long enough… it was still a little hard.


The house special crab – 避風塘炒蟹.  The crab is charged by the pound.  The crab is first deep fried, then stir-fried with garlic and scallions.  Yummy!  It just takes a little patience to get all of the crab meat out.  The crab is based on market price – crab season is starting, so it was $5.99 a pound last weekend and this was 3 pounds of crab.


Stir-fried pea sprouts in garlic 大豆苗.  The pea sprouts were really fresh and flavorful.  $12.99


Seafood Village also has its own version of the lettuce wrap, with ground chicken 避風塘雞鬆.  They gave us like half a head of lettuce to wrap all this chicken!  Not bad at all.  $10.99


Stewed duck with tofu and peanuts this is half an order – 滷水鴨豆腐.  The duck and tofu was stewed pretty well, but again the peanuts didn’t seem like they were stewed long enough. $12.99


Lamb pot 雙冬羊腩煲 -lots of lamb meat with shitake mushrooms and tofu skin in the pot.  Perfect for winter!  $13.99


Double-cooked fish 剝皮牛魚 – the fish slices are fried, then cooked in a sauce with red peppers, celery and onions.  The fish meat is really firm, and tasted great with the sauce.  $14.99


Seafood Village also has traditional Chinese desserts.  This is the white wood-ear with gingko nuts and taro 白果芋泥.  The taro is so smooth and tasty!  $6.99


After the meal is finished, the restaurant also serves everyone with a bowl of red bean soup with clear tapioca 紅豆西米露。

Akasaka Restaurant

14926 Clark Ave
Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

(626) 336-0871


Akasaka is located in the middle of a residential area in Hacienda Heights, seemingly out of place for a Japanese restaurant.  But, don’t let that fool you.  This place has been around for over 40 years.  It’s best known for its HUGE chirashi bowl (one order serves 2-3 people), which has all sorts of seafood and fish.  All of the menu item portions are pretty generous too.  Just a warning, their sushi rolls are 3 times the size of regular sushi rolls.

Food is always consistent.  Service is pretty great and fast.  Make a reservation, if you can, otherwise sometimes the wait could be horrendous.  Parking wise, Akasaka does have a small adjacent parking lot.  Once that’s full, there’s usually lots of street parking available.

Regardless of what you order, everyone at the table is served with a small salad and miso soup.



The famous chirashi bowl – it has spicy tuna, salmon, eel, scallop, uni, albacore tuna, monkfish liver, yellow tail, salmon roe, tobikko, squid, octopus, sweet shrimp, tuna tataki.  The sushi rice beneath the mountain of seafood is really yummy too!  $38.50 per order


Rainbow roll with tons of fish.  $28.50 for 8 pieces and $18 for 4 pieces.  This is the 4 pieces order, like I’ve said, the portions are huge!  The fish is so fresh and melts in your mouth….


Crunchy roll – with avocado and tempura shrimp.  It’s coated with tempura crumbs.  Yum!  $18 for 8 pieces, $14.50 for 6 pieces


Spider roll – fried soft-shell crab sushi coated with masago.  So good!  $18 for 8 pieces and $12 for 4 pieces.


Tempura udon – big bowl of udon accompanied by assorted tempura (shrimp, eggplant, italian squash, sweet potato).  My friends said this was pretty good!  $11


We were there for a birthday.  Just when we thought we were done with dinner, the waitress brought out a big cake, on the house!  Not sure if they make it in house, but the cake was really moist and tasty.  What a great surprise!


We also ended up with some sushi-shaped lollipops, compliments of the house.  These are so cute!


Bollini’s Pizzeria Napolitana

2315 S Garfield Ave
Monterey Park, CA 91754

(323) 722-7600

My bro had raved about this place ever since he’s first tried it, saying that it was one of the best thin crust pizzas that he’s had.  So finally, one day, since I was in the area, I went to see what the fuss was all about.
Bollini’s is located in Monterey Park — yep, a little out of place amongst all the Asian restaurants.  But don’t be fooled.  Bollini’s serves up some pretty authentic Italian food.  Be warned, street parking is limited, and it is cash only (although there’s a small ATM inside the restaurant).  Here’s what we ordered:
Instead of the usual bread at Italian restaurants, Bollini’s serves up pizza crust tossed in garlic pesto oil.  Mmmmm…
Arugala Salad – arugala greens with fresh corn, smoked bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, goat cheese and red wine vinaigrette.  Light and refreshing!  $9
Seafood cioppino – shrimp, mussels and clams in a tomato and white wine stock garnished with fresh herb and lemon.  Lots of chopped clams!  The soup had a little bit of a kick to it, and not as thick as some cioppinos I’ve had.  If only there was bread to dip the sauce in!  $12
This is a large 16″ pizza.  At Bollini’s you have the option of to build your own pizza, or select from a list of 20 combo pizzas.  We chose 2 from the list, and they are able to do half-and-half.  Half of our pizza is the fungi e tartufi (garlic and mushrooms) and half was the porco (sweet fennel sausage, 3 pepper sausage, bacon and tomatoes).  Both were really good.  The crust is thin yet is able to hold up the toppings.  Both of the sauces were flavorful, and the toppings were fresh.  Yum!  The pizza is pretty big – between the 3 of us, we couldn’t finish it. $16
Next time I go, I’ll venture onto the pasta and main courses!