18558 E Gale Ave
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
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):
$2 / person 4PM-6PM
$3 / person after 6PM
Free for ages 12 years and younger
And here’s the list of vendors!
18414 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
This is my favorite place for Taiwanese-style breakfasts. It’s really authentic and has a lot of variety. Everything, from the buns to the soymilk, is made fresh daily. Located in the HK Shopping Plaza on Colima, parking is usually a breeze. It gets very packed during the weekends, with a long line out the door. Yi Mei does not have much seating, so make sure you hunt for a table before you order.
Yi Mei also sells frozen items that you can buy and just reheat at home. I recommend getting the frozen steam bao (xiao-long-bao) or the dumplings. At home, you can just steam it and it’ll be ready to eat in minutes. Convenient and yum — much better than the supermarket versions!
The menu in Chinese and in English – one side is more of the lunch menu
The breakfast menu
Egg omelet – One of my favorite breakfast items at Yi Mei. This is kinda like a Taiwanese breakfast burrito. It’s eggs with scallions wrapped in a flour tortilla. Dip it in the garlic soy sauce! $3
Radish cake is also really good here. Slightly crispy on the outside yet soft on the inside. $3.05
Taiwanese rou-yuan. Glutinuous rice wrapped with meat and vegetables. Nice texture and the accompanying reddish sauce is good. $2.50
Wa-gui – almost like a rice pudding, it’s steamed and then topped with minced meat & shitake mushrooms and covered in a sweeter soy sauce. Tasty! $2.50
Beef sandwich – marinated beef slices and pickeled vegetableswrapped in flaky bread $3.25
Sweet bean curd, or what I like to call sweet tofu pudding. $2.20
Soy milk – available hot or cold, sweet or salty. This is the hot sweet soy milk $1.70
11311 Mississippi Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Neighborhood: West Los Angeles
Finally, there is a Taiwanese snow shaved ice place in West LA! No more trekking to Rowland Heights to Class 302 just to satisfy more cravings. ^ ^ Thanks to Connie H for posting the pics on FB and spreading the word! This place just opened a little over 2 months ago and there’s a long line out the door every time I’ve been!
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Taiwanese snow shaved ice, the ice itself is flavored (yes, so it’s a block of flavored ice being shaved) and the texture is smooth, like snow (hence the name). You’re then free to choose toppings like mochi rice cake, pudding, red bean etc. To finish it off, condensed milk or other kinds of syrup is drizzled on top.
At Blockheads Shavery, you start off by choosing the flavor of the ice, followed by the 30+ different topping choices, then the drizzle. For those of you who are overwhelemd by all the choices, there are some popular combos listed under the “Favorites” section.
Word of warning – they do run out of flavors and toppings, so do your best to get there early. I’ve tried the green tea, black sesame and strawberry (tastes just like strawberry ice cream!) are all excellent. Recommended toppings: boba, rice cake, egg pudding. I think all three are made fresh daily. Portion size is pretty big. One regular size shaved ice can be easily split among 2-3 people.
The menu – the flavors and toppings change depending on the day
Green tea shaved ice with red bean and rice cake, drizzled with condensed milk. $4.50
Black sesame shaved ice with rice cake. The black sesame flavor is so good! And I’ve only seen it here. 🙂 $4