About Taste SGV


I think it's unfair to rate an entire restaurant based on one experience, or even a couple. Certainly I could very well have missed out something good the first time, or even the second time. I could also catch a restaurant on a bad day where the main cook isn't in. It's actually a rather common occurrence when it comes to the foods in the San Gabriel Valley.

So I decided to center this blog around single dishes. Each post is only about one dish from one restaurant. The ratings is based on solely just that single dish and the experience of that one dish. Certainly other factors can play a part of it and can influence the intake of the food. Nevertheless, I think it would be most useful for those who are interested in the foods of the San Gabriel Valley to get to see a blog that reviews very specific dishes from various restaurants.

If you have a suggestion for a dish that I should try, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know. I'm always interested in trying out a new dish!


Between my family and my friends, I eat out almost regularly. Having grown up in San Gabriel my whole life, I saw so many restaurants come and go.

There are restaurants that are no more that were once favorite of mine. One in particular was the very first restaurant that I ate at upon arriving in Los Angeles when I was still eight years old from Hong Kong. My father was here for the six months prior to me arriving with my mother and brother. He took us to this restaurant called "Garden of Heart" in Chinese. I don't know what their official English name was since my parents didn't speak English to me. The first time I ate there, my mother, brother and I were in agreement that this was a horrible restaurant. We wondered why my Dad brought us to this atrocity of a restaurant. But it wasn't until a year later after exploring what the rest of San Gabriel Valley had to offer did we realize that this was among the best around.

Then there are those that I say good riddance to. Of course there were so many that I can't even remember half of them. Food in San Gabriel has come a very long way since I was a little boy. The competition and the flood of immigrants from Asia has significantly improved the quality of taste, though not necessarily the service in this area.

I know over the years I have also played a part in causing the end of the life of a couple restaurants. Though I can't say for certain, I am near certain my friends and I ate Sakura out of business. Sakura in the 90's was a small all you can eat Japanese buffet in Monterey Park. Unlike most all you can eat where the food is laid out on the counter and the customers walk up to take what they want, Sakura was an all you can order restaurant. The quality of the food of course was much better than places like Todai. So my friends and I would pig out at lunchtime once in a while. We would sometimes sit for nearly two hours just eating everything we possibly could stuff into our teenage stomachs. I remember a few months after one of our biggest eating session, when we returned to the restaurant, a new one hour limitation was imposed on the buffet. We still managed to stuff ourselves silly in the allotted amount of time. Another few months later, Sakura was no more.

Finally, there are those restaurants where I cannot fathom how they could possibly still be in business after my personal experience. The most memorable experience was ABC cafe in Monterey Park. The one and only time I have ever went was way back in my teenage years. I am guessing the ownership of the restaurant probably changed over the years, but the bad taste in my mouth never left me and I never returned. I witnessed for the one and only time in my life a waiter taking a small personal sized pot of hot tea from a customer's table who's finished eating and left, and poured it back into the communal serving pot, ready to serve another customer. I couldn't eat another bite from that restaurant and never went back.

So having had so much dinning experiences in the San Gabriel Valley, and all my friends seeing my enormous amounts of check in's on yelp and Facebook, I decided to create this blog to concentrate on my dinning excursions East of LA, in the San Gabriel Valley.