May 29, 2013

Far east eats

My co-worker Connie loves food. She is always coming to the office with tales about her eating adventures all over LA. So I was really excited when she invited Lilia and me for some authentic Chinese food in her 'hood. The San Gabriel Valley, where she is lives, is known for having some of the best Chinese food in Southern California, and Connie is practically an expert on the subject.

Walking into Embassy Kitchen, I felt like I was transported to a different country, perhaps another era. The decor was dull, the lighting was terrible and everyone seemed to be speaking another language. But the crowded tables filled with fragrant, home-style Cantonese food indicated that this place was going to be rad.

With hardly a glance at the menu, Connie ordered her favorite dishes for the table. We indulged in everything from stir-fried shark's fin with egg whites to soy sauce chicken to stuffed fish. My favorite was a lotus-leaf wrapped crab steamed with some of the most flavorful rice I have ever eaten. For dessert, we had black sesame mochi balls and a bean soup. Yes, a soup for dessert! Weird!

As if we didn't have enough to eat, Connie insisted I try boba, a Taiwanese bubble tea, for our second dessert. When we pulled up to Half & Half Tea House, which she assured me served the best boba in LA, there was a line out the door. Out of the hundreds of drinks to choose from, Connie suggested the honey milk tea which had yummy tapioca balls floating inside. This girl knows what she's talking about: It was creamy, milky and chewy. I loved it!

With meals like this, I am sure you'll find me back on the east side soon enough.

Embassy Kitchen
218 S San Gabriel Blvd. | San Gabriel, CA | 626.286.8148

Half & Half Tea House
120 N San Gabriel Blvd. | San Gabriel, CA | 626.309.9387

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