Factory Tea Bar

Throw Back Thursday : Foodie Adventure

Happy #TBT aka Throw Back Thursday! I look forward to TBT’s because it makes me reminisce about all the good times in life. Today, I’m throwing it back to Saturday, November 23, 2013 when I gathered a bunch of friends together for a “Foodie Adventure” as I called it to explore San Gabriel Valley. I’ve been there once, twice, but three times! Yet, I still can’t get enough of San Gabriel Valley because it has too many good places to eat.

The one place I had been wanting to try out since forever ago was Newport Tan Cang. This place has more than 1,500 reviews on Yelp with 4.5 stars! I had to take everyone here because I knew it couldn’t be a disappointment except the wait! The last time I tried to go there, the wait was 2 hours long! I knew that if I wanted to try that place out, I had to have a better game plan next time.

So I tweeted 626 Foodettes for some help since they are knowledgeable of the 626 area, hence their name. (Side note: This is why I love social media!)

With that, I thought it was best to leave from Orange County at 3:30PM. Even with some lag time, my friends and I were able to get there on time before the crazy long wait started. We got there a little before 5PM and waited for 30 minutes to get seated which wasn’t too bad compared to the normal 2 hour wait.

Girls were seated on one side.

Of course, the boys were on the other side.

Luckily, Doug was there to help us order some good Hong Kong style food. Thanks Doug! Everything we ordered was family style because we’re a family! Ok, I know that was cheesy…

We first got the House Special Lobster which is one of their most popular items on the menu. It was messy to eat BUT it was definitely the winner on the table for all of us.

Another popular item we ordered was the Beef Loc Lac – French Style. Now this was tender meat that melted in my mouth!

We also got the lettuce wrap, deep fried tofu, and some clams.

There was a point where no one said anything because the food was seriously that good. We were too focused on enjoying the food rather than each other’s company! We didn’t even realize the silence until someone had mentioned it!

We each paid about $15 including tip and tax for everything we ate. We were all stuffed but I’m sure we could have eaten a tad bit more because that darn lobster was one of a kind. Actually, everything on that table was darn good!

As a tradition when I’m in SGV, I have to end the night with Factory Tea Bar. It’s a hip boba place to hang out with your friends. The atmosphere is great but of course, the drinks are good! According to Yelp, this place has more than 700 reviews with 4 out 5 stars! Because we had dinner at an off hour, we arrived to Factory Tea Bar at an off hour also which worked out perfectly. We got seated pretty quickly around 8 or 8:30PM. Factory Tea Bar can get really busy just like Newport Tan Cang so definitely get there early especially if you want the good seats like the couches.

We played a lot of games there like Jenga and various card games.

I ordered my usual Honey Green Milk Tea. It’s the drink that never disappoints me or anyone else! If you end up not liking it for whatever reason, Factory Tea Bar is always good about customer satisfaction. They will adjust your drink accordingly as many times as necessary!

We hung out for awhile until food coma started kicking in. So we had to prepare ourselves for the hour long drive back to Orange County. It was a lot of fun eating good food and ending the night with some sweets and fun games!

Thanks Andrew, Anne, Annie, Daniel, Doug, Elaine, Eric, Josephine, Shawn, Stacy, and Victoria for joining me on this Foodie Adventure! Big thanks to those who drove!

Sorry but not sorry if this post made you hungry.

SGV – Round 3

Ok, don’t judge! I know it seems like I go to San Gabriel Valley every other week. I think it’s actually just once a month for now. This time I went with a different crew again. This was especially for Briana since she’s been wanting to go since forever ago. She finally had the time for it, so we decided to explore.

For dinner we went to Newport Tan Cang Restaurant in SGV. It got 4.5 stars out of 1200 reviews. So it was a definite yet to check it out. When we got there, oh man. It was no bueno. Parking lot was tiny and the wait was 2 to 2.5 hours! We barely waited for five minutes. We had to leave immediately because we were starving.

This picture doesn’t show you justice of how crowded the place was. You just had to be there to see.

Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant

Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant

We Yelped another place and found Savoy Kitchen. This place got 4 stars out of 1700 reviews so we were hoping it wouldn’t too crazy like Newport Tan Cang. Luckily, it wasn’t! Well, that was only because our group had 4 people. If it was 5, I’m sure we would’ve waited longer. The seating arrangement is a little odd. The restaurant can probably only fit about 20 people for small groups of 4-5. Outside is for larger groups, but probably only a few large groups.
Savoy

We all shared an appetizer of shrimp egg rolls with a dip of orange sauce. I can’t tell you what the orange sauce is all about but all I can say is that it’s called orange sauce because it’s orange according a waiter there. They were simple and good. You can’t go wrong with them egg rolls much.
Shrimp Egg Rolls

So Savoy is known for their Hainan Chicken and rice. Briana, Josephine and I all got the Hainan Chicken just because all the Yelp reviewers were praising so much about it. Josephine and Briana didn’t seem too fond of the whole plate. I think it was just too plain for them. I on the other hand probably liked it a little more than them but I wasn’t in love with it. I could see why people could be addicted to the Hainan Chicken though. Perhaps the simplicity of the meal of chicken, rice, and sauce, and the affordable price of about $7 makes it all worth it.
Hainan Chicken

The chicken is pretty plain but dipping it in the sauce provided made it a tad better. The sauce gave the rice and chicken together a sweeter taste. I really felt like I could have made the whole meal myself at home. So I’m glad that the meal was about $7.

Would I go to Savoy again? Nah…It was unfortunately a little overrated.

I do want to go to Newport Tan Cang Restaurant again. For the wait to be 2 hours long means that it’s a definite place to check out. Note to future self: Get there late afternoon and grab a number, hang out in SGV, then go back to the restaurant just in time for number to be called for dinner.

To completely end the night at SGV, one must go to Factory Tea Bar where the fun boba life happens. I finally got the chance to sit in the couch area like a cool kid. It made the experience at Factory Tea Bar so much more fun! (Somewhat joking and being serious.) I ordered Honey Green Milk Tea which was good as always. We all shared the brick toast with ice cream and popcorn chicken.
Boba and popcorn chicken.

In the beginning of the night, I rated the the Honey Green Milk Tea as my most favorite, then brick toast, then the popcorn chicken. Everyone thought the popcorn chicken deserved to go before the brick toast. I couldn’t understand why they were thinking that because who honestly hates ice cream and awesome brick toast bread? No one. After some time, I realized the popcorn did deserve to go before the brick toast. The brick toast and ice cream are good but together, it can be too sweet. You might feel a cavity somewhere. Popcorn chicken and Honey Green Milk balance each other out really well.
Famous brick toast with ice cream.

While eating, we played Jenga. It’s such an intense game that I love and hate it.
Jenga

After a few games of Jenga, we called it a night. Thank you friends for the fun-food filled night at SGV.

SGV, we are coming back for you so just to try Newport Tan Cang Restaurant. See you soon, SGV. See you soon!

SGV Round 2

I went to SGV again with the same crew minus Esther plus Stacy. (That was just a semi-mathematical problem.) We had dinner late again like last time. But remember it’s ok to eat late in SGV because The Fung Brothers said so. I mean, they even made a music video about eating late and that’s just how it’s suppose to be.

We first hit up a plaza called Atlantic Time Square in SGV. I would consider the layout and design of Atlantic Time Square like the Asian version of Las Vegas with the Greek pillars and fountain work. I’m saying that it’s the Asian version just because there were so many Asian restaurants and stores. There were some interesting names of places. They were pretty cute and funny because they reminded me of those Asian notebooks that have phrases written on them that kind of don’t make sense. For example: Blue happiness smile me forever.
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So we ate at Tasty Garden in Atlantic Time Square which is a Chinese restaurant. The place was packed when we got there. They definitely maximized every single inch of space to fit as many tables as they could.
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Just like last time, we had everything family style. We shared plates of fried rice, beef, and my favorite coconut shrimp with walnuts. All was well worth it.
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For dessert we had this thing bread thing. Unfortunately, I have no idea what it was nor did my friends. But, it was darn good. It had a simple but sweet taste to it. Apparently you can’t find it anywhere in Orange County. You have to go to SGV for it!
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Because that unknown bread thing was just not enough for dessert, we had to go to Factory Tea Bar! Yay for FTB! I ordered the special Factory Tea Bar drink just to try something new. Guess what, it was just a horrible idea. Luckily, the service there is great that they can adjust your drink as much as you want them to basically. You can keep the drink you don’t even like. So I switched over to my new original and favorite drink, Iced Honey Green Milk Tea. I was so much at peace with it. We ordered a little too much dessert/snackies at Factory Tea Bar. We got some sweet potato fries, medium spicy popcorn chicken, and brick toast a la mode style.
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The brick toast with ice cream was a beautiful work of art. They cut out a box within the brick toast and made it hallow to put scoops of vanilla ice cream in there. With the bread that they cut out, they covered the top with coco powder. Everything was mmm delicious!
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Factory Tea Bar was a great way to end the night! SGV you have not failed me. Let’s hope that you don’t when I visit you again.