San Gabriel Valley

Don’t Worry About A Thing

I recently went to one of my favorite boba shops located in San Gabriel Valley, Factory Tea Bar. I’ve been there at least handful of times and I still love it! Check out my posts on my SGV adventures of good food with good company!

So when I went there, there was an amazing chalk artwork of well known figures in the entertainment world which included Bob Marley. I just had to take a picture of him and the microphone stand in front him.

Once I got home, I started listening one of his popular songs on repeat:

This song reminded me of the scene in I Am Legend where Will Smith is alone with his dog and starts singing this song. After reflecting on that scene briefly, I was encouraged to not worry about a thing ’cause every little thing is going to be all right. So my friends, if you’re stressed out and anxious, don’t worry. Every little thing is going to be all right for you too.

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.

626-SGV Night Out

There’s a YouTube music video called 626 by the Fung Brothers and they show you places to hang out in 626 aka SGV aka San Gabriel Valley. After I saw the video awhile ago, I always wanted to check out 626 but never got the chance to hit up the hot spots there. But. Luckily. I recently got the chance to go and really live out the music video! The Fung Brothers sing: “So what if we eat late. That’s how it’s suppose to be.” Surely, we did what the Fung Brothers said. We ate late. And guess what? That’s how it’s suppose to be. So it’s ok. I think we ate around 8:30PM at Sunday Bistro. It’s a Chinese restaurant known for their 300+ items on their menu of fusion food.

The plates were huge! So the five of us shared three plates of Indonesian fried rice, noodles, and filet mignon. Family style. I really liked the Indonesian fried rice because it was a tad bit spicy. It had this Asian homey taste. I don’t think you could ever go wrong with any kind of fried rice though. We also had some noodles which were like pansit noodles because they were thin and had a light taste to it. The noodles are deep fried for a second, so the edges of the noodles are crispy. Majority of the noodles are soft because of the sauce. There were some seafood on top of the noodles. I had a piece of squid and was not a big fan of it. Well, I’m not a big fan of seafood in general. Hence the dislike. Then we had the filet mignon which was surprisingly good. It was juicy and cooked really well. Really well as in they did a really  good job at cooking it. For three plates to feed five people for the cost of about $40 was all worth it.

Though it was pretty late when we finished dinner, we had to get some boba in SGV. You can’t go to SGV without getting some boba at Factory Tea Bar. Three things I need to mention about Factory Tea Bar. One. It’s where Wong Fu shot “When It Counts”. If you don’t know the video, just YouTube it. It’s a cute-cheesy hip-hop dance series with some well known dancers in it. Two. Factory Tea Bar was poppin’! A lot of people were there and it looked like a fun place to hang out. Three. Irvine needs a place like that where people can hang out in a spacious place and have some good drinks and sweets. If I were to own such a place, I’d have a mix of Factory Tea Bar and Starbucks/Coffee Bean.

FTB was pretty packed, so we had to wait probably for 10-15 minutes to get seated. I got the iced Honey Milk Green Tea. And I must say, it was good! That was actually my first time ever getting some kind of milk tea at a boba place. I’m glad my first milk tea boba experience was at FTB! They only have one size for their drinks for a little less than $4. It’s like the size of a venti at Starbucks. So it’s more than enough for one person. While we were sipping on our boba, we played Spoons and Jenga. We didn’t have all the blocks for Jenga but somehow the game was really intense and challenging. I ended up being the one to topple all the blocks..Fail! Next time, next time. GG, friends. GG.

After a long night at SGV, we had to head back to OC. Thank you Stanley for driving us to SGV! Thanks to the natives, Stanley and Albert,  for being hospitable in 626. Thank you SGV for being fun and different from Orange County.

I should have made a music video like the Fung Brothers while I was in SGV. Next time, next time. I have to work on my krumping moves first.