We hear a lot of talk about there not being good places to eat in the area, particularly some of the national restaurants that do a lot of major advertising in the daily newspapers and television. Sure, there are no Chili’s or PF Chang around here, but we have plenty of good restaurants. There’s not a single TGIF, El Torito, or Mimi’s near by, but you can get there with a 20 minute drive on one of the local freeways.
What we do have is plenty of very nice, and sometimes expensive restaurants around here.
The other night we had a very nice dinner at Luminarias Restaurant, just up the hill on Garvey Avenue. The wine was very good as were the giant strawberry margaritas. The menu was interesting, particularly the salmon with a delicious tropical fruit garnish.
Just a few weeks before, we had dinner at the sister restaurant, the Monterey Hill. The prime rib and seafood are delicious there too. The two restaurants are owned by Specialty Restaurants, which also owns the Odyssey in Burbank and several other well-known locations.
We had dinner one night at La Vie, an exquisite French restaurant on San Gabriel Boulevard in Rosemead. We shared a delicious bottle of Riesling, and had a multi-course dinner that included tasty lentil soup. The lentil soup brought plenty of memories back of my mother’s delicious spicy lentil soup that was very similar.
On Main Street in Alhambra there are plenty of very nice restaurants. My favorite is the Cuban Bistro, with its wonderful Havana dishes in a cozy atmosphere. The empanadas and plantain chip are quite tasty.
There are plenty of smaller restaurants with reasonable prices for a quick tasty meal and they offer senior citizen prices that I now qualify for. Tommy’s, Carrows, IHOP, Marie Calender, Boston Market and Togos – all located on South Atlantic Boulevard are great places for a pleasant meal at budget prices.
There are scores of ethnic restaurants ranging from my favorite Armando’s in Monterey Park and Rosemead. Their “mariscos” are delicious.
For the best fish and shrimp tacos, go to Taco Nazo in El Monte on Garvey Avenue, just east of Rosemead Blvd. Fish tacos are also great Mexicatessen on Atlantic Boulevard
On nearby Portrero Grande Boulevard, there’s Marquez Mexican restaurant and Ono Grill which features Hawaiian-Japanese dishes.
For Asian food, there is bountiful number of great restaurants, offering a huge range of regional dishes.
Unfortunately, we don’t have too many Italian restaurants near by except for a couple of favorites, De Pilla’s on Valley Boulevard in Rosemead and Pollini’s on South Garfield in Monterey Park.
During this period of economic downturn, some of these restaurants have experienced a slight decline. Visit your favorite restaurant and give them your support.
If you have a favorite local restaurant, visit our website at www.sgvjournal.com and add your restaurant to our list. You will have to register on the website to submit your list of favorites.