The greens are top notch, straight from the family farm and better than anywhere else in 626. The cold appetizers are also excellent.
I used to think this place would suck because of the location but once I had a meal of sweet potato leaves, and Hakka stir fry I am a believer. This is real deal Taiwanese. What other Taiwanese place in the 626 is doing farm to table veggies? That’s pretty damn authentic if you asked me. Not every Taiwanese family cooks with heavy pork fat, but a plate/s of greens and veggies are a must on every dinner table not sure how the commies eat, but my family does.
Taiwanese restaurants have a larger concentration in Silicon Valley than SF/Oakland/Berkeley, and I don’t get to them often. I’ll make a point to try some Taiwanese food, and will bookmark Pine and Crane for a future business trip.
Interesting. Given the large Chiu Chow population in Thailand, it’s surprised me we don’t have that in the SFBA to my knowledge (more Teochew Vietnamese).
Yup. Among the other places you are considering, Newport will be a good spacer or contrast. Your initial list is heavy on Sichuan/ma la kind of food. And it’s not just the food. The Sichuan places tend to be far more casual. The dining rooms at Newport in San Gabriel feel more Cantonese, more dining-like, more amenable to celebratory/family gatherings. The main dining area is fine enough. But the partitioned semi-private dining rooms are great, particularly for larger groups (8-10). If your group is in that range, consider these spaces.
Service at Newport feels Cantonese restaurant as well. The waitstaff is prompt and always on top of things. I’m not sure if the veteran waitstaff members have migrated to the Newport-like clones. If you are open to or need suggestions, they are great at measuring out what size/how many lobsters and other menu items will be appropriate for your party.
Of the Sichuan places we’ve been, none serve alcohol. Newport does - beer and wine. I truly appreciate this, as I personally feel that an enjoyable meal centered around perfectly prepared seafood calls for at least something from a bottle. Has anyone BYOB here? @Porthos?
Newport Tan Cang is Chiu Chow by way of Vietnamese Chinese. The style of the food may resemble Cantonese and have very familiar Cantonese dishes, but it’s not HK Cantonese Chiu Chow by any means. With that said I do recommend people coming from SF Bay Area go give that a try since there’s nothing like that up here (and whatever was close is no longer offered in that quality). Super delicious when you have wok hay, scallions, 5 lbs of beast loaded with a ton of roe mixed together and some umami enhanced with nuoc mam all in that mix. (I hear Newport Tan Cang Seafood in Santa Ana is the original location). We used to have a guy in SF Bay Area who could whip something up like that, but he passed away unfortunately. Cooking Papa’s Food Stall lobster does not even come close (though also fun to eat when you crave spicy stir fry shellfish)
Seafood Palace / “Typhoon Shelter” of their Chiu Chow dishes I sampled in their now closed Temple City location (only remaining one is Monterey Park) has some very distinctive Cantonese Chiu Chow that closely resembles Hong Kong style Chiu Chow Cantonese (marinated pork intestines, marinated duck, marinated tofu, taro and ginko nut mash dessert, Chiu chow style congee of which the distant relative would be Vietnamese “chao” but different, anyways all excellent).
Regarding the BYO Bottles, pretty sure lots of folks have brought wines to Newport in some shape or another, and there must have been blog pictures of various banquets with wines.
Definitely must do Taiwanese breakfast at Huge Tree or Four Seas. If you can handle it do both, and you will get the best of both worlds.
The Shaanxi/Xi’an places have hand-pulled/stretched noodles, but they don’t have Shanxi (one “a”) noodles. MY China has some Shanxi wheat noodles (e.g. scissor cut), but no buckwheat or oat noodles, which I’m eager to try more of.
Maybe we’ll skip Omar— I was hoping to find a good meat pie after eating a likewise greasy and soggy one at Eden Silk Road (kind of a disastrous meal overall).
I’m actually with you. Menu is very short, so if you order things like beef noodle soup, Zha Jiang mein, you will not be overwhelmed. Great to have this in the neighborhood, but ordinary by SGV standards.
zui xiang yuan across the street (the valley location in alhambra) makes what i consider to be a superior beef roll. they also make some pies that deserve more love. but when i’m there, i’m more likely to see these things on other people’s tables:
I’ve only been to Dai Ho once, but the Northern California Taiwanese expat community has mixed opinions about them. Dai Ho is more well known to the expats for their simmered/marinated snack/bites (in addition to the former Taiwanese military-esque / gangster attitude of the owner who had a few crazy rules and was adamant about educating customers on how to mix and eat the noodles…that was then), but the likes of Ms Clarissa Wei and Asian American yelpers seemed to focus more on their spicy beef noodle soup. The TW expats enjoy some of the other noodle dishes, and it’s more about the texture of the noodles than anything else and assuming you toss the noodles/mix the sauces properly when eating the brothless versions.
Depending on how they are now vs then, I’d say for myself if I were to visit again I’d try Corner Beef Noodle for certain things, and go back to Dai Ho for others, but not wasting quota on their beef noodle soup (even if it is decent). Quota might be better spent trying different regional Chinese that SF Bay Area doesn’t have or that the SGV does far superior to, and in that case Dai Ho should be lower on the list. For example I would pick Nanjing Duck that J_L recommended to try over Dai Ho, and if I were driving down with an ice chest, preorder the duck and see if can get the salt marinated liver as well (that was a sadly missed opportunity a few years back because the ice chest was packed with sea snail sausages from the OC and the rest filled up to the brim with Sinbala sausages…). Oh yeah…Sinbala (just for the sausages) may be more worthwhile than Dai Ho, even if just to order a plate of sausages and drinks (and treat it like a bang bang).