Despite the negative commentary on Tasty Box in Diamond Bar, I had to go down there to see who exactly is running the place and why it is so underwhelming given its connection to Embassy Kitchen. The magic behind Embassy Kitchen was due to the owner-chef, a gaunt silver haired gentleman who I referred to as “Merlin.” Out front presumably were his wife and adult son. In the last tenure of Embassy Kitchen, “Merlin” was much more frequently in the dining room instead of the kitchen, and tellingly the food was a cut below its former self though still quite good. And what we heard was that for a period this summer the food wasn’t good at all, and likely Merlin wasn’t on premises. So when it was reported on its website that Tasty Box in Diamond Bar was run by the former executive chef of Embassy Kitchen my immediate question was whether this was Merlin, or the guy who was running the kitchen when Merlin stepped out.
Walking into Tasty Box there was nobody I recognized. One person behind the counter in the kitchen stood out because he was much older than everyone else there. It wasn’t Merlin, but a sort of chubby older guy. So at this point I have to say that my best guess is that Tasty Box is run by the former #2 guy in the Embassy Kitchen kitchen, and given his apparent track record we shouldn’t expect anything special at Tasty Box.
This time it was a a complete 180 in terms of quality. The char siu and duck were really tender and cooked well. The fat was rendered nicely on the duck and it had good flavor. The char siu was tender and flavorful and not too sweet.
I also ordered the new pork belly dish. It was decent, a bit salty and quite greasy. It was predominantly soy sauce flavor, cooked well and nice over rice.
Overall, it contends right up there with The Noodle in Chino Hills. The Noodle location in Rowland Heights is pretty inconsistent and actually not there good at all.
I thought it was pretty good. We had the har gow, shui mai, shrimp noodles and steamed pork buns. The chili oil was spicy and much better than expected. Good option for take out and everything reheated well the next day.