If you're looking for the most authentic and diverse Asian cuisine anywhere in the Los Angeles area, one should look no further than the San Gabriel Valley. The same applies after midnight. Even then, despite somewhat limited options, you can find a good variety of regional styles available until the pre-dawn hours. Inspired by Brooke Burton's late night top 10, here is a list of ten SGV late night spots to get your food on, arranged by closing time (#10 being the earliest, #1 the latest).
10. The Indian: Yes, it's the Asian Hooters, yes, the waitresses wear skimpy Native American outfits, yes, it's a kitschy and boisterous sports bar, but The Indian features a large menu of Taiwanese dishes, including the best “stinky tofu” for beginners. Kitchen open until 12:30AM on Friday and Saturday. 633 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 287-0688.
9. NYC Seafood: Open until 1AM and with nearly 90 seafood choices on a 170 item menu, this Cantonese style restaurant is the place to go to satisfy seafood cravings. (Crab is a popular selection.) 715 W. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park; (626) 289-9898.
8. Tasty Dessert: Have a sweet tooth? Then head to this colorful spot offering a range of Chinese desserts and dessert drinks. Many have mango, coconut or both, while others feature traditional items like swallow's nest or harsmar. Open until 1:30AM on Friday and Saturday, Midnight from Sunday through Thursday. 250 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 282-8263.
7. Baccali Café & Rotisserie: Recently tabbed by LA Weekly as having the largest menu (241 items), Baccali is a Hong Kong style café featuring the usual far reaching menu: Malaysian, Chinese and steakhouse. The rotisserie Baccali Chicken is a popular choice found on many tables. Grilled curry chicken is another favorite. Open until 2AM Friday and Saturday, 1AM Sunday through Thursday. 245 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra; (626) 293-3300.
6. Tasty Garden: The standout of the Hong Kong cafés, with a menu leaning more Cantonese than the Westernized skew of many. The HK style waffle is a popular choice (ask for condensed milk), but the diverse menu is worth exploring. The Alhambra location open until 1AM Sunday through Thursday, 3AM on Friday and Saturday. 288 W. Valley Blvd. #110, Alhambra; (626) 300-8262.
4. (tie) Dragon Mark (closed): For Shanghai style snack items – dumplings, scallion pancakes, etc., this is your destination. Notable for being the only late night spot for xiao long bao – soup dumplings – which are difficult to locate on the menu (#21 – under noodles). Open until 3AM. 301 W. Valley Blvd. (in Prospect Plaza), San Gabriel; (626) 282-5953.
4. (tie) Lu's Garden: A porridge (congee) bar. Pick from a good selection of items at the counter (meats, fish, veggies, tofu). Taiwanese style congee – with diced sweet potatoes – arrives at your table, where you mix your items in or eat them as sides. Steamed rice can be substituted for congee, but, why? Open to 1 AM Sunday-Thursday, 3AM on Friday and Saturday. 534 E. Valley Blvd. #12, San Gabriel; (626) 280-5883.
3. Krua Thai: With such a wide variety of Asian cuisines available in the SGV, Thai seems overlooked, which is a shame with a restaurant the quality of Krua Thai. The pad kee mao stands out, but there are many good choices. Open until 3:30AM. 935 S. Glendora Ave., West Covina; (626) 480-0116.
1. (tie) Good Shine Kitchen: Next to a laundromat in a mini-mall, seating just 25, tiny diner Good Shine is home to Taiwanese comfort food: simmered or fried meats and seafood, soups, noodles, rice dishes and appetizers like oyster pancakes. Open until 3AM Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4AM Friday and Saturday. Closed Tuesdays. 235 S. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park; (626) 572-9666.
1. (tie) JR Café: The neon highlighted JR Café would dispute Baccali's crown of largest menu. Coming in at 321 items, we have a new king. Check the specials board first, as $9 lobster or $8 marinated whole hen are sometimes featured. Open until 2AM Sunday through Thursday, 4AM Friday and Saturday. 512 W. Valley Blvd., San Gabriel; (626) 457-8898.