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I drove over to Arcadia after our meeting at church to eat at Tasty Garden.
Tasty Garden is a Hong Kong style cafe located in the heart of Arcadia's Chinatown that serves everything from boba to hot pot rice to Mapo Tofu (#131, 8.95 USD) to Peanut Butter French Toast (#77, 5.95 USD)! What an eclectic menu!
What I ate:
(I apologize for the poor quality of the photos, especially to "JF" + "S". I didn't have my brand new Canon PowerShot SD780 IS with Digital ELPH on me. From now on, I'm taking the camera whenever I leave the house!)
1. #25 Thai Iced Tea (3.25 USD): Free refills. A standard preparation of Thai iced tea. For some reason, my first drink was almost red in color.
2. #159 Dried-Stir Fried String Bean (7.95 USD). This dish deserved my hearty applause because it wasn't overcooked. Light with a cleansing, green flavor. Tasty.
3. Some Sort of Pork Chop. Deep fried and well seasoned: I really liked this dish. Although you can see chilies in the photo, the pork chop itself wasn't spicy at all. It came in a close second to the filet mignon (see below).
4. #216 House Special Fried Vermicelli (7.50 USD). At our table, I advocated for noodles over fried rice (I'm a noodle guy) and our server recommended this dish. Along the lines of Singapore style fried rice noodles, #216 tasted fine.
5. #62 French Style Filet Mignon (11.95 USD): AKA Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef). I thought this was the best dish of the night. I loved the salty, garlicky, peppery, and umami-rich flavor of the luscious beef.
6. #111 Orange Beef (9.25 USD). If you like Panda Express, you probably would like the Orange Beef. The beef was cooked properly, however, I thought the orange sauce was too sweet.
Service was satisfactory. Our food arrived at our table at different times - ugh!
Lunch specials are served from 11 AM to 3 PM. Prices range from 4.95 USD (Pork with Preserved Egg Porridge) to 9.95 USD (Fried Prawn).
The cost of food is one of the best things about this restaurant. The average cost of a dish is between eight and nine bucks and nothing is over 13.95 USD.
I missed the Lazy Susan at Tasty Garden. Are they out of vogue or something?
I did some reading about Tasty Garden and apparently, the restaurant's specialty is their Hong Kong style egg waffle (#21, 3.95 USD). I better remember this next time!
Parking: The parking lot for Tasty Garden is located behind the restaurant. Enter from Naomi Avenue or Duarte Road (better). (You can also cut across Sierra Produce, which, by the way, is a Great local market. I remember going there with my mom when I was little.) There are parking spaces in front of the restaurant on Baldwin Avenue also.
The Bill: We all chipped in on the bill, some more than others! (Everyone more than me!)
My Rating: out of four stars (good). Open Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 1 PM, and Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM to 1 AM. Credit cards accepted. The URL listed for Tasty Garden does not work.
Last Word: For late night eats in Arcadia, I recommend Tasty Garden!
I returned with "EM" and "DM" for another late night dinner after church. Here's what we ate:
1. #141 Young Chow Fried Rice (7.25 USD). This fried rice had shrimp and Chinese sausage in it. I liked it.
2. #51 Stuffed Three Treasures in Black Bean Sauce (10.95 USD). Whenever I see Chinese dishes like this one, I get scared because of negative past experiences. However, this dish turned out to be okay. There was some sort of shrimp paste (or other protein) bonded to various vegetables like eggplant and green bell pepper. There was even silken tofu in the bottom of the pot. The biggest problem with this dish was the grease: Even for a Chinese dish, I thought this was super greasy.
There were a couple of missteps in service, but all in all, "EM", "DM" and I had a good meal.
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