The crowd waiting in front of my favorite dumpling house was pretty sizeable and I wasn't in the mood for waiting, so I decided to try the new Phoenix Food Boutique that opened on Las Tunas Drive in San Gabriel. The restaurant's location used to have a change of ownership every other month it seemed, but since Phoenix is a chain, I'm thinking it might be around for a while.
Phoenix Food Boutique is a chain of 10 Chinese take-out restaurants, largely concentrated in the San Gabriel Valley, with locations in the Chinese-populated cities of Irvine and Rowland Heights. Since Phoenix specializes in take-out, the emphasis is on sturdy, microwaveable containers. There's a large fridge of various drinks and cold desserts, a display case of other dessert offerings (there are two Alhambra locations that specialize in desserts alone), and a cafeteria-style soup counter. Most entrees average around $5-$6, desserts are usually $2-$3. I have barely made a dent into the very extensive menu, but everything has been yummy so far.
But with a nice, new interior such as this, there's no reason why you shouldn't stay and eat.
The San Gabriel location makes the spare ribs and bok choy noodle soup particularly flavorful. The noodles were very fresh, so chewy and soft with just the right amount of pull. The spare ribs were marinated in fermented bean curd. Sooo good.
Here's a closer look at all that yummy goodness.
The deep-fried chicken wings were perfectly fried, crispy on the outside, still juicy on the inside. The chopped onions and chili peppers added just the right amount of spice and color.
BBQ pork fried rice.
Beef chow fun with black bean and bell pepper.
Custard sampler with red bean/taro?, green tea, almond, and coffee flavors, with alternate flavors in the middle. This was $2.95.
Mochi sampler is $2.25 - strawberry with mung bean filling, green tea with black sesame filling, taro with taro? filling, mango with fresh chunk of mango filling.
The Alhambra location at the Pacific Square strip mall is much smaller and very bare bones. There are only four tables inside. The rest of the dining space is this alley outside the restaurant. It's not too bad at night with the heat lamps going.
Mayonnaise shrimp and walnuts with rice. The shrimp was a little too heavy on the mayonnaise but the walnuts were nicely toasted and crunchy.
I'm so addicted to these pecan tarts. The pecans are nice and toasty but the filling is chewy, caramel goodness.
I'm not such a fan of the fried dim sum platter though. Ten pieces, half of them were fried dough. They come with tamarind sauce and condensed milk for dipping.
Phoenix Food Boutique has various locations throughout the San Gabriel Valley, as well as Rowland Heights and Irvine. But until I can hit them all, I can only vouch for these two locations.
Phoenix Food Boutique (various locations)
712 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
31 E. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801