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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra

Given that my attempts to explore new cuisines at Uzbekistan - Los Angeles and Tagine - Beverly Hills were such let-downs, by the time lil' sis's best friend asked where I wanted to go for my birthday dinner, I opted for the comfort of a Hong Kong cafe.

My, and lil' sis's, favorite Hong Kong cafe is still Baccali Cafe & Rotisserie - Alhambra, but we figured we should try somewhere new.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 1

Sunday Bistro is located on the far left edge of the same strip mall as Top Island Seafood Restaurant. The parking lot is generally pretty crowded so the hassle of finding a spot makes it fall off my radar.

There's an outdoor patio where cigarette smoke will sometimes waft over to the non-smoking side. :(

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 2

We dined inside that day.

Lil' sis and her best friend ordered their usual hot honey lemon water for $1.50.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 3

Hong Kong cafes, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, is Chinese diner fare. Open late night, generally pretty cheap, and serving a mix of appetizers, rice, and noodle dishes. Sometimes fusion with a bit of British and Russian influence. Oft-times pan-Asian with a Hong Kongese take on Malaysian, Singaporean, or Indonesian dishes. Most of them give free refills on coffees or teas. My introduction to dining in the San Gabriel Valley was through Hong Kong cafes and I always have a soft spot for them.

Yang Chow fried rice for $6.95.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 4

Rib-eye steak with two fried eggs for $8.95. See? Very diner-like, but way better quality.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 5

Beef chow fun with dry soy sauce for $6.95.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 6

And deep-fried chicken wings with spicy salt for $6.95. Crispy exterior, juicy interior. I love Chinese fried chicken wings.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 7

Turned out that the owner used to be neighbors with lil' sis's best friend so we got a 10% friends and family discount. Score! She even came back to stamp it on our receipt.

Those were pretty much the standard dishes I order at any Hong Kong cafe. While they were perfectly fine, they weren't better than Baccali. So there my pictures sat for years -- unblogged, the last of my 2007 birthday posts. Lil' sis and I didn't come back again to Sunday Bistro until August 2008.

Again, our usual order of Chinese deep-fried chicken wings with spicy salt. For some reason, the wings were especially good that day and made a much more favorable impression on us this time around. Hence, the double photo of the same dish. :P

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 8

Milk tea for me. Iced tea for lil' sis. Free refills.

Baked pork chop with rice for $6.95. Huge portion. Lots of cheesy tomato sauce. Mmm. One of our favorite Hong Kong dishes and we really liked the version here.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 9

Baked seafood with mushroom cream sauce on pasta for $7.95. Lil' sis was delighted that it came with a lot of salmon since she planned to take leftovers back to school with her.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 10

Boeuf Bourguignon (French Beef Burgundy) with oxtails for $7.95. Such a deal! Especially at the cost of oxtails these days.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 11

Look at all the pieces of oxtails they gave me.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 12

Indonesian fried rice $6.95. Much more flavorful than Baccali's version of nasi goreng.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 13

After this meal, Sunday Bistro rose in our estimation. But you know me, still didn't get around to blogging it.

Then one day, when lil' sis was home for spring break, I wanted her to try Bamboodles Restaurant - San Gabriel because I was eating there almost every week, but it was closed on Wednesdays! So back we went to Sunday Bistro since it was nearby.

We ordered our usual beef chow fun with dry soy sauce and deep-fried chicken wings with spicy salt. And this dish of filet mignon cubes with black pepper sauce for $8.95. Dinky portion. Really tender and very good, but dinky! I'd rather have the rib-eye steak for that price.

Sunday Bistro - Alhambra 14

And so it went, Sunday Bistro fell off our radar again. A perfectly good Hong Kong cafe, but I'm stuck in my ways and still prefer Baccali. They have my favorite Hong Kong milk tea you see.

Other Hong Kong cafes:
Baccali Cafe and Rotisserie - Alhambra
Garden Cafe - Alhambra
Tasty Garden - Alhambra

Sunday Bistro
1032 E. Valley Blvd.
Alhambra, CA 91801
Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 a.m.

1 year ago today, Meyer Lemon Granita.
2 years ago today, Nem Nuong and Nem Nuong Cuon (Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patties and Grilled Pork Patty Rice Paper Rolls).


  1. Sunday Bistro is my dad's favorite place... if you're ever there on a weekend late morning and see a big crew of septua- octogenerians, that's my dad and his crew. Food is fabulous... we definitely could use some Hong Kong-style diner food here in S.D.

  2. I feel like I want to try everything in San Gabriel Valley. Maybe I should have a 3 day weekend vacation in the San Gabriel and try all the food. LOL Do you know of any similar cafes in the OC?

  3. Looks like a fine Hong Kong Cafe to me! That ribeye steak is HUGE for 8.95. It's thick too! I'm impressed. :)

    Just experienced outdoor smoke getting inside at Tasty Garden last weekend :(. Their chefs/employees smoke outside and it wafted into the entrance.

    Maybe next time I'll visit here instead of Face Cafe. Both are already quite far from me though!

  4. Moowiesqrd,
    Haha. That's cute! I can't think of any other area that has such a concentration of Hong Kong cafes.

    Nope. I missed my Hong Kong cafes so much when I lived in OC. Nothing good open late night except American diners. It's not far! You just gotta get over the orange curtain and you're good.

    I haven't been to Face Cafe since it changed its name. I went more frequently when it was OK Cafe, then less when it was DJ Cafe, and only twice when it was Sika's. Why'd they have to mess with it? OK was a low bar so it met expectations.

    Anyway, if you were to go all the way out here for Hong Kong cafe food, I still think Baccali is better. They have rib eye steaks too. But I usually go for the steak, pork chop, and chicken steak combo.

  5. I have a love-hate relationship with Hong Kong cafes. I have to be in the mood.

    But I do love the idea of free refills on milk tea!

  6. Happy belated birthday, WC! I hope your year is full of great eating, good company--and hassle-free parking!

  7. All this looks yum! You and lil'sis grub like Angry Asian and my family :) Thanks again for stopping by my new food blog! xoxo!

  8. WeeMo,
    Mmm. Milk tea. I need some now!

    Thanks. Although, this was more than three years ago! :P I'm just very behind in blogging about a lot of places.

    La Buutique,
    I think that's why Lan and I hit it off. :P Welcome to the world of food blogging.

  9. I feel like I was with you -- so much of what you got were my favorites! I LOVE beef chow fun (esp when they really get that smoky char). I LOVE milk tea (but I have to be careful because I tend to drink too many with the free refills and the caffeine zaps me). That oxtail stew stew looks delish (and what's the deal with expensive oxtail?!). And, like you, ease of parking is a serious deterrent... but not always :-)

  10. Nikki,
    I didn't know we had the same tastebuds! Ooh, that smoky char is when the beef chow fun is really good. I drink too many cups of milk tea when I go to Hong Kong cafes. I love oxtail, but it's so trendy now that they're just priced too much.


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