10 Best Eats In Arcadia: Neighborhood Grub Crawl
|Stinky tofu hot pot|
The traditional hot-pot eatery gets a 21st-century twist at the Taiwanese restaurant
Boiling Point. The expanding chain has thrown out the massive, family-style pots in
favor of miniature, personal pots. Each customer has a choice of ten broth flavors with complementary ingredients. But no matter which one you end up selecting, each broth is packed with intensity, creating a complexity that reveals itself with each spoonful. The basic house special soup has a serious, substantial broth that reeks of stinky tofu. Toppings are traditional: pork blood cubes, quail eggs, clams, enoki mushrooms, fish cakes and stinky tofu. Spice lovers can voice a preference -- and if it all gets too intense, just order a large cup of sweet black tea to wash it down. Or better yet, come during lunch hour, when the tea is complimentary. 206 S 1st Ave., Arcadia; 626-461-6688.
5. Tofu King:
Clarissa Wei Stinky tofu
The English sign may still say "Chans Paris N" (the name of the previous occupant), but the Chinese sign, when translated, reads "Stinky Tofu King." The eatery mimics a typical Taiwanese xiaochi (small eats) shop, with the latest Asian hits playing in the background and a cash-only policy. Though the tofu is disappointedly less rancid than the stuff in Taiwan, it's probably as traditional as possible -- without a Department of Health crackdown. They also make a mean braised fatty pork over rice. 713 W. Duarte Rd., Ste C, Arcadia; 626-254-0223.
4. Din Tai Fung:
Clarissa Wei XLB
For some, Din Tai Fung is the flagship restaurant of Arcadia. For others, it's the only reason to make the trek to the San Gabriel Valley. Patio umbrellas and chairs are outside on a daily basis to accommodate the daily long lines -- so don't expect a quick meal. The Taiwanese-owned xiaolongbao eatery touts some of the best soup dumplings in town, maybe even in the world. They're little pockets of savory soup made fresh and flavored with a small dish of ginger, soy sauce and vinegar on the side. 1088 S. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia; 626-446-8588.
815 W. Naomi Ave., Arcadia, CA