2011 in the San Gabriel Valley restaurant scene witnessed the usual spate of openings and closings, some notable and some not so notable. With some 300+ Chinese restaurants alone, trying to compile a list of the year's openings and closings in the 626 area code was quite a task, but we managed it -- with some help from the kind folks at Chowhound and Tony Chen's updates at Eater LA.
Jim Thurman Lamb soup with knife cut noodles, Shaanxi Gourmet, Rosemead
Looking back on the area trends of 2011, an early surge of restaurants featuring Dongbei style cuisine was followed by the opening of more and more Sichuan style restaurants. Indeed, one restaurant opened Dongbei before switching to Sichuan in mere weeks. It was a year Xi'an cuisine debuted, a new duck specialist emerged, shaved snow spread rapidly westward and popular Taiwanese bakery and coffee chain, 85°C Bakery-Café, came to the area.
Dumpling 10053 closed only to re-open in a different location with a new name, Fortune Dumpling. Bamboodles closed to the dismay of its fans and the owner of Chuen Hing shuttered over the impending ban on their specialty, shark fin soup. It was a year when a place featuring Tianjin style breakfasts came and went so quickly as to become part of lore, a SGV Brigadoon. Turn the page for the list, and If we missed something, let us know in the comments or by e-mail.More »