Monday, February 14, 2011

Lesson Learned: Don't Wait Too Long

Seriously, I think I had been out of the game way too long.

The feeling I can't really be put into words until I was told there was a new place opened up called "Red O" or did I tried "Toranko". Huh and huh? Followed by a sound of "hmmm" with a quick reflex to google up in my smart phone. I can't even fathom on how I can keep with these new places.

It was also brought to my attention that a few of my favorite places have closed down since last my post in the summer of '10. Felt a bitter cold wrenched in my heart and a little bewilderment clouding my thoughts because I always thought places that served good food will last forever.

Won Ton Noodle Soup (Won Ton Forest - City of Industry)


The closure hit me the most was a won ton noodle shop called Won Ton Forest in City of Industry. This hurts me badly because it was only a minor walking distance from my work. A won ton noodle shop that would have made a great lunch choice for me instead of Jack in the Box nearby most of the week have now come and gone. Somehow I didn't even know about it until a comrade Go Ramen (who is pursuing his dream of being a top Ramen maestro in Japan) introduced this place to me and had championed it for as long as I had remembered.

The big heart break?... I didn't visit this place until a month before it decided to shut down.

The won ton as anyone can tell you is not a small dumpling in a soup, but a well crafted combination of meat wrapped beautifully in either a flour skin or deep fried variety. Personally, I loved the soup version of the dumpling served here in a generous portion with an inviting bok choy that accompanies it. If I had to turn back time, it would be skipping the lunches at Subway (right next door) and all those crappy lunches at Jack in the Box, and come here instead.

Boy, did I ever regretted this.

Pho Bac (Pho Minh - South El Monte)

If I need another gut punch, this blow would floored me for sure. I was really bummed when I discovered that Pho Minh closed down in November of '10. I treated this place like my secret hideaway. Never really wanted to give an acknowledgement on how good their broth with its unique subtle and very light taste. Most of the time, the oily backtaste that is on the broth soup leaves me clamoring for water. Not at Pho Minh, which I'm sad to learn they never really caught on.

I wasn't suprised because I'm usually the only person on most week nights and no other customers to speak of. It has to be very discouraging because it never got a fair shake as it had a rough start and never recover.

The sad part is that both establishment were run by young and enthusiastic owners who are hoping they can make a go at the unforgiving world of restaurant business where the rate closure is less than 3 months. It is going to be brutual and both started at a not so great locations for their business. I really hope both young owners give it another go at this restaurant jungle, but I would understand if they felt discouraged.

It's tough to see these places go in a quick flash. It only serves me as a reminder that these new places that are popping up are replacing the old establishment that didn't made it. Of course after looking up where Red O and Toranko are located, I can only surmise that both have a fighting chance with much more buzz going for them.

Lesson Learned for me. I let this things passed by and only had a faint memories of these two places.

Shoot....*sigh*. Let's take a look at the menu for the new place that had just opened up. What's it called again?... Playa Rivera?

Former Locations:

Won Ton Forest
18230 Gale Ave
City of Industry, CA 91748

Pho Minh
9646 Garvey Ave
South El Monte, CA 91733

Pho Minh on Urbanspoon

3 comments:

kevinEats said...

So where have you been eating these past few months, if not at the likes of Red O and such?

Gastronomer said...

Welcome back, Mike!

Pepsi Monster said...

Hi kevinEats,

I had been to XIV, Gorbals, Street, and various pop-ups. I had to say that I had just haven't had time to post up these reviews, but been eating well. The only thing I haven't done lately is going to new places on opening night.

Hi Gastronomer,

Thanks beautiful lady! Glad to be back. Now I just have to figure out how to extract photos from my old hard drive. LOL