Monday, May 19, 2008

Pa Pa Walk :: San Gabriel

It's been disgustingly hot here in LA recently. We decided to take advantage of the weather and spent a lovely Friday at the beach with the mission of getting cute boys to buy us ice cream. Well...that didn't happen, so we decided the perfect way to end the day would be to have some dinner and mango shaved ice at Pa Pa Walk back home in Alhambra. And if you didn't know, the large mango shaved ice there is HUGE. But we'll get to that in a bit.

This place is a pretty low key place. It's small and basically your run of the mill casual Chinese place. I want to say it's Taiwanese or Shanghainese, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

The decor here is fab (and by fab, I mean not at all). However, I can never get enough of these amazing giant feet. I think more restaurants need to utilize bathroom mats as wallpieces.

And have you ever wondered what Comic Sans would look like in Chinese?

We ordered 4 dishes for dinner: Stinky Tofu, Popcorn Chicken, Pan Fried Rice Cakes, and the Steamed Pork Dumplings (not pictured).

First, the stinky tofu: I keep hearing how amazing stinky tofu is from friends who have traveled to Asia, so I was really excited to see it on the menu. I convinced everyone to be adventurous with me, which I now feel very guilty about. It was everyone's first time trying the stinky tofu and the general consensus was rather unenthusiastic. When they say this stuff is stinky they aren't kidding. It has a penetrating, unavoidable, and nauseating odor. The tofu itself tasted like fried tofu, so it was nothing special, but not bad either. However, after a while, the smell got to us and definitely affected the taste in a negative way. I'm sure the stinky tofu in China is much better, but for now we'll have to say no to stinky tofu at Pa Pa Walk.

The rest of the food was pretty decent. The popcorn chicken is delicious - crispy and crunchy. It actually reminds me of the base fried chicken bits they use at Chinese restaurants for General Tso's, Orange Chicken, etc. The dumplings were good, but not very soupy and the skins were really weak and broke pretty often when we tried to pick them up with our chopsticks. Overall, not as good as Din Tai Fung. I wasn't personally a fan of the rice cake stir fry. The titular rice cakes are thin, starchy, chewy slices of rice cake loaf. Everyone else enjoyed the dish, though. I have a feeling that I would have loved this dish as a child.

Now on to the main event:

Mango Shaved Ice!! This thing is seriously the size of my head. Maybe bigger. It's a gargantuan ambrosia consisting of shaved ice, condensed milk, fresh mango, and mango ice cream. Kellie and I were excited to finally have enough people to justify ordering the large size. They also offer a serving that is half this size and it's served in a pretty seashell dish. I had never appreciated the beauty of shaved ice until I had this spectacular dessert. This is going to be my official summer dessert.

All in all, dinner was $12 per person (4 people total) including tip and we were very, very full and content.

Pa Pa Walk
227 W Valley Blvd
Suite 148-B
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 281-3889

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