When my friend would ask me where I want to go eat at while I am out in the San Gabriel Valley area, more often than not, I would say “Tasty Garden”. I have been coming to this Tasty Garden in Alhambra for many years, then a Tasty Garden opened up in Monterey Park quite a while back. The menus are slightly different at the two locations. I was able to enjoy both restaurant on its own merits for a period of time.
Unfortunately, the last time I was in the Monterey Park location, there was a questionable item inside my food; so I related that to the waitress, and told her that I wanted to exchange for another dish. After more than 20 minutes, the new order still had not arrived. I questioned the waitress, and she looked confused. She went to check in the kitchen, and apparently it was not even ordered. I was really annoyed since I had an appointment to attend to, and could not wait any more. I then waved the manager over to complain to him, all he said was that he will not charge me for the dish. He did not even apologize.
I decided not to go back. The Tasty Garden in Alhambra, however, is a different story. The food there has been consistently excellent. Whenever I would be in Alhambra, this restaurant would be on top of my list.
One of the reasons why I favor this restaurant is because of consistencies of the food. There is also a tidiness feeling to the dishes. Being that I love eating all sorts of vegetables, especially Chinese vegetables; I find the quality of the greens to be always fresh and well prepared. The inside of the restaurant, though not big, feels spacious and comfortable and clean. Another deciding factor to go there are the drinks, namely the Red Bean Iced with the addition of boba. With a lunch order, the drink costs around $2.00. Occasionally, I would get the Hong Kong Style Coffee and Milk Tea; but I have to be careful, since the HK style milk tea is so strong that sometimes I would not be able to sleep that night.
My usual orders here are: Baby Bok Choy with Mushroom, Fish Fillet in Black BeanSauce, Beef Stew and Wonton Lo Mein. The bok choy and the medium size shitake mushrooms are always cooked well, the vegetables are never limp, and the mushrooms are thick and savory. Since shitake mushrooms contain compounds that are known for its medicinal and health benefits, I would order it every chance I get. The cod fish fillets are bite size, tender but still firm with a slightly sweet and spicy taste from the bean sauce. The beef stew includes tendon and are soft and flavorful. The shrimp inside the wonton gives an overall crisp feel to the dumpling. Noodles are al dente.
Lamb with Dried Bean Stick Hotpot is another favorite. Here, the lamb meat includes the skin which is definitely my favorite part. The skin is smooth and soft. The sauce is made with fermented bean curd which provides a creamy texture and a salty flavor.
Tasty Garden: 288 W. Valley Blvd. Alhambra, CA 91801 Phone: (626) 300-8262