When Boyfriend and I used to go to Monterey Park, we had no idea where to go. If yelp was around, we hadn't discovered it yet. And we didn't read food blogs either. So we would just go into a random place and try it out. Since I've started food blogging, I've collected a list of places I want to try out in the Monterey Park area. The week before we were to make our trip, I was so torn. I didn't know where to go! Too many places were on my list. I went back and forth, constantly changing my mind, reading every review possible. Finally, I settled on Yi Mei Chinese Pastries.
Yi Mei Chinese Pastries sells a variety of Taiwanese dishes, including all the usual breakfast items. The best thing is that they serve the breakfast dishes all day long.
Yi Mei is a very small shop with just a few tables. While we were there, all the customers either got stuff to go, or were there to order their steamed buns. Apparently their steamed buns are pretty popular. When we were there, we saw displays of them.
Since we had no where to go, we opted to eat at the empty shop. The lady who took our order was really nice.
We started off with the Taiwanese meatball.
A Taiwanese meatball (ba wan) isn't like a normal meatball. The outside is a chewy, mochi like texture. Though much thicker and chewier than mochi. The inside is filled with ground meat. I was disappointed when this came out. It was so flat and the sauce didn't taste right. The inside meat tasted pretty good though, but the skin wasn't right.
Next, we got beef noodle soup.
Boyfriend has been craving NRM a lot lately. While eating this, he proclaimed he could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner every night. I wasn't very impressed with this version of beef noodle soup. First, it had sour pickled vegetables. While this is often found in Taiwanese beef noodle soup, I'm not very fond of it as it makes the broth taste sour. The meat also wasn't that flavorful. And the noodles weren't that great either.
Next, I ordered a rice roll (fan tuan)
At my grandmother's old place in Taipei, there was a rice roll vendor right in front of her building. Every morning we would go down and get fresh rice rolls for breakfast. It was fun watching him make it. He had different ones. Salty ones, salty and spicy ones, ones made with purple rice, white rice, and also sweet ones filled with red bean paste. I preferred the salty and spicy ones with purple rice.
A rice roll is like a burrito/sushi roll. The inside is usually a chinese fried crueller (yu tiao), dried shredded pork, and pickled vegetables (usually the spicy pickled radishes).
The rice roll was pretty good. The crueller was still crunchy. Sometimes places use old, no longer crunchy cruellers which ruins the taste roll for me.
We also ordered a green onion pancake.
The pancake was pretty good. It had a good amount of doughiness and a good amount of onion flavor.
Finally, I ordered an oyster pancake.
While the sauce was right, the oyster pancake was completely wrong. It's supposed to be like a pancake, with a chewy flour base, egg, oysters and some vegetables smashed into the pancake. This was a giant omelette with all the vegetables and oysters sitting in between the folds of the omelet instead of being blended into the batter. Plus there were way too many vegetables.
All in all it was a pretty disappointing experience.