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I went to work this morning and finally hauled in my diplomas and paintings. Then I cranked out a letter to opposing counsel and called it a day. Woohoo!
Mr. Monkey and I went to Pa Pa Walk (227 W Valley Blvd., San Gabriel) for lunch. If you've never had Taiwanese "small eats," this is a great place to de-virginize yourself. If you'd like a guide, I would love to introduce you to the comfort food of my peeps.
dim sum or Spanish tapas. Dishes are sized to be ordered in mass quantities and shared. Pa Pa Walk's decor is sparse and cheerily strange. Giant footprints and rainbow paper pepper the goldenrod walls. Traditional favorites, such as stinky tofu ($4.50) and oyster omelets ($4.75), come out in droves, and patrons move in and out quickly.
Mr. Monkey started with a yogurt slush ($3.00), which is basically a giant frozen Yakult. Tangy. Milky. Icy. Yummy.
ba-wan (in Taiwanese) or rou yuan (in Mandarin). Pa Pa Walk calls it "Taiwanese meat ball" ($2.50) -- juicy pork and bamboo shoots enveloped in an oh-so-delicious chewy rice skin and saturated with a wonderful, gooey, slightly sweet sauce.
luo buo gao, or pan-fried turnip cakes ($3.50), are little crispy rectangles of carb-y happiness paired with a thick garlicky soy sauce.
Niou rou mien, or beef noodle soup ($7.50 large, $5.95 small), is a Taiwanese staple, and Pa Pa Walk's version has spinach noodles with a great "bouncy" consistency. The beef could be more tender, but the broth is rich and flavorful.
xiao long bao, or steamed mini pork buns ($5.75), reside at Pa Pa Walk. (They're a welcome guest from Shanghai.) The skin isn't top-notch, but the juice factor is up there, so you get a little party in your mouth with each succulent bite.
FRIED TOAST. Are you drooling yet? You should be. Open your personal toasty little chest to reveal a culinary soupy treasure steeped with shrimp, chicken, ham, corn, carrots, and peas. This thing puts clam chowder in bread bowls to shame. To shame!
Don't forget. The Monkey maintains her offer to be your personal guide to Taiwanese "small eats." The Monkey is here for you. The Monkey is just that giving.