If you've never had Taiwanese tidbits, SinBala (651 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia, (626) 446-0886) can provide you a nice introduction.
I took Totally Lawesome and her husband to SinBala before they moved to my old stomping grounds back east, which is sadly devoid of such goodies.
Spicy beef noodle soup ($6.50).
Not the best version you'll have by far, but this staple was hot and tasty enough.
Taiwanese sausage ($1.50).
A traditional yum-yum and specialty of SinBala, which serves many different variations. Don't miss this.
This is called "meat ball" on the menu, which is a stupid name. But, luckily, despite the odd literal translation, the flavor and texture don't disappoint. Pork in gelatinous skin? Sounds weird, but I love it so much.
Xiao long bao ($6.00).
Not Taiwanese, but these juicy bites from Shanghai are always sure to please. A couple popped, which made us sad. The rest were lovely, though.
Fried pork chop rice ($5.75).
Ah, Taiwanese comfort food. Great dish to eat by yourself! Crunch!
Fried green onion pancake ($3.25).
Is there ever a time when a scallion pancake is bad? Not in my book.
Fried radish cake ($4.00).
Also not Taiwanese, but this is one of my fave dim sum treats. Nice and browned.
Taiwanese glutinous rice ($2.75).
Kind of like a tamale but with sticky rice! Another favorite.
Shaved ice with five items ($5.00).
Big enough for the whole table! We got red beans, green beans, mochi, boba, and condensed milk as toppings.
I'm always up for Taiwanese tidbits. Mr. Monkey doesn't love them like I do, despite our shared heritage, so eating Taiwanese food with friends or family is a treat for me.