Monday, March 8, 2010

Holla for SinBala

If you've never had Taiwanese tidbits, SinBala (651 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia, (626) 446-0886) can provide you a nice introduction.
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Popular with both Taiwanese and non-Taiwanese folk, SinBala is almost always packed, no matter what time it is. It also does a lot of take-out business.

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).
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Not the best version you'll have by far, but this staple was hot and tasty enough.

Taiwanese sausage ($1.50).
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A traditional yum-yum and specialty of SinBala, which serves many different variations. Don't miss this.

Ba-wan ($2.25).
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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).
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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).
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Ah, Taiwanese comfort food. Great dish to eat by yourself! Crunch!

Fried green onion pancake ($3.25).
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Is there ever a time when a scallion pancake is bad? Not in my book.

Fried radish cake ($4.00).
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Also not Taiwanese, but this is one of my fave dim sum treats. Nice and browned.

Taiwanese glutinous rice ($2.75).
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Kind of like a tamale but with sticky rice! Another favorite.

Shaved ice with five items ($5.00).
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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.


  1. The radish is the best! The food looks authentic and tasty. Good prices too. I'd say that I would love to try it one day, but who am I fooling? I don't even know where Arcadia is.

  2. Papa Walk is my default restaurant for Taiwanese food. Which do you like more?

  3. I've been waiting for you to review this place! I work nearby and I love to go to Genki Living for crepes, which is a couple doors down from SinBala. I always see a crowd in there and I wonder what the food is like or what I would order. Thanks!

  4. The only Taiwanese food I've ever had has been homemade by friends- I didn't even realize there were restaurants.
    the sheltered girl

  5. I came here w a certain friend and thought while it's pretty good, it wasn't worth my 40 mile drive (at the time) here, unlike her who'd drive from OC just to eat at SinBaLa. But I think I offended KFP and other Taiwanese peeps when I say that? :P

    I liked the sausages, the shaved ice, but their oyster omelette didn't quite do it for me.

  6. yum! i've only been here once, and it was with you for shave ice. i think i need to return for actual food.

  7. I am sadly unfamiliar with the foods of your people. Thank you for an introduction :-)

  8. Ok that dessert looks amazing. I will never be able to find something like that here in the South. Damn.

  9. WC: I love PaPa Walk and go there fairly often with Mr. Monkey. My fave thing there is the cream soup in fried toast. I think the food is comparable at SinBala, but SinBala is better for larger groups because it is roomier.

    burumun: I'm not a huge fan of the oyster omelette myself. :P

  10. I like to tell people Sinbala is one of the reasons why I had to move back to LA. The other being tofu flower.

    But seriously? You no likey oyster pancake? WTF you're gonna make me cry!

  11. Oooooh, there's a SinBala in Rowland Heights near the office that I've been meaning to try. Hopefully it's just as good!

  12. it's not even funny how sheltered we are over here! :/

  13. I think I need a return trip just for the shaved ice. :)

  14. I'm not going to even remark on the fact that you blogged about this dinner in March when we ate it in August :)

    The food was so yum and the company was really delightful. Miss you!

  15. I didn't even have to read the post the title was rad enough. bwhahaha


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