Amidst the sea of traditional Chinese eateries, Asian fusion restaurants are on the rise in the San Gabriel Valley. They cater to a crowd that grew up with traditional Asian food but are also inclined towards Western flavors. It's a trend that coincides with the rise of second generation Asian-Americans in the area. Think French fries with Sriracha, fried chicken with a Japanese twist, and of course, everything with a runny egg on top. Here are the top Asian fusion restaurants in the 626:
Tokyo Fried Chicken
This insanely popular fried chicken restaurant is elevating the definition of comfort food. Edamame is coated in truffle oil; chicken is flavored with soy, ginger, and garlic. The mac and cheese is topped off with seaweed, and the collard greens are seasoned with dashi. It's Southern food meets Japan, in a completely sensible and delicious way. The owner is Kouji Yamanashi, who found inspiration in Japanese karaage. Note: the condiments are addictive. We love the yuzu ponzu; it goes well with the chicken. Yamanashi also has an intensive selection of local and interesting beers in his eatery, plus a great sake selection. 122 S Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754; (626) 282-9829.
Honey Badger Noodle House
Honey Badger started off as your typical boba and snack shop, but they have since relocated down the street and started specializing in handmade noodles. The rebrand has paid off -- the shop is now widely popular, with locals scrambling to try their garlic shrimp noodles with an egg on top or Taiwanese beef noodle soup. You can most definitely tell that the noodles are fresh. They are chewy and soak up flavors well. You can also create your own noodle bowl with your choice of toppings. 555 W Main St., Alhambra, CA 91801; (424) 644-7060.
Cha Cafe has a menu of combinations like kalbi beef cheesesteak sandwiches, and nachos drenched in poke. Korean, Mexican, and Hawaiian flavors are among the stronger influences here. Cha is known mostly for their glorious fry basket combinations. Get your french fries topped with cheesesteak, fajita steak, pastrami, or spam and egg. Their tag line: "California Comfort Food." 10308 Lower Azusa Road, El Monte, CA 91731;
Hot Red Bus
Located in Alhambra on Main Street, Hot Red Bus is British fish and chips meets Indian flavors. Pair your chips with mini samosas, or dip them in their glorious curry sauce. The menu is chock full of eclectic flavors. You'll see English sandwiches stuffed with pork sausage patties, crispy bacon, Heinz beans, mushrooms, and cheese right along with doner wraps with naan bread and vindaloo sauce. 31 E Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801
The Bleu House
Created by Jason Tsai, the same guy behind the popular coffee and dessert place Macchiato in Monterey Park, the Bleu House specializes in Asian-fusion brunch. They create dishes like Angus beef ramen burgers, poke nachos, spam musubi, and marvelous chili cheese fries with a sunny side egg on top. There's also uni pasta and uni tacos. Their desserts are quite a sight. Sample the green tea creme brulee or mochi waffles topped with tons of fruit and liberal drizzles of chocolate and sugar. 15840 Halliburton Rd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745; (626) 330-6767
Far East Joint
This West Covina establishment pays homage to Korean and Mexican flavors. There are spicy tuna nachos or fried rice with bacon or Korean beef, kimchi salsa, and grilled onions. Or you can get the latter combination in a glorious brioche burger. Starters include chicken wings drenched in Sriracha honey. It's a lovely place where locals like to congregate and watch the game. 1230 Lakes Drive #104, West Covina, CA 91790; (626) 384-3886