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Iconic Neighborhood Restaurants: Rosemead and South San Gabriel

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The San Gabriel Mountains sit in the background of Rosemead as they did when Leonard Rose settled in the territory and purchased hundreds of acres of land. Then known as Rose Meadow it was used to breed and train horses, the people who lived nearby shortened the name and it became Rosemead. In 1959 the city became incorporated and it was a suburb of Los Angeles where the 10-Freeway transported people in and out of the city. Since the 1970s the city has experienced demographic changes, most notably the growth in the Asian American population that has risen to 62%. And while the businesses in the city reflect the changing population, there is also a number of locales that have remained in the community for many decades. Italian delies and small family-owned restaurants continue to hold their ground throughout the San Gabriel Valley, as well as classic American diners and burger joints

Rosemead is surrounded by several neighboring cities in the San Gabriel Valley and this allows people in nearby neighborhoods to have access to the city. On the weekends the city parks are filled with people exercising, sports games, barbeques, and celebrations. Throughout Rosemead an array of Asian American and Mexican businesses are characteristic of the identity of the city.

Di Pilla’s Italian Restaurant 

A classic family-owned Italian restaurant, Di Pilla’s has been in Rosemead since 1967. Tonino and Guiseppina Di Pilla opened the restaurant using recipes from their family in their hometown of Abruzzo, in Southern Italy. Their daughter Claudia Di Pilla took over the restaurant and has been running it since 1979. The menu offers appetizers, pastas, meats, and pizzas. Some interesting menu options include melon with prosciutto, an array of veal dishes, and homemade pastas. The warm environment and friendly staff are familiar to many Rosemead residents who have continued eating at Di Pilla’s for generations. The restaurant serves the community by offering discounts to schools and has donated certificates to many fundraisers.

Di Pilla’s Italian Restaurant: 9013 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770.

Just wholesome, comfort, Italian home-cooking for your average SGV family. Photo by Michelle S.
Put your gluten and carb-conscious hangups aside and dive hard into this. Photo by Janett Barragan

Sea Harbour

Before it was Sea Harbour the location was known as Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant.  Located on Rosemead Blvd. Sea Harbour is usually a sight to see from the busy boulevard because its porch area is filled with customers waiting to enter. The restaurant offers a variety of classic dim sum menu options from 10:30am - 2:30pm. This cuisine originated in Southern China and at Sea Harbour there are some classic recipes like, sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf, egg custard tart, and some more contemporary options like the shrimp and pork dumpling topped with truffle and the pan grilled spinach pork buns. While there are photos of every menu item and descriptions are written in English, the menu is also written in Chinese and the ordering sheets are in Chinese but the numbers on the items make ordering simple for customers who do not read Chinese.

Sea Harbour: 3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Skip your Silverlake avocado toast brunch and come to Sea Harbour, just one of many of the San Gabriel Valley's vibrant culinary gems.
You won't even miss your eggs benedict with shrimp dumplings like these. 

Fogata Mexicana

La Fogata Mexicana is a family-owned restaurant located in a colorful building in unincorporated South San Gabriel and it was established in 1995. The owner Gudelia offers a menu filled with recipes passed do through her family, an original dish from La Fogata is the Old California taco, a large deep-fried flour tortilla filled with your choice of meat then topped with lettuce, tomato, and a house-made white sauce. Aside from their delicious California style foods the restaurant is a community staple. They began to offer free delivery to their elderly and differently-abled clients and later to all the residents in Rosemead.

Fogata Mexicana: 2123 San Gabriel Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Taco snobs, suspend your disbelief. This Old California Taco is legit. Photo by Janett Barragan.

Jim’s Famous Quarter-Pound Burger A staple of many suburbs of Los Angeles, Jim’s is a vintage fast-food burger restaurant that offers diner classics and some specialties including Mexican foods like tacos and burritos. The restaurant is probably most known for its well-seasoned grilled chicken known on the menu as the Pollo Loco. This Jim’s location has been in Rosemead since 1960 and it has only had two owners in the half-century it’s been opened.

Jim’s Famous Quarter-Pound Burger: 8749 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Irreverent Sunday morning brunchers disregard all conventions and will line up for pastrami sandwiches at Jim's. 
Burger: check. Fries: check. Zucchini fries: check. You've got your Southern Cali culinary basics covered. Bon apetite! Photo by Lori C. 

Tai-Kadai This restaurant opened in 2013 and it is located in the heart of Rosemead. Tai-Kadai has a bright and modern atmosphere filled with contemporary paintings of Southeast Asians and stripped floors. The restaurant welcomes lunchtime co-workers and families for dinner and it offers an interesting array of dishes including diverse Southeast Asian foods that pay homage to traditional dishes. The name of the restaurant signifies the family of languages that is used in Southeast Asia. The dishes on the menu, much like the language, thread the region together. Some of the dishes include, Thai Fish in Chili Sauce, Malaysian Fried Chicken, Lao Crispy Rice Salad, Pho Beef Noodle Soup, and Banana Egg Rolls. Tai-Kadai represents an exciting mix of Asian cultures together in one restaurant.

Tai-Kadai: 8877 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Southeast asian dishes at Tai-Kadai are bright, light and thoroughly modern.

Top Image:  Looking up to Mt. Wilson from Rosemead Blvd. Creative Commons License

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