Iconic Neighborhood Restaurants: West Covina

"Only two hours from the beach," the song from the show "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" proclaims about West Covina. The city is king when it comes to shopping malls and office complexes, but that doesn't mean the food necessarily suffers -- although many on Chowhound would disagree. West Covina is ethnically and economically diverse, as well as being driving distance to lakes, mountains, and, according to Google maps, only about 40 minutes away from the beach. 


Misky Misky

Photo courtesy of @mamasaurus__

Misky Misky Cocina Peruana: Just about a year and a half old, Misky Misky was started by a Peruvian immigrant couple who wanted to flex their seafood muscle. Their previous business, Mr. Pollo, served the basics of pollo a la brasa. Misky Misky ("misky" is the Quechua word for delicious) offers a so many types of ceviche, it has its own section on the menu. If you can't choose between their nine different varieties, their ceviche sampler allows you to try four, which may be more than you've ever tried in your entire life. If you'd like a departure form seafood, Misky Misky also offers a filet mignon with aji amarillo and french fries, or Peruvian pesto linguine with beef. On top of all this, it's surprisingly affordable. 125 N Fairway Ln;; (626) 966-0600. 


Sushi Damu

Photo courtesy of @mamasaurus__

Sushi Damu: Look, sometimes you just need to have all-you-can-eat sushi. And if you must, Sushi Damu is one of the best places to have it. The sushi is solid. Additionally, the sheer variety of items offered here is boggling. Beyond your usual salmon and yellow tail fare is a calamari tempura roll, a popcorn lobster roll, and something called a "monkey ball," which has to be tried to be believed. And at around $25 bucks per person for dinner, it might warrant a trip out to West Covina even if you don't' live there. Wakame seaweed salad included in that price? Yes. How about miso soup? Yep, that too. Baked mussels, baked rolls served on an open flame. 1230 Lakes Dr., Ste 101; (626) 699-1046.


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Miki House: If you're looking for comfort food, try descending upon Miki House in West Covina's Filipino District. A mainstay of the area, Miki House serves Filipino-Chinese fusion and has the feel of being in someone's living room as opposed to being in a restaurant -- whimsical tchotchkes and playful paintings line the walls and Filipino soap operas play throughout the day. A favorite is the Miki House Special, which is a pancit (noodle dish) containing beef, shrimp, fish balls, and kikiam (a type of sausage). Some folks may have an issue with the heaviness of some of the dishes served here, which one might consider to be a common casualty of any comfort food. That being said, a dish that definitely won't have that problem at Miki House is the halo-halo, a colorful dessert of shave ice, evaporated milk, ice cream, fruits, and jell-o--akin to Korean patbingsu. No seating in the small ding area? Miki House is a popular take-out spot, if you can actually hold off eating the food on the spot. 2423 S Azusa Ave., (626) 854-0544.


One Veg World

Photo courtesy of @freevagen

One Veg World: A good vegan restaurant, for those who need them, is a God send. Sure, any other restaurant most likely has vegetables or starches, but when you can sink your teeth into a ramen burger and know it's meat-free, or when you know all the dumplings have tasty veggies, or when the tacos can be more than just beans and cheese, it can feel like a vacation. One Veg World maybe best characterized as pan-Asian, although they also offer fare such as tacos and cheesecake. The jackfruit tacos are definitely a must-try, as well as the buffalo ranch fries, and the grilled teriyaki kabobs. 178 S Glendora Ave., (626) 917-2727.



Elephant Bar. Photo courtesy of @Mo M.

Elephant Bar Restaurant: Is this a chain? Yes? Is this a local favorite? Yes. Is this the one place on Chowhound that people agreed had great food in West Covina? Yes it is. Elephant Bar serves pan-fusion cuisine that has something for everyone. There are ribeye sliders, coconut shrimp skewers, a chimichurri garden burger for vegetarians, and for the true comfort food enthusiast: pot roast. If the in-laws are in town and you can't leave the 16 square miles that is West Covina, Elephant Bar is the unequivocal go-to. 200 S Vincent Ave.; (626) 918-3400.

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