Friday, March 21, 2008

JJ Cafe - Monterey Park

JJ Cafe
447 W Garvey Ave # 102
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 280-3833
Type: Chinese food / restaurant

Finally back staying in West Covina, in the San Gabriel Valley. The SGV isn't SGV without Monterey Park. I don't know too much about the city, but I do know there's a lot of Asian businesses-- specifically Chinese. For some reason, it seems like the Chinese areas have many restaurants that stay open til late night. I know Rowland Heights has some places, along with El Monte, Alhambra, and of course, Monterey Park. Maybe they know that the youth stay out late partying all the time and they wanna make sure they got somewhere to balance out their alcohol-filled stomachs.

JJ Cafe is one of these restaurants. They're open from 7am - 4am 7 days a week. I think it was a Thursday night when my friends and I decided to hit this place up. I've never been, so I wanted to try it. We aren't exactly the youth in this country (we're mostly in our mid twenties) but we ain't old either. Although most of JJ Cafe's late night customers I would presume, are party/club-goers, we just came from home hanging out, fixing my friend's car.

We got there at about 12 something at night, just before the after-club rush. If you don't want to deal with drunk, rowdy, and sometimes hostile fools, I'd suggest you come earlier than 12 midnight. The place wasn't packed, but there was a good amount of people there already. Maybe those guys got kicked out of the clubs or something. The restaurant is bright with somewhat modern design. The place has a "C" rating on their window. I don't really care. I'm hungry. And I don't usually care even if I wasn't.

Looking at their menu, it reminded me of Maxim Cafe's in Rowland Heights. Once I noticed the similarities, I already knew I was getting the fish porridge. Yeah, yeah. Say what you want. I know fish porridge isn't the coolest thing to order, but it's nice, simple, and filling. My friends were clowning on me once they heard me tell the waiter what I wanted. After everyone ordered their food we were served some free vegetable soup. I don't think I ate it all.

free soup is always cool even if it ain't great.

One of my friends ordered the Sizzling Seafood Udon ($8.00). She ordered that cuz she said it was technically Friday already and she couldn't eat meat. My other friends didn't go by that rule. The seafood udon came in a sizzling hot plate like the ones they have at Korean BBQ places. They gave a good amount of food. She said it was alright.

technically it's Friday, so sizzling seafood udon

Ah yes. My porridge came quickly. This one seemed a little smaller than the one at Maxim. What can you do? So I get to pouring the soy sauce and tasting, and pouring and tasting til it's perfect. I wouldn't say it's perfect at all. There was probably some ingredient that was different from this one, from Maxim's. Maxim's is better.

average fish porridge.

My other friends ordered some deep fried wontons. I think they liked it.

deep fried wontons

Most of my friends ordered the Mix Grill ($11.00). Maybe this is what most people in general order here. It just comes with all these meats. I'm guessing there's pork chops, steak, chicken, and bacon. along with steamed veggies. You can choose what sauce you want. I think there's mushroom sauce, some kind of garlic sauce, and I don't know the other one. My friends really liked it. One of the sauces tasted better though. I don't think it was the one with mushroom though.

Mix Grill plate. One way trip to Heart Attack with a stop-over in Obese City.

I would not go out of my way to go here from West Covina just to eat. For people who live around there, JJ Cafe might be a good spot, but I suspect there's a lot better places you can choose from when everything else is open. JJ Cafe does have very decent food for a place open til 4 in the morning. I'd go after a long night of wall-flowering at the local clubs any time.

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