After running a successful restaurant in China and working at the Panda Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, Tony Xu opened Chengdu Taste in 2013. The San Gabriel Valley—and the rest of LA—quickly took notice, and the lines haven't let up since (a second location opened up in Rosemead). Fiery Szechuan dishes fill tables with intoxicating smells and an overarching red hue that indicates an intimidating level of spice. Start slowly, perhaps with cold mung bean noodles slathered in chili paste, then move to more grandiose items: boiled fish in green pepper sauce, stir fried pig's intestines, lamb on toothpicks with cumin. A green peppercorn here and there will have your mouth feeling numb at times, but the flavors at Chengdu Taste are all intense, wonderful and worth the wait.
For non-natives, the San Gabriel Valley's culinary scene can be difficult—and intimidating—to navigate. If you’ve been scouring the web for dining options in this far eastern corridor of Los Angeles, look no further. We’ve rounded up an extensive list of restaurants offering choices from dim sum and pho to Taiwanese and Korean specialties. The added bonus: these cheap eats will have you fed through breakfast, lunch and dinner without breaking the bank.