Monterey Park has a large Chinese population. Fortunately, that means there are a lot of great Chinese restaurants to choose from. At the newly built Atlantic Times Square, a lot of Chinese restaurants popped up, and one in particular is the mini chain, Tasty Garden. The Alhambra location was ranked #7 in Los Angeles Magazine’s Top 10 Chinese Restaurants in the May 2011 issue. Quite a feat if you ask me.
Upon entering, the decor and furniture really catches your eyes. Purple couches, glistening orbs, and giant TVs playing Chinese music videos really set the mood. I liked the trendy setting and comfortable atmosphere here — usually, one is sacrificed for the other. Another thing I liked were the prices. Of their two menus (one Chinese food, another of American influences), most of the entrees were really affordable. With lots to choose from, my party had a difficult time choosing what to order.
As you may already know, my family can eat. We had French style fillet minion, walnut shrimp, calamari, and chicken chow mein. That with some white rice, all amongst 4 people. Yeah, we can eat for sure. I have to say, I’m not usually a fan of walnut shrimp, but it was tasty here — fried perfectly with a good crisp. A bit sweet from the sauce and I loved the candied walnuts. The French style fillet minion was a bit weird. The taste was kind of sweet and peppery. The weirdest part was the texture. It was tender, but in a fake way. I don’t know if that was the “French style”, but it was just different — tasty, but different. Imagine the texture of chicken, but it was steak. My favorite would have to have been the fried calamari. The batter was light, and the seasoning was perfect with salt. Simple and delicious.
The bill in the end was really cheap, and we were all really full. The interesting part was the receipt — it was written all in Chinese. Anyone who reads Chinese, care to translate? I didn’t really mind, but I thought it was kind of interesting.
This is a nice spot to bring a couple of friends or a large family. The food is really good and affordable. The inside is really refreshing and clean, something you don’t see in many Chinese restaurants.