Looking for a primo Taiwanese joint that already stands out among all the primo Taiwanese joint already in Arcadia? Well, here’s your answer.
The most wonderful discoveries can be found at the far edges of strip malls.
Again, I’m perusing L.A. Weekly’s 99 Essential Restaurants for 2014, trying to find something nearby.
Well, something Chinese and Nearby, and a come across the name: Sinbala.
Okay. Worth a look. I drive down to a little hole in the wall, stuffed in the corner restaurant…
…and maybe, just maybe, I’ve found my new Happiest Place on Earth.
Since I’ve started this Blog, I’ve been able to expand my palette just a little bit, trying new things and adding new flavors to my personal, mental rolodex. One of those new things has been the Taiwanese Mainstay, Beef Noodle Soup, a dish you can get quite easily in the olde 626.
Sinbala is not a fine dining joint. You walk in, sign your name for the “virtual line” and wait for your name to be called. Then you sit and enjoy. I think we’re talking 10 minutes at worst. Of course, I was dining just with myself the first night I went there, so I got right on in.
And my word, what a world to enjoy.
Sinbala is a Taiwanese joint, but geared a more towards everyday eating that you might find a Banquet/Party place like Taipei Garden. It’s geared for the amazing number of Taiwanese living in and around the San Gabriel valley. The mood inside is neighborhood joint. Families mostly coming in for an evening meal. A few college kids who’ve taken the drive out. One or two dates. The mood is breezy, comfortable. Folks are just kicking back, having a good conversation over a good plate of really good food.
I’m falling more and more in love with Taiwanese cooking with each passing date, every meal, every bit. The thing about Taiwanese Cuisine, is that it’s a blend of Japanese, Cantonese, and who knows what else from the mainland and blended them together in a unique way that makes me come back for more and more. And Sinbala does what it does to perfection. I love it. I love it in a pure Wurstkuche and Flying Pig kind of a way.
It’s also a unique restaurant in that they serve Health Drinks like Juices and Teas. I never thought I’d like that, but Sinbala’s made a convert out of me. I left feeling just a little better about myself and my meal for the juice. Would I love it also with a Coke or a Beer? Yeah, sure. But when at Sinbala…
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I started off with the Sinbala Sausage, a gorgeous little plate of Taiwanese Sausages along with some cloves of garlic. Simple. Delightful. Satisfying.
But I want more. There has got to be more, right?
What am I saying, of course there is. There is the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, which is a spicy, kick to your tastebuds version of the Taiwanese Classic. This was serious. This was labor. This was an intense, hot, spicy soup. This took work to get through, (for me) sweating all the way.
Worth every scalding, sweat, spicy minute, and I will do it again at the drop of a hat.
Now, unlike most restaurants, you’re not going to get a Beer or a Coke at Sin Bala, your beverage choices are restricted to Healthy Juices, Hot Teas or Chewing Drinks (aka Bobas, or drinks with chewy jelly in them). I went simple and got their Fresh Orange Juice, which was good.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: One of the things about Fresh, Healthy Juices and all is you don’t get refills like you do with Coke.
I mention this only because I ordered the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup, and the Spicy Beef Noodle Soup needs a beverage-sized fire extinguisher in the form of Coke, water, juice, what have you.
So, my recommendation is to order two of whatever drink you want in advance of your meal, especially if it’s going to be spicy. Because at Sinbala, when they mean spicy…they—mean—spicy.
PARKING: Available, but tight. Sinbala is kinda like Young Dong in that it’s part of a complex that houses a Grocery Store. Said Grocery Store is always busy, and it makes finding Parking a touch bit difficult at times. There are a lot of people coming here for all manner of businesses, not just Sinbala.
So I think you’ll be able to find a space, but be prepared to huff it a bit. It may not be close.
651 W. Duarte Rd. Ste. F.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: (626) 446-0886
Daily: 11:00am – 9:30pm