Is It Any Good?

A Tea house on the Monrovia-Arcadia border.

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You know, half the time I’m building my Bookmarks (a convenient feature on Zomato), I do so when I’m at one place, and I see another that looks remotely interesting.

I was at Luscious Dumplings across the way. I went into the brand spanking new Grocery Store in the same complex, and there Yi Mei was, sitting there, almost begging for me to head in.

Of course I was full up on Pan Fried Dumplings that day, so a Yi Mei run would have to wait until later.

Later I came, and yes, it made me happy. Yi Mei is a place I want to go back to…provided I remember how to order what I want.

More on that in a minute.

It looks like an ordinary cafe from the outside. Granted, whoever designed this place definitely went to the Starbucks School of Commercial Design. It’s sleek. It’s modern. It’s a touch dark inside, lots of dark brown wood. But you’re here to eat. I’ve eaten in a place that looks like an S&M Dungeon. I can handle this.

But this isn’t a Starbucks or an S&M Dungeon (God forbid), this is a Tea House, and it’s a good one. This is a place to kick back, have a drink of…well, whatever, Tea or Juice (I will admit I sneaked a Coke in there)…and a snack away. What they serve at Yi Mei is pretty damn wonderful, though with a bit of danger for me, as you’ll see in a second.


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: The first thing I ordered was the Pork Belly Sandwich, or as we should be more familiar with it…the Gua-Bao. It’s something I’ve had time and time again. Something I love time and time again…

The Pork Belly Sandwich at Yi Mei.

…so you’d think that you’re food blogger buddy would remember that a Gua-Bao usually comes with peanuts as one of the ingredients. Usually, your food blogger buddy is smart enough to remember to tell whoever’s making his Gua-Bao to hold the Peanuts.

Your food blogger buddy forgot this time.

So yeah, here it is. The Yi Mei version of Gua-Bao. Looks sensational. All the ingredients in all the right places. It probably would have been fabulous, if it wouldn’t wind up sending me to the Emergency Room.

So…it’s not like I didn’t eat while I was there. After all, I like the place. What did I have?

Chinese Sausage (and Garlic) at Yi Mei.

Yeah, baby. That’s what I always love. Taiwanese Sausage with a just few cuts of Garlic. Simple as hell, but sends me to heaven every time.

But I was having that anyway. What did I get to substitute for the Gua-Bao?

The Pan Fried Dumplings at Yi Mei.

Dumplings, I’m always a sucker for Dumplings.

Granted, I’m literally sitting 500 feet away from my favorite Dumpling place in all of L.A., but Yi Mei acquitted themselves quite well. Besides, the shape was a familiar one, one I’ve seen at A&J, and House of Mandarin Noodle among others. They were delicious, and the next time I’m there, I’m having them.

That…or I’m going to remember to hold the Peanuts.


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Needless to say, if you are like me, and have Peanut Allergies, and you love you some Gua-Bao, it’s on you to make sure you tell them to either hold the Peanuts, or get something else.

But don’t worry, there’s is plenty of something else.


PARKING: Easy. Yi Mei is part of a large Commercial complex, which we have described many times before. There’s plenty of free parking. You shouldn’t have problems finding a space.

Yi Mei in Monrovia.

Yi Mei
943 W. Duarte Rd.
Monrovia, CA 91016

Tel: (626) 275-8785

Daily: 7:00 am – 8:00 pm