A scattering of small, but successful, SoCal chains are filling up Monterey Park's new Atlantic Times Square residences and shopping complex, with Lee's Sandwiches, a popular Vietnamese empire for banh mi, avocado smoothies, and pastries, recently opened at this location. Currently working on their debuts are shiny new storefronts for Happy Family vegetarian restaurant and Green Island Chinese, while Din Tai Fung neighbor and Pan-Asian take-out specialist Phoenix Food Boutique, and a location of Curry House are already opened. And just in case you're in Monterey Park, but have no interest in Asian food, the mall also has a Johny Rockets and Cold Stone, but really, you should mask your shame if burgers are still on your mind.
Hopefully, this street will eventually run both ways and Panda Expresses everywhere will be replaced by the likes of Phoenix or Lee's. Sure, fat chance, but it's nice to see an L.A. development project going local nonetheless. Anyway, what's happening across the street here?
Across from Atlantic, in Shun Fat Market, old Jonathan Gold-favorite Dumpling Master has turned into Huge Tree Pastry, a Taiwanese bakery and breakfast nook from the former owners of Yi Mei Pastries. So far, Yelpers are adorning the restaurant with armloads of stars, variously praising of its twisted bread, Napa pork dumplings, faun tuan, and sweet soy milk. Hopefully, it too will make the mall someday.
Atlantic Times Square, 500 North Atlantic Blvd. Monterey Park.
Huge Tree Pastry, 423 N Atlantic Blvd. Ste. 106
Monterey Park. 626-458-8689.