Beijing Pie House ~ Monterey Park SGV

  • April 14, 2013 · 10:45 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Stumbled across the below review by J. Gold and decided I want to check this place out! a small refundable deposit required to grab a seat. This is to insure real people sign up and will attend the event as surely this event will sell out and a wait list will ensue. Also, if we have no shows, it will mess up our sharing plan.

We will dine family style in a two tables of eight. The meat pies will be the focus and I've read on Yelp is that these pies are huge, so I figure we should cut them in 1/2 so we can try twice as many!

We will order at a minimum the Lamb Pie, Beef Pie, 3 Mix Pie, Pork & Green Onion Pie, Homeland Meat Cake, Beef Roll, Shrimp & Pork Potstickers,  Beef noodle soup. Plus some cold apps to start. I've read the pies are made to order and take 20 mins to prepare. So after we see the initial order, we can order additional items as necessary.

These meat pies are unique to me and having Cantonese roots, I can't wait to try these!

This is a cash only resto, so bring cash! It should cost less than $15 including tax and tip so bring $20 just in case. Free parking lot.

Jonathan Gold Reviews Beijing Pie House

Click here for Anne Fishbein's slide show.

Lamb piePHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN Lamb pie

Today, we examine xian bing, dough disks about the size and weight of a shuffleboard puck, tawny brown, slightly domed, mottled on the surface with a pebbly pattern that resembles Chinese characters from across the room, but up close looks more like Braille.

This particular xian bing, stuffed with ground lamb and served four to a plate, is the specialty of Beijing Pie House, a cramped restaurant in the usual sort of Monterey Parkminimall. The main item of décor is what appears to be a big clock on a wall behind the counter, although it seems to have been stripped of its hands. The queue stretching outside the restaurant is longer than it seems, because there is an odd preponderance of people rocking to radio jams in the parking lot, leaving only the scissors-paper-rock losers to secure their place in line, and inside the vestibule, dudes glare at the parties lingering just a little too long over their beef noodle soup. Even the most patient of the people waiting loses it just a little when an old lady ducks under his arm and puts her name ahead of his on the list. And the tables are close enough together, and the flow of customers steady enough, that nobody hesitates to reach over to swipe the jar of chile oil on your table, or to exchange their squirt bottle of white vinegar for your cruet of the good black stuff. It is understood that you will do the same when your order of dumplings comes.

You'll probably start your meal with a cold appetizer or two, perhaps a plate of sliced celery spiked with soaked peanuts that act as little star-anise bombs, or a little sliced loaf of bean curd with soy sauce and slivered scallions, or a platter of oddly tasteless cold beef tripe with toasted chiles. There are dumplings, although the soup dumplings,xiao long bao, are on the stodgy side, and the pan-fried leek-with-pork dumplings are stiff and bland. You will get an order of the thick, handmade noodles, possibly in a thin, spicy beef broth; more likely as zha jiang mian: served plain and lukewarm in a bowl, ready to be tossed with slivered cucumber, bean sprouts and a tarry, pitch-black bean sauce enhanced with specks of meat.

If you like the beef roll at 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra, one of the signal dishes of theSan Gabriel Valley experience, you may find the beef roll at Beijing Pie House to be slightly austere. The beef itself is tender and elegantly prepared, smeared with a delicious bean sauce, resembling something plucked from a French pot au feu more than it does rough Chinese street food; but it is wrapped in a thin, delicate crepe instead of the brawny, oily pastry you'll find at the uptown rival, like a beef roll you'd enjoy late in the afternoon, served with a pot of tea. You will like the "Homeland Meat Cake," which sounds like the kind of fantasy Dick Cheney used to conjure up to cheer him through the long, lonely nights in his undisclosed location, but is actually a crisp, multilayered pancake of vast area, stuffed with thin sheets of a pink meat you don't want to think about too carefully and sliced into wedges.

But we know why we're here. And as promised, xian bing are hot when you pick them up, finger-scorchingly hot, like a potato snatched straight from the embers, and the texture, although you sense a faint crackliness, is thin, warm and pliable, like skin. The menu warns you that it's hot, and the waitress warns you that it's hot, and the woman at the next table warns you, too, but there is probably nothing that can prepare you for the act of biting into a too-hot xian bing, when a jet of pressurized soup, as volatile as the steam from Old Faithful, arcs over your shoulder and drips harmlessly down the plate glass behind you. Fancy a duel? Let's specify xian bing at dawn.

Beijing Pie House | 846 E. Garvey Ave., Monterey Park | (626)[masked] | Tues.-Sun., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. | Cash only | No alcohol | Lot parking | Takeout | Pies, noodles and pancakes $4.99-$7.99 | Recommended dishes: lamb pie, Homeland Meat Cake, Beijing-style noodles (chachiangmian)

 

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  • Jeff

    $10 out the door. Asian food in the SGV.

    1 · April 16, 2013

  • Sally

    So good! Will definitely be back. Thanks, Darrell!

    April 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Next time I am going to buy some frozen dumplings to go!

    April 15, 2013

  • Darrell

    Worked out perfectly with tables of eight. We cut the meat pies in half to share so that we can taste twice as many! There's so many more to try and all of them were so juicy and delicious! You can buy a bag of frozen dumplings for $18-20 for 50 dumplings to go.

    Awesome hole in the wall with unique regional cuisine! I'm already plotting a return visit!

    1 · April 15, 2013

  • Janet H.

    Sorry Darrell-I am not feling well.

    April 14, 2013

  • Dave

    Sorry to cancel. I need to help a friend this weekend. This restaurant is near my house and work, and is very good - go there all the time - enjoy.

    April 13, 2013

  • Yichun

    We got to have Jingdong Pie, thin layers of juicy meat. Master craft!

    April 6, 2013

  • Billy

    I like this restaurant, the food is yummy!

    April 4, 2013

  • Korijna

    These pies are (should be) great if they're made the traditional way. One of my student's mothers made them for me while I was teaching in Beijing in the 1990's. She made me pork and green onion pies and I still dream about them to this day.

    April 3, 2013

  • Cathleen C

    I'll be out of town. Sounds yummy!

    April 3, 2013

  • Shenny

    Unfortunately can't make it! Good thing you're going early cuz the place is small! My party of 8 each only paid $10 each which included tip so family style is the way to go!

    April 3, 2013

    • Darrell

      Thanks for the heads up. If we are first in, is the place big enough for 2 tables of eight? $10? Awesome! I'm thinking those meat pies would make excellent meals on wheels. Also, I've read they sell their dumplings frozen in bags of 50.

      April 3, 2013

    • Shenny

      Yeah...if you get there early enough! There is room for 2 tables of 8. I was pretty "carbed-out" after the experience myself even though I ended up eating 1/4 of a few pies, some noodles, appetizers, beef rolls.

      April 3, 2013

  • Ni H.

    Sorry I have work that Sunday morning. See you next time!

    April 3, 2013

  • yarom l.

    Been here, and its great

    April 3, 2013

  • Darrell

    Yes, 10:45am.

    April 3, 2013

  • Michelle

    You had me at "pie".

    April 3, 2013

  • Julie G

    Gosh I wish I could go. Please do this one again! ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

    April 3, 2013

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