Well, I never made it to the inaugural 626 Night Market event in Pasadena. After a hour and half drive to Pasadena from the Westside and a 30 minute drive around Pasadena to find parking; I ran into a friend of mine frustrated with the event. He showed me a photo of the elbow to elbow crowd, which convinced me to turn around. “Oh man, this is not going to work out for me,” I said to my friend, ”I hate being in the back of any line.” Instead, my friend invited me to dine with him and his dining group at Har Lam Kee Restaurant in Monterey Park. All I have to say is that the detour across the San Gabriel Valley was well worth it for good Chinese Cantonese food and great dinner company.
From the time that we arrived to the time that we left (8:30PM), Har Lam Kee Restaurant was full to capacity with patrons, which is what to expect where ever you dine in Monterey Park. It’s amazingly delicious, solid Cantonese cuisine. My favorite dishes were the Fried Smelt Roe (I love salty and crispy fish snacks) and the Beef with Bitter Melon (liked it because it reminded me of a Filipino bitter melon dish). The prices were very reasonable ($) too. I plan to return again just to try some of their more exotic dishes as I saw a good portion of dishes made with offals.