A couple of discoveries on a cold, damp Saturday wandering around the Valley Avenue area:
Red Peal, the restaurant inside the Asian market on West Valley, has closed temporarily as part of amajor renovation in the store overall. The restaurant part will move across the building, on your right as you go in the door. Longtime Red Pearl fans will recall that's where they originally had seating.
They've turned the aisles around in the market itself, moved around the refrigerators and fish tanks (live choices included bull frog, dungeness and blue crab, lobster, carp, tilapia, catfish and eel in still-crowded, but much cleaner tanks.) You can see into the kitchen from behind the fish tanks.
They market still sells pork and other butchered meat, but I did not see the cooked ducks. The freezers have been reorganized. Vegetable area remains the same (with the best prices in town for packages of those tiny beech mushrooms.) The area where they sell gifts and kitchen items has exanded to where the restaurant once was.
They said the restaurant may reopen this week (it'll take a lot of work, from what I saw). We'll see if the menu remains the same; they change menus like Madonna changes costumes during a show.
Sadly, Taqueria La Reyna has closed, and apparently awhile back. The neon sign on the now-closed restaurant said Royal Taco, and a hand-lettered sign on a window said Taco Loco is to open there soon.
It's shame that La Reyna couldn't make it. It was always clean and the hand-made tortilla and other masa products rocked. They had nice people working there. The meat fillings weren't consistently the best, but it was still a good place, especially for those adverse to divey places.