A lot of folks think of tomato beef with rice as a Cantonese-American dish, but some claim that it’s actually a very traditional, very old-school, totally Cantonese comfort-food classic. Of course, there are different versions, including pure Cantonese takes, very sweet Hong Kong café versions with ketchup, scrambled eggs, and French-style cubes of filet mignon, and the gloppier Americanized takes.
Some versions start with a vinegar base, others with ketchup, and others with soy sauce, explains ipsedixit. Though ipsedixit likes the cubes of filet mignon in the various Hong Kong versions around town, the excess sweetness in the Hong Kong version (a result of an excessive dependence on ketchup instead of real tomatoes) is a turn-off.
Bamboo House Chinese Restaurant is a dumpy little place, but the tomato beef with rice is incredible, says J.L.. This version is Mandarin-style, with a soy sauce and tomato base, and thinly cut flank steak.
May Mei serves quite authentic Cantonese fare, and their take is quite tasty, says crystaw.
Bamboo House Chinese Restaurant [San Gabriel Valley]
2718 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra
May Mei [San Gabriel Valley]
639 W. Duarte Road, Arcadia
Board Link: Chinese Tomato Beef w/Rice