A few weeks ago I put up a post asking if anybody knew anything about Chao Bakery House, an oddly located business on a Larchmontesque residential street in San Gabriel with a one block commercial district smack in the middle of an otherwise residential street. This area called San Gabriel Village seemed hardly the place for any kind of eatery as traffic on this street is next to zero. The mystery only grew as subsequent drive-bys found the location usually, but not always closed, even though signs on the door indicated an early morning opening time and drinks for $1.
Today I finally got a chance to enter the premises while it was open for business. Initially the mystery grew even stranger as there were no baked goods in the display case for this alleged bakery. I asked the guy behind the counter if he had anything for sale and he said something like only breadsticks and flour cake. When I asked if that's all he had, he said that's all they sold during the day, but they also served dinner (odd, since there are no tables), and pointed to a stack of order sheets on the counter. It was all in Chinese so I asked him about it. The way it works is that starting at 4 pm you can order a preset dinner of I believe three entrees for a fixed price. It looked like there may have been at least a dozen sets to choose from. Then, after 5:30 pm you could come by and pick up your dinner order. I recall seeing a similar place somewhere in Monterey Park. Guess their target is people who are unwilling or unable to cook for themselves on a regular basis. Chao Bakery and Catering is at 250 W. Fairview Ave. in San Gabriel, just west of Del Mar and north of Valley.