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Restaurants & Bars

Red Tomato Spaghetti House in Monterey Park

Chandavkl | May 18, 200701:28 PM     6

I was driving by the Monterey Park Hong Kong Supermarket when I noticed the "Grand Opening" sign over the space occupied for many years by Luk Yue noodle house, and more recently A C C Noodle. Quickly turning from the left lane into the parking lot I saw the sign "Red Tomato Spaghetti House" also with Chinese characters. Walking into the restaurant I thought this might be the next step in the evolution of Hong Kong style cafes, a Chinese style spaghetti house akin to the Japanese spaghetti places in Gardena. However, while the restaurant is totally staffed by Chinese employees, the owner assured me that they were not serving bastardized Italian food, but the real thing, and based on my first meal there I tend to agree. Off the blackboard special I had the farfalle with crab meat and corn. (Not sure if I've heard of that combination before.) It was very good and compared favorably to my favorite farfalle at Farfalla. Also tried a couple of appetizers--chicken quesidillas and smoked salmon carpaccio. Both were quite good and there was nothing to indicate any Chinese influence. On top of everything, the prices at Red Tomato are extremely reasonable. Entrees are $6.95 and $7.95 at lunch, two dollars more at dinner, appetizers are $4.95 to $6.95, and the portions are quite generous. The owner indicates she is trying to create an authentic local Italian food alternative in Monterey Park so people don't have to travel to Pasadena or elsewhere. She also emphasized that they make their own sauces. I think the only concessions to the Asian populace are the ability to substitute Japanese tofu pasta for wheat pasta, a handful of non-Italian dishes (e.g., Hainan chicken), a large dispenser of home brewed chrysanthemum tea, and pricing competitive to the local Chinese restaurants.

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