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The best Taiwanese rice rolls in all of SoCal ...


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The best Taiwanese rice rolls in all of SoCal ...

ipsedixit | Sep 6, 2009 11:27 PM

... can be found at Si Hai Restaurant (or 四海豆漿).

Dunno if it's related to the joint in Taiwan by the same name, but who cares when it makes probably the best Taiwanese rice rolls this side of the Pacific.

Sure, it's got the typical array of your generic Chinese/Taiwanese breakfast treats -- e.g. sweet or savory soybean soups, radish cakes, crullers, crepes, sesame bread pouches, etc.

But the star of the show here is the rice roll. The rice is soft and pliable, never rock hard at the outer edges. And, never crusty. The filling is savory and the crullers are placed (or are they chopped up?) just right so that you never take a bit and end lassoing out the entire length of the cruller -- leaving the rest of your rice roll eating experience without nary the whiff of greasy fried dough.

They don't skimp on the fillings either. Consider the rice rolls at places like Yi Mei or Yung Ho to be, say, a typical In-N-Out double double, then the rice roll at Si Hai would be a 4 x 4. Yes, it's double what you would get at the other places.

There's also something different about the rice. I dunno if they had starch to it, or maybe a pinch of sugar, perhaps, but it just taste different. Sure, it has that requisite "Q-ness" but it also has that certain je ne sais quoi that only the palate can discern, but which words can never fully capture.

But get there early (say around 6:30 a.m.), or you'll end up in line with a bunch of imported Taiwanese trophy wives picking up some breakfast road food for their chartered bus ride to some swanky Indian casino on the border of San Diego County ...


Si Hai Restaurant
708 E. Las Tunas Dr. #A
San Gabriel, CA 91176
(626) 285-8369

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