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Endless summer
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I've explored a lot of the LA Metro Area and have visited Chinatown many times. Everyone keeps saying though that the REAL Chinatown in LA is to the East in Monterey Park and the surrounding areas. Seeing as how that's a fairly good distance from where I live, covers a pretty large area, and isn't very touristy, I could use some pointers on what the main commercial areas/landmarks are out there, and some of the better restaurants you guys have experienced. If someone is going to daytrip out to see our real Chinese ethnic enclave, what should be on the itinerary? Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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Real Estate Consultant
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Yes, I would say those areas are real Chinatowns. Rosemead, El Monte, La Puente, even past the City of Industry to Rowland Heights and Walnut. All of that is like one huge Chinatown. Especially Rosemead and Rowland Heights. El Monte and La Puente are more mixed, 50% Chinese 50% Mexican, but still have that Chinese atmosphere to it...

Unfortunately I cannot tell you anything about the restaurants, since my favorite restaurants there are Thai vegetarian restaurants... But take a drive on 60 freeway past the City of Industry, there will be plenty of Chinese places and restaurants, try some, see what's best for yourself. They are a bit hard to find, though, since all of the signs are in Chinese, making it difficult to distinguish between a restaurant and an insurance sales office... And if that is too far for you, then visit Rosemead, its not bad also...
 

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Drive down Garvey Blvd or Valley from like Monterey Park to El Monte or Baldwin Ave in Arcadia. Colima Blvd in Hacienda Heights to Rowland Heights. Or Atlantic Blvd in Monterey Park.

Alhambra-Monterey Park-San Gabriel is like the China Triangle.

Check Yelp to find some recommendations.
 

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Yes, I would say those areas are real Chinatowns. Rosemead, El Monte, La Puente, even past the City of Industry to Rowland Heights and Walnut. All of that is like one huge Chinatown. Especially Rosemead and Rowland Heights. El Monte and La Puente are more mixed, 50% Chinese 50% Mexican, but still have that Chinese atmosphere to it...

Unfortunately I cannot tell you anything about the restaurants, since my favorite restaurants there are Thai vegetarian restaurants... But take a drive on 60 freeway past the City of Industry, there will be plenty of Chinese places and restaurants, try some, see what's best for yourself. They are a bit hard to find, though, since all of the signs are in Chinese, making it difficult to distinguish between a restaurant and an insurance sales office... And if that is too far for you, then visit Rosemead, its not bad also...
Maybe you can include El Monte in that list, but definitely not La Puente, it is only 7% Asian. So if that is the case the Chinese percentage is very very low. I live right outside La Puente, and gone to schools in La Puente, and the only asians in the area are Filipino, and they are mostly all living in areas surrounding La Puente, not in it.

I am not sure about Chinese specifically, but I know there is high percentage of asians in two or three areas of the San Gabriel Valley, on the west side it is in the cities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel and Rosemead, on the east side it is Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Walnut and Diamond Bar. I say those area are the middle class asian communities, and I am assuming areas such as San Marino and Arcadia on the north side of San Gabriel Valley are where there is a lot of upper class asains.
 

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Yes, the Northwest part of La Puente is pretty much Mexican, but in the Southeast it starts getting Asian again, near the 60 freeway, by the City of Industry. I think its called Puente Hills or something like that...
 

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Yes, the Northwest part of La Puente is pretty much Mexican, but in the Southeast it starts getting Asian again, near the 60 freeway, by the City of Industry. I think its called Puente Hills or something like that...
you are thinking la puente is much bigger than it is. la puente is a small city, and does not touch any freeways. "Puente Hills" is the geographical name of the hills to the south, and the north-facing side of the hills is consisting of the communities of Hacienda Heights and Rowland Heights, with City of Industry at the base of the hills. There is cities on the other side of the hills too, such as Whittier and La Habra / La Habra Heights.

The name Puente or La Puente comes from the name of the large ranch in the area years ago. Sometimes people call the eastern half of San Gabriel Valley the Puente Valley, just like how sometimes the western end of the Inland Empire is called Pomona Valley.

SoCal geography is confusing.
 

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I know there's a large asian community, particularly filipino, around that area, puente hills, west covina, walnut, etc.
 
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