Go China

Go China restaurant in Glendora has exactly the nondescript strip-mall exterior that so often hides real gems. Unfortunately, while Go China offers tasty BBQ-pork fried rice and a wide range of generously portioned $5-$6 lunch options, calling it a gem would be too kind.
The $5 BBQ-pork fried rice, which is all I must have from a Chinese restaurant, passes the taste test deliciously. Too many restaurants fill their fried rice with peas and carrots flavored by freezer burn, so it was good to find an inexpensive place where the rice dish tasted fresh and they don’t skimp on the egg. The slices of barbecued pork can be forgiven for being fatty, and given credit for flavoring the rice. The ample portion makes at least two meals all on its own.
But the inexpensive lunch specials, though also two-fers, seem less promising.
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That’s two Fs in cafe

Caffe Notrellis

Judging from the wistful gleams in my colleagues’ eyes when I tell them I went to lunch at Caffe Notrellis, this little lunch counter is much-loved around the Tribune newsroom, despite being a little more expensive than we poor reporters prefer to pay for lunch.
The Irwindale cafe has a surprising amount of charm for being in an office park. Petite cafe tables, cheery yellow walls and pink bougainvillea over the front patio help the lunchtime business crowd forget their mundane surroundings. The food is good, but still feels overpriced at nearly $7 for a sandwich.
The ingredients in the cafe’s paninis, pastas and salads hint at either appreciation of foodie ingredients or perhaps just copy-cat pretension: blue cheese and brie, curried chicken salad, jasmine rice, peanut sauce. Perhaps that’s why the Basil Pesto Pasta With Chicken comes to about $9, with tax.

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In search of good, cheap food

Now that Esther has introduced herself, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Alison, and I’m one of the reporters here at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Like Esther, I’m a bit of a foodie. I’m a particular fan of those ever-elusive hole-in-the-wall gems where great food, good prices and short lines all come together in one glorious restaurant. I’ll be doing my best to find these, for my sake and yours, in my posts on Bentorama with a little help from you! Tell us if you know of a place we should try in the San Gabriel Valley: alison.hewitt@sgvn.com. ‘Till then, ciao!