Restaurant of the Week: Tamsui River

Tamsui River Taiwanese Cuisine, 2855 Foothill Blvd. (at Fulton), La Verne; open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Tamsui River is on the old Person Ford site in La Verne, now apartments with some restaurants and retail facing Foothill Boulevard. The restaurant has gotten high marks, but I hadn’t been there until just before Christmas, when a Chinese food-lovin’ friend was in town and I suggested we try it out.

The L-shaped dining room is moderately sized, with an area separated by glass for a larger party. We were seated in a booth and examined the expansive menu of more than 100 items: soups, dumplings, noodles, seafood, etc.

We got sauteed lamb with scallions ($14, above), smoked duck noodle ($11) and pork soup dumplings ($9).

The lamb, similar to the cumin lamb that I’ve had elsewhere, was my favorite. We liked the XLB dumplings (below), even if they wouldn’t make me forget Din Tai Fung’s. We were surprised that smoked duck noodle came as a soup (bottom), since it wasn’t listed under soups, but there was nothing wrong with it.

The menu didn’t have photos of any dishes, so the names weren’t always a great help for two non-experts. And a few of the names were both puzzling and amusing, like “modeling dessert.”

Kidding aside, we liked the food. I wouldn’t say it’s San Gabriel Valley level, but for local Chinese, it’s in the upper ranks. As a foodie acquaintance who was leaving said as he passed our table, “This is a good place.”

Also, you know a Chinese restaurant is authentic when the menu isn’t online and they can’t be bothered to even have a Facebook page.

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  • DebB

    Yesterday I went to Tamsui River for lunch with some out-of-town friends. The woman is originally from Taiwan, and seemed to really enjoy the food! I ordered the sauteed lamb, knowing that she doesn’t like lamb even though the rest of us do. She did try it, however, and actually pronounced it pretty tasty. We also had pork soup dumplings, shrimp dumplings, fried rice and a pork belly dish. The pork belly was cooked differently than she expected, so she didn’t care for that. But I (having no expectations) thought it was pretty good, even if pork belly is not so healthy! Otherwise we had a good meal – I would definitely go back, and I think my friends would, also. I felt like it was a place I would feel comfortable going to for lunch by myself, and take-out is a good option, too.

    • davidallen909

      Mmm…sauteed lamb. Glad you and your friends liked the restaurant, Deb.

  • Smartacus

    Good timing Dave — I hear they just closed.

    • davidallen909

      I drove over to Nancy’s Pizza (same center, opposite side of the driveway from Tamsui River) for lunch over the weekend and saw both restaurants had eviction notices on their doors. Sheesh.