Came here after being murdered on the basketball court last Saturday. After such a downer, I was looking forward to having good Taiwanese food after a long absence. There are seriously no good Taiwanese restaurants in L.A., so any Taiwanese restaurant that sounds decent is appealing to me, because I’m the Indiana Jones of Taiwanese food and I want to find the holy grail. I’ve actually been to SinBala in Arcadia, and thought that this was in the same family (and that Asians just didn’t know how to spell the same word twice). I’m not so sure about that though. Regardless, the menus of the two places are very similar, and I remember the Arcadia location being pretty good. I had high hopes…

Despite them being most famous for their sausages (they even have a whole section on the menu reserved for the same sausage served with various condiments and sauces), I got the fried pork chop rice ($6.25) because I had a craving for something fried. I also got an order of ba wan, or Taiwanese meat ball ($2.75). The pork chop was really good, but the other stuff on the plate (cabbage, peas, carrots, corn, and scrambled eggs with tomato sauce) were nowhere as close. Should’ve had a side order of the sausage instead – forget those lame veggies. I also stole a piece of my friend Stephen’s fried chicken (done the same way as the pork chop), and it was very good as well. The meatball, however, was pretty lackluster. The filling of pork, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms was bland, and the sauce didn’t help that much. It wasn’t the holy grail (or even one of those chalices), but I would have no problem coming back to Simbala if I’m in the area.

Chris Hei grade: B-

Simbala Restaurant
18489 Colima Rd
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 581-9885

Note: credit Mike L. of Yelp for the first photo.

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