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Volume 41. No. 1.
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#24
Taste five different ethnic cuisines.

This is a very easy task in endlessly diverse Southern California. For ideas, we turned to Merrill Shindler, co-author of the latest Zagat Survey restaurant guide for L.A., food critic for the Pasadena Star-News and KLSX radio food show host.

Shindler says Claremont serves up plenty of places to start the quest, with everything from Indian to Greek available in the Village. He points to Walter’s for Afghan cuisine or Saca’s for affordable, classic Middle Eastern fare.

Moving west, the suburban Chinatowns of the San Gabriel Valley offer many excellent and affordable eateries. The Sam Woo Bar-B-Que  chain is a reliable choice, according to Shindler. You’ll find a Sam Woo location in San Gabriel Square, dubbed the “Great Mall of China,” at Valley Boulevard and Del Mar Avenue, with more than a dozen Chinese eateries. For something different, try the Islamic restaurant featuring cuisine from western China.

For Mexican, the El Taco Nazo chain (where the fish tacos are popular with Pomona students) is a great choice.

For Vietnamese, check out the popular Golden Deli in a strip mall at 815 W. Las Tunas Dr. in San Gabriel. With lines out the door, Golden Deli is prime example of Shindler’s simple technique for finding good ethnic restaurants: Look for the crowds.

What should you order? Shindler suggests you look around at what other patrons are eating and spot something appealing. “Then tell the waiter, ‘I want to try that,’” he says.
 
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