How fitting that showdown #4 is about a restaurant named ‘Four Seas’ in Chinese. This place is not to be confused with the restaurant of a similar name in Hacienda Heights. When I arrived at Si Hai around 11am, I was hoping that the breakfast rush would be over, but the line that went from the checkout at the back of the restaurant to the front door said otherwise. Luckily, it moved at just the right speed for me to decide on what to order by the time I got to the counter.
I ordered a regular fan tuan (rice roll), my usual judge of a Northern Chinese/Shanghai breakfast joint. Their fan tuan did not disappoint. The you tiao (fried crueller) inside was still crisp and hot, but what really impressed me was the rice wrapping up the whole thing. It was pleasantly soft and sticky. It made me realize how firm the rice at other places was. This was definitely not reheated.
Another regular I always order is savory dou jiang. It’s just soy milk with some sort of curdling agent and savory toppings. My favorite place for this used to be Mei Lin Tou Jiang, but I have to say the version here beat it. The dou jiang was thick but still creamy, the toppings were good (especially the little seaweed flakes), and the milk tasted fresh.
My two go-to restaurants when I’m craving this style of breakfast used to be Yi Mei for the fan tuan and Mei Lin Tou Jiang for the soy milk, but it seems like I don’t have to choose between those two places anymore. Si Hai Restaurant has good renditions of both dishes! And it’s priced reasonably.
I haven’t tried any of their other foods like jian bing, but I’m glad to have found a new place for my favorite type of breakfast that has good fan tuan and soymilk. I still like the style of you tiao from Mei Lin just because the texture is more satisfying, but that’s not usually noticeable unless you eat one by itself dipped in some sweet soy milk. I’ll probably still return to Mei Lin for that.
Si Hai Restaurant
708 E. Las Tunas Dr. #A
San Gabriel, CA 91176
Previous Breakfast Showdowns: