Green onion pancakes and steamed pork buns individually wrapped in plastic at the 99 Ranch hot bar. A wheeled robot serving dim sum at Longo Seafood. Masks hanging off the ears of the Chinese millennials who smoke and play cards outside Boba Ave 8090 in San Gabriel.
The new normal in the east San Gabriel Valley is here, and things may never be the same along Valley Boulevard, a vibrant commercial corridor that joins the four majority-Asian cities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, Rosemead and San Gabriel.
Over the last decade, Chinese investment has transformed the area into an internationally known tourist area, and Valley Boulevard has become a kind of bellwether for Chinese investment in Southern California. Its fortunes can rise and fall according to the ups and downs of the U.S. relationship with China, and in the past, the region’s internationally diversified economy has helped it weather recessions and