As California prepared to fully reopen, business at YungHo, a Taiwanese breakfast cafe on Valley Boulevard in San Gabriel, was almost back to normal.
Customers streamed in to pick up fried turnip cakes, rice porridge and youtiao, a churro-like fried dough, to go. A science teacher placed a large order of black sesame mochi and warm soy milk to celebrate her last Zoom class.
But the phone constantly rang with people asking questions that hinted at the upheaval of the last year: “Are you open for indoor dining?” “What items are still on the menu?”
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley Boulevard was a “complete ghost town,” the cafe’s manager, Andrew Zhang, recalled.
As vaccinations picked up and case counts