Venue Details

44 Star Starred
Esotouric Bus, At Cafe Metropol
923 East 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90013
213-373-1947
Get directions
vhp510
There are many parking lots around Phillipe's usually $5
East Side Babylon Crime Bus Tour info Nov 02 2009 star this tip starred
vhp510
Bring snacks, or have breakfast before.
East Side Babylon Crime Bus Tour info Nov 02 2009 star this tip starred

Reviews & Ratings

6 ratings
4.3 average rating
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3 events
1 review
0 stars
attended Jul 12 2008

Loved the dim sum and wine pairings; loved the tea sampling. I don't think it's appropriate to go traipsing around a trailer park where people who have less than us live. I bet they felt like they were animals in the zoo.

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13 events
3 reviews
3 stars
attended Feb 05 2011

It was interesting and Ifound something interesting about cascade fountains in Monterey Park as weel as about culture of tea preparation

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More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“Discover L.A.’s lurid and fascinating underbelly on these hip, offbeat, insightful and entertaining tours.” —Lonely Planet 

Description

In the past three decades the communities of Alhambra and Monterey Park, nestled in the foothills of the southwestern San Gabriel Valley, have transformed themselves from sleepy suburban bedroom communities (bursting at the seams from a 1950s housing explosion) to the nexus of a pan-Asian megalopolis spreading east to Diamond Bar and beyond to the county line. Fueled by immigration from Taiwan, Hong Kong, more recently South East Asia, these communities have found their identity, their economic base, and have come into their own as a new type of American “chinatown.”

Hosted by Richard Schave, The New Chinatowns is an entertaining and illuminating historical and cultural bus tour that rolls through Alhambra, San Gabriel, Rosemead and (mainly) Monterey Park exploring significant people, remarkable places and delicious delicacies. Join us as we explore the region’s fascinating history, from the land and oil booms of the 1920s, its halcyon postwar days as a suburban outpost for lower middle class Angelenos, the birthplace of the Hula Hoop (Wham-o Industries), to the “white flight” of the 1970s which created the vacuum that facilitated the first wave of migration from China. Among the significant sites on our itinerary:

  • The Venice Room (Monterey Park), a groovy grill-your-own-steak bar, still family-run after forty years.
  • Browning Realty (Monterey Park), site of the 1920s oil mania and still a family enterprise after eighty-plus years.
  • El Encanto (Monterey Park), exquisite showplace of the failed 1920s luxury housing development intended as the Beverly Hills of the East.
  • Mission Superhardware (San Gabriel), still run by the Fabriano family after more than seven decades, and previously where Howard

Roach built some of the Southland’s first television sets.

  • Site of the original Laura Scudder potato chip factory (Monterey Park).
  • Tea tasting.

Today Monterey Park is at the crossroads of economic development. After three decades spent fostering independent businesses fueled by immigrant’s dreams and sweat, the city is looking to bring in big business, which it claims is desperately needed for its tax base. Can this unique and quintessentially independent community survive another identity crisis, another land boom, this time of a distinctly corporate nature?

Special attention will be paid in the route to a compelling side effect of this sociological revolution: the best Asian food in the world is here as well. The tour will end with a tea tasting.