Finally. The ever elusive Momo Paradise was in my grasp as I walked in with my group for lunch on a balmy Sunday afternoon (April 17th 2016). Why elusive you ask? Well, dear readers, this place is harder to get in than some clubs at Vegas.
It was never specified that they preferably take reservations than walk-ins. I have attempted to try and eat here on three different occasions. The first time was during soft opening to which they said they weren’t “open to the public” even though I was told public soft opening was March 28th-31st 2016. Denied. So we waited until they had their grand opening, gave them a week and decided to walk-in for dinner one weekday night. Instead of dinner what we got was “Sorry, we don’t take walk-ins, reservations only”. What. The. Fuck. Denied again. Finally we attempted to make reservations and because my boyfriend’s work schedule is a little strange, I tried calling three days ahead of time. Apparently they were booked for the next seven says, was asked if I wanted to try scheduling for next week. Ugh. Conflicted with work schedule, decided to give up.
Thought I was never going to get in, thankfully a friend decided to get a spot on a Sunday for his birthday. Bless his little soul.
The first thing I noticed was that it felt like I had walked into a freezer. Perhaps it was to keep their vegetables fresh? So duly remember to always bring a jacket with you, Momo Paradise cranks their a/c up like no other, my body was frozen the entire time I was eating. The hot soup was no help, that’s how cold it was. But asides from that they have rather spacious seating, but no more than 6 people tables though. We had 8 and we had to be separated to two tables.
They had a boba station, also known as the “Drink Garden”. Yeah, that’s right– BOBA STATION. It has a variety of soda options and a few selections of toppings like lychee jelly, coffee jelly, and some kind of green jelly and boba. The day we went the tea was a passion fruit green tea and matcha milk tea. The passion fruit green tea was very watered down for my preference so I would keep the ice light. We proceeded to the “Farmer’s Market” that had an array of different vegetables like bak choy, burdock, enoki mushrooms, sliced king’s mushrooms, tofu, napa cabbage, etc. They also had pork balls and a fried fish ball, although I personally felt the meatball selection was lacking. A beef ball addition would’ve been nice. The pork balls were definitely the highlight and highly recommended, very delicious and flavorful.
The service was quite stellar, everyone was so friendly and nice. Our waitress recommended the sukiyaki, but since not everyone ate sukiyaki we also opted for tonkotsu. David (the manager? Owner? Not quite sure) even took the time to teach us how to properly eat sukiyaki style with the raw egg dipping. Not my cup of tea. I stuck with the tonkotsu. Only down side was that because of the dual soup bases, everyone at the stable was charged an extra $2.00 for “extra sauces” (tonkotsu came with ponzu and goma and sukiyaki came with water and warishita sauce). But all the staff made sure we got everything we needed and that our plates were served and taken away at a timely matter so that they didn’t end up taking space and stacking.
Meat options were limited to pork and beef only, but came in three different varieties. We each ordered one of everything which consisted of pork, lean beef, and fatty beef (4 slices per plate). My personal favorite was the lean beef, it was tender and lacked that gelatinous texture of fat and complemented very well with the ponzu sauce. The fatty beef didn’t leave an impression with me at all, it kind of faded into existence for the duration of the meal as I never ordered it again. The pork was my least favorite, I got a really bad end where the whole thing was essentially fat. I took a bite-NOPE. It was very unappetizing. I didn’t attempt to order it again. But overall, the meat didn’t exactly blow me away though.
After the meal, you are given ice cream which I didn’t care for. The bill ended up being $37.00 and some change per person for lunch since weekends are dinner prices of $27.95 plus tax and tip. For a hearty eater it’s very good deal if you can ingest more than 5 plates of meat, took advantage of side add-ons, drinks, and dessert. I ended up eating 3 plates of meat (12 slices), one plate of vegetables, and a drink. General conclusion is that I didn’t feel like it was worth $40.00 for a person like me with the quality that was served. I would’ve expected a little wider selection of meat and maybe expand the meatball and drink options as well for $40.00. I mean there were some good things, but the overall end feeling of this place was average.
Address: 17596 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748