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‘It Might Not Ever Be the Same Again:’ How Asian Restaurants in the S.G.V. Are Surviving Coronavirus, an L.A. Taco Exclusive Video

[dropcap size=big]L.A.'s[/dropcap] San Gabriel Valley has long been considered one of the country’s top food powerhouses when it came to regional Chinese, Vietnamese, Taiwanese, and many cuisine styles. 

But when Coronavirus hit the United States, this otherwise strength and notoriety rendered it as one as of the first food communities to feel the blight of COVID-19’s assault on restaurants. In a matter of days, before the State or County-mandated restaurant closures, many restaurant owners in the area reported up to an 80 percent loss in sales. 

This looming tragedy captured the attention of third-generation San Gabriel Valley resident and queer Chinese American filmmaker, Jared Namba

“We have patronized several of the restaurants featured in this film for many years. Given the virus’s origins in China and the resulting anti-Chinese & anti-Asian sentiment, I feel an immense responsibility as a member of this community to help highlight the challenges we are facing.”

Fueled by this feeling of responsibility to his community, Namba along with his film partner Sazzy Gourley, contacted their favorite restaurant owners via filmed online interviews. The result is this short documentary that puts a face to many of the San Gabriel Valley’s most popular eating destinations and tugs at your noodle-obsessed heartstrings. 

Challenges unique to Asian restaurants, such as online menu translations, the complexities of partnering with App delivery companies, the difficulties accessing government loans & navigating rent payments, and existential reflections on community support from within the San Gabriel Valley are just some of the topics explored in the project. 

It features the voices of the hard-working people behind Delicious Food Corner, Earth Kitchen, Labobatory, Lunasia Dim Sum, Sichuan Impression, Taipei Bistro, Tasty Noodle House, Uniboil, and Yang's Kitchen.

“Ultimately, I hope this story can put a face to the challenges and resilience of the local food community during this time while offering concrete actions for everyday Americans and the government to strengthen our communities.”

Watch the full film below.

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