Chinese restaurant names have proven to be an interesting subject of their own. There's my Menuism article listing some of my favorite Chinese restaurant names. Then there was LA Times reporter Frank Shyong's personal blog article analyzing my Chinese restaurant listing for trends in Chinese restaurant names. Separately there's the issue of Chinese restaurants often having a lack of respect for American concepts of trade name protection. This has been most prominently demonstrated by names of famous Chinese restaurants in China and other parts of Asia being stolen by operators in the United States. Examples of such thievery include the use of the names Little Sheep, Din Tai Fung, 85 Degrees, Hui Lai Shan and Crystal Jade, all of which were eventually stamped out when those real restaurant chains became aware of the situation.
Another example of the lack of trade name respect is the current use of names like Northern Cafe and Tasty Noodle House by different, unrelated owners in the Los Angeles area, as well as Dolan's Uyghur Cuisine by unrelated parties in Los Angeles and Washington DC. And then there are nearly copycat names like the original Betelnut in San Francisco and the copycat Beatlenut in Miami. Then there's the recent opening of Longo Seafood in Rosemead, which I can't help but think is appropriation of the Longo car dealership name (what does Longo have to do with anything Chinese)? This was followed suspiciously soon after by New Century Lobster also opening up in Rosemead. (New Century BMW is one of the premiere car dealerships in the San Gabriel Valley, though admittedly New Century is much more generic than Longo.) I'm surprised that Apple Green Bistro is still operating in the shopping center directly across the street from the Apple II campus in Cupertino. And oldtimers may remember after Chinese seafood restaurants called ABC, NBC and CBS became popular in Los Angeles, they were followed by CNN Seafood and also NBA Seafood, too.
One can only speculate as to whether the newly opened Bistro Xia’s deliberately copied Bistro Na’s name or not, though given the possessive “Xia’s”, I would suspect so. Of course the similarity ends there because Bistro Xia’s is located in a well worn shopping center in Alhambra, and it serves a combination of Xi’an style and Shanghai style food, mostly noodles, but also a few other items, such as big plate chicken and some off menu specialties. However, while Bistro Xia’s is no Bistro Na’s, our first meal there was quite impressive. Particularly noteworthy was the Shanghai style yellowfish potherb noodle soup, one of the most flavorful noodle soups (if not the actual best) I can recall eating.
Our second dish was the Bistro Xia’s House Special Half Noodle Soup, called “half” because it was halfway between soupy and dry. Not as good as the yellowfish noodle soup, though I suspect if I had only eaten this dish I would have been quite impressed. Clearly there is bean paste in the sauce, but the lady claimed that it was only a small part of the concoction.