I miss Eastern Pearl. The Chinese restaurant in Altamonte Springs, in my estimation, did some of the best Asian dishes in the area. At least back in 2000 when it first opened. The success of the Altamonte restaurant prompted the owners to open another, in 2009, near Orlando International Airport. But that one was merely OK, and perhaps the vagaries of operating two restaurants eventually brought down both.
Now in the place of the original Eastern Pearl is another Chinese restaurant, Yummy House, a small chain out of Tampa with six locations, all within Florida. According to its website, YH has won awards for its cuisine at its Tampa and Gainesville locations. But I don’t see any accolades coming to the Altamonte Springs restaurant any time soon.
When Nova opened almost a year ago in a redesigned space on North Orange Avenue at Virginia Drive, the crossroads that give it its name, I found the decor delightfully adult and sophisticated but the food was disappointing. I also said at the time that I wasn’t ready to give up on Nova because we need more restaurants like this in the downtown sector.
I’m glad I didn’t give up because Even better: it’s being cooked properly.