Filling a Dim Sum Hole

userpic=levysBack in June, I wrote about how our usual dim sum palace, Empress Pavilion in Chinatown, had given up the ghost. This wasn’t that much of a loss, as Empress had been going downhill. Still, it necessitated a hunt for a new place.

During the summer, we foreyed out for dim sum again. I had gotten the Zagat list of top dim sum palaces in the city, and had selected NBC Seafood. Why? First, we had eaten there once before and I had good memories. They got decent reviews, had carts, and had a lot of parking. I had a whole chain of reasoning that, looking back, I never wrote down where I could find it again :-(.

A few days ago, a friend of my wife called and wanted to go out for dim sum. Our daughter asked her friend for suggestions, and he found the KCET list. They pushed to go to Seafood Harbour in Rosemead,  which lots of folks thought was the best. Although I indicated I would prefer NBC Seafood (or even trying A&W Northridge, which is right around the corner), I was overrulled. So this morning we trudged out to Rosemead and Seafood Harbour.

My opinion: I don’t think we’ve found the Empress replacement yet. Seafood Harbour certainly isn’t it.

Let me start with the positives: the food was good. There was some dim sum we hadn’t seen before, and the quality of what we had was excellent. Perhaps this is why it is highly rated.

Now for the negatives: parking was tighter than NBC, and due to the fact the restaurant was smaller, the wait was significantly longer (we got there at 10:30am, and were not seated until after 11:30am). There are no carts — you have to order from a picture menu, and you can do two rounds. I prefer carts — first, you may discover something new that looks tasty; second, there is less of a tendancy to over-order. More significantly, some of my favorites — plain BBQ pork and lemon tarts — we not on the menu. Further, it was harder to special order and obtain gluten-free items for my wife. I also felt that the bill total was a little high.

I think that next time we’ll either go back to NBC Seafood in Monterey Park, perhaps try Ocean Star in Monterey Park (which is up the street from NBC), both of which are honorable mentions on the LA Weekly list. Perhaps we’ll try the local A&W in either Northridge or Granada Hills.  Another possibility is Empress Harbor, which was on the LA Weekly list. Elite, which is also on many lists, is out for being cart-less. For those reading this in Southern California: Do you have a favorite place you want to recommend?