Capital Noodle Bar Costa Mesa

Pretty average.

Located between Irvine and Westminster and that’s where the food is too.

The XLB are not good. Pass on these.

The sautéed string beans quite tasty and flavorful. Not dumbed down at all.

The spicy beef noodle soup with shank, tendon, and tripe is more akin to Vietnamese or Chiu Chao style beef stew than the Taiwanese or Chinese version. Not much protein in this one.

My friend summed it up best: it’s a more expensive and not as good version of Trieu Chau.

1 Like

I have always been curious about this place but the Irvine one. I always see it parking in the Nordstroms garage but never had an itch to try it.

Irvine branch is terribly popular so that explains the second branch in Costa Mesa. What I don’t understand is why it’s so popular as the food is nothing special and it’s pricey to boot.

It’s the rich kids from the mainland.

They eschew the more traditional places in search of haute Chinese so that they can hop on WeChat and QQ and brag about how they’re eating expensive Chinese food.

I quite like the dim sum at irvine spectrum Capital Seafood.

Interesting how Capitol Noodle Bar is descended from Kim Tar, which definitely was not upscale.

You have try try the dim sum at J Zhou in Tustin. It’s leagues beyond Capital Seafood.

Thanks for the tip! I’ll give it a try!

JZhou is too inconsistent to be rated Top 3. Like the little girl with the curl, it can be very, very good–or not. And at the prices they charge I think they owe better consistency to their customers.

Respectfully disagree.

I think Sea Harbour and Elite are too stagnant and standard in their selection to be considered tops. There have been no updates in like a decade. Koi Palace in SF still adds new items to their menu and J Zhou in the short time they have been open have added several new items also. The sea cucumber dumplings in ham broth are superb. They’re not just serving the same 10-15 items everyone else around town is doing.

Pricing is no different from Elite and Sea Harbour.

Koi Palace’s roast pork was incredibly delicious. How does J Zhou’s rate, or where is your favorite around LA/OC?

Never had the roast pork there but the suckling pig was outstanding. Better than my previous favorite which was Elite. Skin is thinner and crisper and the meat more tender and moist.

Now dinner can get a bit more expensive than Elite and Sea Harbour if you start doing the braised abalone, live fish, and king crab. Dinner is also a clear notch above.

1 Like

There are and have been updates to both Sea Harbour and Elite. As well as Lunasia and even King Hua.

They were out of suckling pig when I visited Koi, so the fallback was the roast pig, which is still the first dish that comes to mind when thinking of Koi.

@Porthos Wow! That suckling pig looks DELICIOUS! :smile: /jealous.

Which ones?

Sea Harbour has had specials of things like crispy duck rolls with bitter melon, scallop puffs with honey ham, pan fried turnip carrot cake, and a dragonfruit custard.

From what I recall, Elite was doing a rice roll thing with pig’s liver and a ginseng steamed chicken feet.

My next question is how many other people have seen these specials? And if they are still on the menu?

Not saying they didn’t exist but if they were that transient they were probably not that successful.

You just have to ask what the specials are.

It’s like every time I’m at Sea Harbour I ask if they have fresh abalone. You’re not going to be told unless you ask. Sometimes I wish I didn’t. At least my bank account wishes I didn’t.