Taking over the old Mandarin Kitchen location on Westwood Boulevard, Dim Sum House hopes to capture the a piece of the Westside dim sum market. It’s always a tricky proposition to go to a restaurant on its first day of operations, but it’s the only time slot which fits my schedule this week, so here we go!!!
No photo of the outside signage, because the contractor was still on a ladder in front of the restaurant, putting up the sign as we dined!
Tea was not offered when we sat down - I had to ask. Then I was told there was no jasmine tea; only oolong.
Our server then informed us that not all menu items were available yet (actually only about 40% of the menu was available, and thus we could not try some of the more interesting-looking items on this visit). This is understandable, I suppose, as this was their very first day of dim sum service.
No napkins on the table settings. Had to ask for napkins. Huh?
We ordered eight items up front, and they materialized over the course of the next HOUR…
Xiaolongbao: These were okay. I do like how piping hot these were when they arrived at our table. No porcelain soup spoons to enjoy the soup - And no, they don’t have those spoons at the table setting either.
BBQ Pork Rice Noodle Roll (AKA Cheung Feng): Pretty tasty! But they were less than warm on arrival, which distracted from the full enjoyment.
Steamed Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce: A good standard to gauge dim sum is this classic dish. And the rendition at Dim Sum House is quite good!
Sesame Ball: The sole dessert item available today came out next, and these were decent as well. And warm!
Coriander Scallion Rice Roll: Really nice. But again, this was served at a lower temperature than what I am used to for this dish…
Steamed Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce: Solid. Nice texture on those phoenix claws, and the au jus was delicious.
Baked BBQ Pork Buns (AKA Baked Char Siu Bao): Lovely, but again, just a tad cooler than what I’d like to see.
Shiu Mai:Good temperature, but sort of a mess in the flavor department.
Overall, many of the missteps in today’s dim sum meal, especially those with pacing, were likely attributable to “first day jitters”, so a return trip is definitely needed for a proper review. But the temperature issues may just be due to lack of the healthy turnover we are used to seeing at busier dim sum houses. It is worth noting that the flavor of most of the dishes are either on target (or close to it) for proper dim sum. Gotta come back to Dim Sum House on a later date!
Dim Sum House
1822 Westwood Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90025