Dim Sum in LA

I did a search and only came up with Zhou.

I know there must be many places for good Dim Sum in LA. Could you LA folks names your favorites?

zhou is in Tustin.

The usual suspects are in San Gabriel Valley …

Elite, Sea Harbour, king hua, shanghai number 1, lunasia and shi hai.


Our long-time favorite has been 888, on Valley about halfway between San Gabriel and Rosemead Boulevards. Probably not the best around, but we always have a good time and eat too much for not a lot of money. It’s carts, of course. Maybe not as fresh, but more fun.

Pasadena fairly recently got a Lunasia, which I haven’t gotten around to trying; it’s had good reports. Mrs. O and I had a fine lunch atFull House, in the shopping center at Golden West and Duarte; that was years ago when it was much smaller, but they get good reviews now as well.


Downhill alert at Elite?

My last visit I observed lower quality food and a price increase. Anyone else have this experience or just an anomaly?

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Actually, the pickings are rather slim in LA city proper. There’s Empress Pavillion etc downtown, and one place I can think of on the Westside (The Palace Seafood), but other than that, your best bet is to schlep out to the San Gabriel Valley. I’m partial to Elite.

Unfortunately, not an anomaly. I am of the same opinion.

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My list in order of my preferences.

Sea Harbour (menu)

China Red (menu)

Lunasia / Alhambra (menu)

Elite (menu)

Shanghai No. 1 (menu)

888 (cart)

Ocean Star (cart)

*Also, do a search in Chowhound for “SGV” and “dim sum” and then set aside about a week to read through all the bickering back and forth.


Also a fan of 888. My family loves it because they’re consistently solid–worst case is an “average” meal, yet we find something to be a bit of a standout just about every visit. And when they’re firing on all cylinders? We also like how we seem to always find something new each time we go. Oh, and the pineapple buns. My mother loves the pineapple buns.

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Several years ago my son and his wife were visiting, and his mother, her husband and my son’s half-brother drove down from Soquel. They’re big dim sum fans, regulars in San Francisco’s Chinatown places, so we all went to 888. We ate well, everyone was happy, but my “ex” kept casting worried looks at the chop marks piling up on the tab sheet. Finally she said something to her husband, and then quietly offered to pay the bill. I calmly refused … and then when the check came for a bit over $65 she was astounded. “Didn’t they leave a number out somewhere?” she asked. “Surely that should be at least $165!” I assured her that $10 per head was about average in our part of the world …

In all seriousness, though, this does represent a situation in which the kitchen grunts are working for pennies, a fact that Tony Bourdain (among other observers) has brought up as not something we should be celebrating. Although I’m not advocating tripling prices to SF levels, and I like food bargains as much as the next glutton, I do think the SGV restaurateurs’ race to the bottom got there a long time ago and simply can’t go on.

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Sea Harbour is my favorite…

photo from www.foodspotting.com

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Last summer I did a dim sum survey on Fridays (less crowded, but also less turnover). Tried the usual suspects - Elite, Sea Harbour, Lunasia, Ocean Star etc. My favorite atmosphere + food was King Hua, but really, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones mentioned here.

I’d agree with ipsedixit and wiener:

Sea Harbour for Dim Sum is tops in my book. :smile:

Will have to travel to OC some time to try this Zhou place peeps are talking about.

@nashwill: Will! Glad you found us. Welcome to our new home. :wink:

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Although some think expensive for dim sum, I like Bao on Beverly and Switzer. Still not expensive and has a full bar and a nicer than most ambience.

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NBC in Monterey Park is dependable. Capital Seafood in Monterey Park is okay, but it does have a very convenient storefront for takeout nearby–a lot better than Yum Cha cafe.

I didn’t like Monterey Palace. Service was bad even by my ridiculously low standards.

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When you do try the following in addition to your usual rotation.

  1. House special seafood dumplings
    2 . Sea cucumber soup dumplings (seafood dumplings with sea cucumber in ham broth)
  2. steamed rice paper with spinach and fish paste (and an additional layer of fried beancurd skin)
  3. beancurd skin rolls with assorted mushrooms
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ipse, possible to grab a few of those egg custards to go from China Red ??? if you happen to know or anyone else does. those sound fucking incredible.

and I thought the dim sum from Sea Harbour was OK but nothing compared to their intricate offerings during dinner service of sundry seafood such as live rockfish, live crab, conpoy, braised abalone, sea cucumber and the like ???

btw, the new-ish joint from Irvine sounds like it’s missing from the list that everyone is raving about now ??? is it not very good there ???

Thanks Porthos! :smile: Will do.

ALL of you are completely wonderful!! Thank you a thousand times over.

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overall favorite(s): (all in the SGV)

1a) sea harbour/elite (i would give weight to recent reports concerning decrease in quality vis a vis elite, i haven’t been there recently)

these are menu driven. these are also the most expensive; i can easily break $25-30 per person ordering there.

1b) little to none of the top end items you can get at sea harbour/elite an consequently more affordable.

also menu driven. sticking with the usual suspects in terms of selections, you can get in & out for $15-20 including tax & tip

king hua / red china

red china might be slightly better in terms of quality, but the size of their menu is more limited. and get the macau style egg tarts there.

some folks like lunasia at this level. i don’t, but it’s subjective.

  1. more of the original experience - go with friends, sit, drink tea, gossip, order an occasional item from a passing cart to justify holding your table: $10-12 will do it.

ocean star / 888

888 has more seasonal varieties.

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You sure can.

But when you order it, you must say the following:

  • “Tāh mā de, I want some tāh māh de egg tarts. And that ain’t no tāh māh
    de joke.”