I’m sure many of you are scratching your heads since few of you have heard of Enlighten Bistro 168. It’s currently in soft opening in the old Marie Callender’s at 820 S. Baldwin in Arcadia, four blocks up from Chef Tony. I will caveat that it’s in soft opening, having been open only a couple of weeks, with what might be an abbreviated menu, and I only had a chance to try six dishes, but I would be surprised that when the smoke clears this isn’t the best dim sum in town. As big of a cheerleader as I am for Los Angeles having the best Chinese food in the country, the one area where we fall short is dim sum, where there are several dim sum operations there which I prefer to anything here in Los Angeles. In this regard, Enlighten Bistro is much more reminiscent to me of Bay Area dim sum rather than San Gabriel Valley.
This is their golden har gow, their equivalent to the squid ink shrimp dumpling with gold leaf, and which conservatively is as good as, if not better than Chef Tony’s.
Paging @J_L . He hinted at a write up last week and was the first to mention Enlighten Bistro. He said it was much better than Chef Tony for what it’s worth. Sounds like a promising new entrant into the dim sum game.
I would switch the scale so 10 would be the best dim sum in the US. Otherwise the scale would be meaningless because Hong Kong dim sum is so much better. That would give 10 to Dragon Beaux and Palatte, 9 to HL Peninsula, projecting 8 to Enlighten and 7 to Sea Harbour, Lunasia and Chef Tony Arcadia.
Tried out 17 items today. It was a hit and miss experience for me and not quite on the same level as other hard hitters in SGV when it comes to execution. Overall, it’ll a good addition to that part of town.