dim sum in SF
I'm going to be in San Francisco in July and I would love to have some excellent dim sum while I'm there. I've grown up eating NYC dim sum, and I would love an equal if not better experience.
Go to Ton Kiang on Geary (near 22nd Avenue). It is the best dim sum I have ever had, hands down. They have loads
of dishes I have never seen anywhere else, and during two hours I spent there, I never saw anything twice.
I have been dreaming of Ton Kiang ever since, and have even seriously contemplated a trip to SF just so I can go there
Anyone know a place that comes close in L.A.? I have been searching with no success. Help!
re: Jane Tunks
The two hands-down best places for dim sum in L.A. are Empress Pavilion in Chinatown and Harbor Village in Monterey Park, each of which is a grand, massive, marble-encrusted HK-affiliated banquet palace that moves a thousand people through on weekend mornings.
If your idea of dim sum is a little inclusive, the Taiwanese breakfasts at Yung Ho in San Gabriel is swell for soy milk and such, and JZY in San Gabriel, a new branch of a century-old Beijing cafe, has exquisite Beijing-style snacks.
re: jonathan gold
I know that Jonathan and other L.A. food critics have
had lots of good things to say about the dim sum at
Harbor Village, but my experience there yesterday was
disappointing. The selection was limited. Even
standards like lo bak ko were not to be had, much less
crisp-skinned suckling pig. Some items were luke warm,
and seemed like they had been on the cart a bit too
long. Otherwise, quality was good, but no better than
the other Monterey Park dim sum palaces like Ocean Star
and NBC, which in my recent experiences offered a much
wider selection of items that seemed fresher from the
kitchen. I'd be interested comments from other
ChowHounds on the Los Angeles dim sum scene to see if I
just caught Harbor Village on an off day, or if,
perhaps, the place is slipping.
re: Tom Armitage
Tom, I think there is a problem with Harbour Village.
You didn't catch them on an off day. I have not been
to this Harbour Village, but was at the one in San
Francisco (I believe they are part of the same group)
last year. I had a terribly disappointing dim sum
lunch there. I think it's time to look elsewhere.
re: j gold
Thanks, Gary and Jonathan. It will be difficult to
persuade my wife to return to Harbor Village ("why
should we go there when we've had better dim sum
elsewhere?"), but I'll try to give it another chance
or two. I'm not sure about the "mobbed-holiday-
weekend" rationale, Jonathan. My experience at all the
major L.A. dim sum palaces on any given Saturday or
Sunday is that they are very busy, with a reasonably
substantial wait for a table. Even under the usual
crowded weekend conditions, I've had some wonderful dim
sum food at Empress Pavilion, Ocean Star, and NBC, and,
a small notch down, at Regal Seafood in Torrance. The
crowd and the wait at Harbor Village last Monday didn't
seem out of the ordinary.
re: Tom Armitage
Good dim sum houses are always mobbed. But still--there's something about the third day of a three-day weekend that always seems specifically to bring out the worst in dim sum restaurants--perhaps because they always run out of stuff that there's been no time to replenish; perhaps because they're dead on their (chicken) feet. I can't tell you how many Memorial Days or Labor Days I've shown up to ABC or Seaworld and found nothing but fried taro and those weird stewed pig tubes. When I don't get an order of dofu fa, I'm a very cranky fellow.
re: j gold
The late response to your post, Jonathan, is due to
the fact that I've been in New Mexico, partly to learn
more about Anasazi culture, and partly to find the
ultimate bowl of New Mexico Green. Anyway, your
response is intriguing. I'll try putting it to the
test. As you could tell, my response to my last
experience at Harbor House (Monterey Park) was
re: Tom Armitage
Just had a terrific dim sum lunch at Park Hong Kong Restaurant on Geary and 18th, used to be called Hong Kong Flower Garden. Highlights included sweet pork buns (if better sense hadn't restrained me I could have eaten five or six, instead of one and a half); fish cakes, sticky rice, pork-stuffed eggplant, dumplings, and oh so much more... an amazing lobster special passed by the table but we were so overcrowded with dishes at that point we didn't get a chance to try it.
re: Rachel Hope
My favorite dim sum parlor is Yank Sing on Battery St.
It's huge (2 floors), noisy & jammed but the food is super. They have never run out of anything when I've been there. They have another location on Stevenson St. Another good sign..the place is always filled with Chinese people and very few tourists.