HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Used to love the Dim Sum at Empress Pavillion. Where should i go now?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Two good choices are

    Mission 261 in San Gabriel, LA Weekly review link below:



    Triumphal Palace
    500 W. Main St., Alhambra

    1. Babette, thanks for the info. I thought there would be a ton of responses to this post since there are so many dim sum restaurants in town, but i guess not.

      2 Replies
      1. re: carln

        Actually several varations of the same question have come up this year, so many posters probably assume you've seen them. Here's one of them to get you started.


      2. What happened? They've closed? I haven't heard.

        1 Reply
        1. well - we have always prefered Ocean Seafood in Chinatown - which is just a short distance from Empress

          9 Replies
          1. re: Theo

            Went to Ocean Seafood last weekend... it was good but I'm ready for something new... the garlic shrimp and pork buns are yummy but where else has as good if not better Dim Sum in L.A.?

            1. re: Peepingpalette

              Well, to summarize a number of previous posts, Sea Harbour, Happy Harbor, New Concept, Triumphal Palace, Mission 261, 888 Seafood, Ocean Star, NBC Seafood, Capital Seafood, Full House (Arcadia) and Hong Kong Palace. Note, however, these are all in Monterey Park or points east.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                Wow... Ta for the stunning breakdown! Will follow like the Tora...

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  And MPV on Garfield.

                  It would help if the OP would clarify what specifically about empress was found wanting. every place has a slightly different method and take.

                  1. re: Jerome

                    Well, not to speak for anybody else, but here was the last post I did about dim sum at Empress Pavillion.

                    "Finding ourselves in Chinatown this morning a little before 11 am and with a modest wait of only 10 to 15 minutes, we decided to give Empress Pavilion another try. What a mistake. Almost everything was awful. The worst cheung fun ever--the rice noodle wrapper was mushy on both varieties we tried. ("Dog food!" exclaimed Mrs. Chandavkl.) Baked cha shiu bao--my daughter took one bite and asked if anybody else wanted the rest. I bit into it--barely sweet, barely salty, again the worst I have ever eaten. Jellyfish--dry. I kind of liked the mango pudding, but the others thought it was nasty. Even the boba milk tea was terrible and overly sweet. Selection was absolutely pedestrian, with nothing interesting. Mrs. Chandavkl and I agreed, never again. The only good thing was that my daughter spotted Lisa Ling on her way out of the restaurant."

                    Other family members went back once more, and it wasn't any better.

                  2. re: Chandavkl

                    New Concept is superb just like (as a Board member put it) that your Chinese Grandmother, if you had one, is cooking for you. Absolute NO on Capital Seafood (Garvey branch) - didn't like the food, the service or the room. But big A+ to New Capital Seafood in the Diamond Shopping Center (Fullerton off ramp on 60) in Rowland Heights. Marvellous experience; my cousin from France is still talking about it.
                    Their variety, freshness, sweet attention to patrons and variety make this a favorite spot.

                    1. re: ZoeZ

                      ZoeZ -- With complete deference to the "different strokes for different folks" mentality, we have had the exact opposite experience.

                      We love Capital Seafood (in the 99 Ranch Center). Although not everything there is delicious, they do have an amazing selection of items. This means that every time we have dim sum there, each experience is unique because we are able to vary our menu. We also find the service staff to be extremely friendly! On several occasions, the manager will bring us new items to try and oftentimes scribbles "10%off" on our bill.

                      On the other hand, we waited for a very long time to get into New Capital (upstairs in that shopping center)and found both the food and the service to be cold. It was also not as clean as I prefer. With other good competitors, we have no reason to return...unless you can convince me.

                      1. re: ZoeZ

                        I went to New Concept in Rowland Heights last Wednesday (8/16), and was unimpressed. It was ok, but only ok. Fairly broad selection/large variety, but everything tasted kind of...I dunno...flat, I guess.

                        1. re: ZoeZ

                          I am responding to ricepad's comment about New Concept. I agree -- for me, it is a rather bland experience. I completely agree with ricepad's "flat" description.

                  3. thank you all for your input.

                    1. Carln - I don't care for Empress for dim sum. We have tried most of the others, and here are our three favorites at this time, in various orders at various times (we like each of them for different reasons):

                      Capital Seafood
                      755 West Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park (at Atlantic in the back corner of a mall with 99 Ranch Market)

                      888 Seafood
                      8450 Valley Blvd. in Rosemead (just down the sidewalk from Banh Mi Che Cali)

                      Hong Kong Palace
                      19101 Colima Road in Rowland Heights (at the end of a mall)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: liu

                        Liu, THANK YOU for even more Dim Sum places and locations. This is so much better than Zagats it's nutty! Brilliant, keep it coming!

                      2. my top 2 have already been mentioned:

                        full house in arcadia
                        888 in rosemead


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: wilafur

                          wilafur -- please do tell me about Full House in Arcadia. We have "almost gone" many times, but I am just a little leery. We passed by once quite awhile ago, and I think it had a "C" rating (???). Perhaps I am confusing it with somewhere else, so please tell me why you like it so much -- because we do agree on 888 in Rosemead.

                          1. re: liu

                            Actually, I just checked and Full House Seafood Restaurant in Arcadia as late as the end of July received a "73" health rating...hmmmmm:(

                            1. re: liu

                              well as they say "C" = chinese. :D

                              i truly do not have an issue with the ratings on restaurants....the reason being that i head out to asia and partake in grub purchased from the street vendors.......if i love doing that, a rating in the US doesn't matter to me. lol.

                        2. Ocean Star, Monterey Park-145 M Atlantic just N of Garvey, easy free parking. I've tried many mentioned on this topic and Ocean Star is best.
                          1. Very Good Food. To me, better than others.
                          2. Lots of variety. Many carts (like other Dim Sum restaurants decreases towards close of Dim Sum service)
                          3. No long wait, like at Empress Pavilion. Huge Hong Kong style "ball-room" seating area
                          4. Nicer environment than others which show worse for wear.
                          Try it, any better?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ilikefood

                            ilikefood -- It was perhaps two years ago that we were there and enjoyed it; other places have upstaged it in the past many months -- for reasons I really can't explain, but we have been on a wild quest for NEW dim sum options. With your current report, however, it is our destination for dim sum for this Saturday morning! Thanks!