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HELP!! Best DIMSUM in downtown Chinatown for this weekend?

Hi All,

I need to arrange a dimsum this weekend. Can NOT travel all the way to San Gabriel Valley, Rowland Heights, Monterey Park, etc. Downtown Chinatown will have to do.

Any suggestions?

It would have to be open early this Saturday or Sunday. I'm meeting family around 9:30/10 am? Is this possible?

Thanks...you're all lifesavers!

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  1. Empress Pavilion? Hop Li?

    1. You'll get many on this board who like Empress Pavilion. I prefer Ocean Seafood, 750 N. Hill. Website says they open early.


      1 Reply
      1. re: Sandra W

        Hop Li does not serve dim sum and you're right there are amny out here that give the primary nod to Empress Pavillion as do I. Someone told me to try the Golden Dragon wo which I had not been for many years because I really thought their quality had fallen off. I went there on a weekday, the place was packed and my lunch partner and I were one of the few caucasians in the place. The selection was incredible and was very very good. Maybe worth another look for many who have also not been there in a long time.

      2. Second Ocean Seafood, it's better than Empress and more variety. CBS is also good. I think Golden Dragon may be packed mostly bc of the prices.

        1. Empress Pavillion. (period!!!) They open 8:00am.
          You will do well if you get there by 10:00am otherwise after 10:30 there will be a wait once they fill up the restaurant.

          1. Thanks for all your passionate responses! I was just curious for what reason people like Empress more than Ocean Seafood, and vice versa.

            Is it regarding the QUALITY of the food, the prices, the decor or the service?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Liquid Sky

              Personally, I think Empress is the standard by which you should measure all dim sum in Chinatown from the food to the restaurant itself. I think Ocean Seafood is OK, but the place is a little worn and greasy around the edges. When I say greasy, the carpets and place could be a little cleaner. If you use the wait time and lines they get at Empress, that should be enough to tell you which one is the most popular.

              1. re: monku

                Wait time doesn't necessarily mean anything. Look at the lines outside of the Cheesecake Factory in pasadena.
                True, Ocean should probably clean their carpet, like a long time ago. But their dim sum is very good, plus variety is better than Empress, plus service is much better than Empress. At Empress you have to practically fall out of your chair flagging the cart ladies down.

            2. Empress Pavilion is far better.
              You need to have some patience...
              wait for a while, drink tea...
              carts will come with new things...
              don't just keep getting things
              from the same carts. The small portions
              of gingery tripe are my favorite.
              Not the big huge bowls. I lived
              downtown for many years and ate dim
              sum in Monterrey Park and downtown.
              Empress Pavillion will suit one well.
              Unless you want pork blood. Then go
              to MP.

              Ocean Seafood is churning out
              (if one can do) chewy, flacid rice
              coated ugly meat called dim sum.

              If you want juicy dumplings--
              not dim sum, but dumplings go to
              Din Tai Fung. They are wonderful.
              Maybe the best dumpling in the world.

              1. OK! Look forward to trying Empress Pavilion. I've only had East Coast dimsum. Will be interesting to compare.

                Thanks, Hounds!!

                1. wait, ABC, or its CBS, its on ord, just as you're going down to phillipe's (which is an AMAZING french dip place if you didnt know)

                  1. and if you go to monterey park, you have to go to Ocean Star thats on atlantic and garvey. they have so many people come on weekends, that you know the food is going fast, and made fresh. i never go to places that dont have a lot of people, then i know that the food has been sitting there for a LONG time. trust me i am chinese.