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dim sum for experts - between la and oc?

i'd like your recommendations for dim sum spots between la and orange county for a large party that includes "dim sum experts." ideally, it would be perfect if it was also a little on the "nicer" side since we'll be celebrating a special occasion. thanks.

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  1. How do you mean "between la and orange county"? Do you mean a location on the border? Or do you mean anything within the two counties? If the latter there are plenty of dim sum discussions here on this board. There are several possibilities in Monterey Park with various pros and cons. Check out those threads.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PeterL

      i am looking for a place that will be convenient to our guests who are coming from la and from orange county. i would rather not have the orange county guests drive to monterey park, for example. thanks.

      1. re: wowimadog

        Third the Rowland Heights choice. It's about 1/2 hour up 57 from Costa Mesa and about, and about 35 minutes from Pasadena (all assuming no traffic).

        I would say that Happy Harbour is your best bet in terms of food quality and the decoration is at least not tacky. It's the more upscale out of the 3 mentioned.

        New Capital is cheap, but the one time I went while the dishes tasted fine most of it are with the cheaper ingredients (i.e. not seafood - shrimp, etc.)

    2. Rowland heights would be your best bet.

      you can try New Capital (all the dishes are 1.90), they have private rooms to seat large parties.

      Also there is Happy harbor which is nicer but its not a push cart dimsum, you order off a menu.

      rowland heights is a perfect distance between both OC/LA.

      http://clayfood.blogspot.com

      5 Replies
      1. re: clayfu

        Rowland Heights also has Hong Kong Palace, which can be a little inconsistent, but when it is good, it rivals some of the best.

        1. re: liu

          I was at Hong Kong Palace last week for the second time, and I didn't find it that impressive. Some items were good, some were hit and miss, and the variety of dishes was just average. To be fair, I was there on a weekday, when the menus are usually less items than on the weekends. I don't think "dim sum experts" would be impressed.

          I would heartily agree on the recommendation of Happy Harbour in Rowland Heights. Haven't yet been to New Capital, so I can't comment about them.

          1. re: Wonginator

            Wonginator, I am glad you posted about Hong Kong Palace. We used to go there a lot, but we have not been there in many months. We have had some really good dim sum experiences there, but it is probably not dependable for impressing the "dim sum experts" -- as the original poster is hoping.

            So, let's cancel our vote for Hong Kong Palace for this outing, but we will continue to visit there occasionally for a change.

            1. re: liu

              I was told that they changed their chefs.....maybe the reason for the drop. But they are still as busy as ever on the weekends for dim sum, but their weeknight business is not what it was before.

              1. re: jkao1817

                Interesting bit of info, jkao. When did this change happen?

                Seriously, we have had some of our best dim sum experiences there; maybe they peaked a couple of years back! It was the first time I was introduced to their almond tea...oh, my! I have had it since, elsewhere, and it is not such a novelty anymore, but when they were good, we thought they were really one of the best at that time -- years ago.

      2. Concur, New Capital if you want cheap but good. Happy Harbour for the order-off-the-menu experience, and stuff with foie gras.

        Photos of New Capital:
        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2006/...

        Photos of Happy Harbour (formerly Sea Harbour):
        http://elmomonster.blogspot.com/2005/...

        1 Reply
        1. re: elmomonster

          To make the decision easier:

          More refined food, order off menu -> Happy Harbour
          More rustic food, flag down carts -> New Capital

          Matter of personal preference. Both are tasty, but I tend to want to have more service and be waited on. I don't like the distraction of looking for the carts while I am trying to eat at the same time. Others find cart checking festive and exciting (guess like looking for buried treasures).

        2. problem is, i believe happy harbour has a much smaller selection of food.

          at least dimsum wise, you won't find half of the dishes they have at New Capital. New Capital in Rowland does alot of the "experiment/trial" dishes for their monterey park store. Just like Samwoo Dimsum in rowland used to do for all their other stores.

          so you'll get more "interesting" items

          http://clayfood.blogspot.com

          1. Sea Empress in Gardena or Empress Pavillion in Chinatown. YUM!