Top Island Seafood: good Cantonese
I went to Top Island Seafood on Valley Blvd in Alhambra tonight. They are located where the old Sea Star used to be. The menu is very similar if not identical to Capital Seafood on Garvey Avenue. There are great deals on seafood, and the service was much better than Capital Seafood.
We ordered the watercress soup (very yummy and tasty), 1 1/2 pounds of the fresh giant prawns (only about 6 or 7 of them but very huge), 1 dungeoness crab with ginger and scallions, half chicken, and a plate of sauteed large pea sprouts. The dungeoness crab was a deal at $4.99 a pound, the same price if not cheaper than most supermarkets. The Maine lobster was $9.99 a pound. The price came out to $85 before tip.
The place was packed when we left, and I thought the food was very good. The prices were very reasonable (what got us was the prawns which someone in the party was really craving since that cost about half of our bill but well worth it).
If you like Capital Seafood or good, authentic and reasonably priced Cantonese cuisine, this is where you should go. However, if you don't read Chinese, that may present a problem because much of the prices and seafood selection is in Chinese. The service was good for an authentic Chinese restaurant, and the restaurant seemed clean, probably because it just opened recently. I would definitely go back, and for anyone who wants crab, you should go because it's a great deal.
I'm so glad I have avoided this place. The reviews on the board have been scathing.
I always enjoy getting a good deal on seafood, which is why I love driving to SGV or Little Saigon. At a certain point though, if you get too cheap, quality is going to suffer. All you can eat sushi, cheapo dim sum, etc., something usually has to give. One of the things I really like about these dishes is when the restaurant uses good quality ingredients. I would much rather pay a couple of bucks more to eat at Sea Harbour, The Kitchen, Elite etc.
Fortunately there are so many good choices in LA that I won't have to try any of the bad ones.
Thanks for the review. I've had mixed results at Top Island, one time having nice succulent steamed fish and another time have a teensy one overloaded with msg. I don't mind trying again, but my experience hasn't been as bad as some the the reviews on this board.