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Best Dim Sum in SD?

I recently moved to San Diego and I am craving Dim Sum.
Originally from Toronto, Canada, I have become accustomed to fantastic asian food and dim sum has been no exception.
I am living in Little Italy/Downtown but have a car and am willing to drive anywhere within about 20 minutes if it is worth it but would obviously prefer somewhere relatively local.
I also would love a place that isn't too pricey as I seem to end up ordering a ton of stuff when I go and it sometimes adds up.
Anybody know of a good spot?
What items are particularly good at your spot and what should be avoided?

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  1. i think you should try the 3 closest to you.

    China Max/ emerald/ jasmine.

    see which you like the most.

    1. There is no great dim sum in San Diego. If you find some, please send me an urgent message! China Max, Emerald, Jasmine and Pearl take shortcuts and don't make everything from scratch (typical mango pudding with an artificial flavor scent), but we go anyway because it feels familiar, if not very good. It's about the same as most cities, just not up to San Francisco level (made in small batches from scratch, hand-carried to your table so you don't have that horrid sterno scent, no mixes or frozen foods or shortcuts), so I suspect Toronto and Vancouver would also be at San Fran level.

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        1. I think those on the LA board--and some from the SF board--would say that LA dim sum is the best. But that's neither here nor there.

          I've been to China Max, Emerald and Jasmine and like China Max of the three (order dim sum off the menu). However, for dim sum off the cart, I like Emerald.

          1. i agree! LA is the bizomb. Many people in HK even agree that LA is probably the only place that can hold a candle to the motherland

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            1. re: clayfu

              Vancouver and Toronto both beat LA dim sum hands down.