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Yes, there is good Dim Sum in OC after all!

Tried Seafood Paradise and Kim Su in Little Saigon - Blech!!! Godawful. Run away!!!!. China Garden in Irvine on the corner of Walnut and Jeffrey, while not as good as NBC in Monterey Park, is definitely worth a visit if an OC chowhound wants to avoid the requisite schlep. I especially liked their turnip cake. Their cheung fun left a little to be desired. Over all, it was a surprisingly strong showing since I was starting to really despair about the lack of good dim sum outside of the usual haunts that lie east of L.A., just too far a trek from behind the Orange Curtain.

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  1. I love Seafood Paradise and thought that China Garden was just OK at best.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JAB

      Interesting. I and my dining partner that day were in disbelief at how awful the dim sum was at Seafood Paradise. We should've known as it is a Vietnamese-Chinese restaurant catering mostly to Vietnamese (same with Kim Su). You're not alone in your take of Seafood Paradise however. Perhaps it was an off day, but it was so bad that day we went, I doubt I'll give it a second chance. Also, personal tastes just differ wildly sometimes. China Garden, while not exceptional, definitely satisfied my hankering although I wouldn't put it up against any place in SGV.

    2. Was your experience at Seafood Paradise recent?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JAB

        I'd say it was about a month ago.

        1. re: JAB

          Seafood Paradise has been an uphill/downhill proposition for years.
          I don't know if the is an annual, monthly, weekly, or daily transition.

        2. We go to all of the Restaurants above intermittently. China Garden seems to be the best of the group but once you go back to NBC, Sea Harbor, 888 and about anything else in Monterey Park- SGV you won't be very impressed with anything in OC.

          1. Monterey Park is in a specialty class of its own, but when in OC/Irvine (for those of us not up for the drive), I'm in for China Garden. Sam Woo (Culver, not Jeffrey) isn't bad either for the area.

            1 Reply
            1. re: brekkie_fan

              Hmmm....I've never tried Sam Woo. I hereby resolve to do so soon. One can never have enough dim sum options. Thanks!

            2. In the adjacent deli (fast food/to go) section of Sam Woo's Irvine, you can get a combination STUFFED styrofoam box of Hong Kong style munchies. I suppose it's not unlike the Van Nuys location.

              The 2 item combo is big but when they hand you the 3 item combo it's like someone just gave birth to Yao Ming. The suckers are quite substantial. The choices vary by day but I try to go for the fried pork chops (a bit greasy but hey, it's Hong Kong style) , shrimp, and string beans with fried rice. It'll set you back around 5 bombs and it's good for 2-3 meals. However, it's not exactly a secret. You'll be rubbing elbows with Chinese locals and starving UCI students whilst standing in line. Cash only, I believe Oh, and it sometimes comes with a bowl of basic Chinese soup and they're usually open until 10:00PM...

              1. ive been going to this spot on artesia off the 91 in cerritos alot latley. Its right up in the Indian/asian area, seafod palace or somthing like that. does this ring a bell with anyone?

                3 Replies
                1. re: eglbc

                  there are a few places in cerritos that you can have dim sum, but technically, that is LA county, not the OC. Ten-Ten in the 99 Ranch shopping area and also it's old location I think is called Happy House besides Prince Seafood, which is what you may be thinking of. There is one more, but I can't recall and it's not as good as the afore mentioned.

                  1. re: eglbc

                    I think that's Great Sea Food House, if you're talking about the place by the DiHo Market near Pioneer and 183rd. I think Ten Ten, Happy House and Prince Seafood are all better.

                    1. re: Chandavkl

                      That's the one, haven't been to that one since i prefer Ten Ten and Happy House for my local dim sum.

                  2. How do Ten-Ten, Happy House, and Prince compare to China Garden in Irvine?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hch_nguyen

                      never been to china garden, will have to try.

                      1. re: hch_nguyen

                        Ten Ten has been great the two WEEKENDS we've gone. On the two WEEKDAYS we've gone it's been worse that frozen-and-warmed-over-from-99-Ranch. I mean, it's like a textbook case of why you should only go to busy restaurants with lots of food turnover.

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          I always go to dim sum joints on the weekends unless it's order off the menu on weekdays.

                          Excellent. My next weekend dim sum trek will be Ten Ten. Will definitely report back.