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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...