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Uncrowded dim sum in SGV?

Can someone recommend a good (doesn't have to be great) dim sum-serving place in the San Gabriel Valley that wouldn't have lines out the door on weekends? Alternatively, maybe just a good Chinese restaurant at the same time in the same area that isn't packed on weekends. Our regular spots (Newport Seafood, 888, Full House, dumpling places) are often impossible during this time and there must be alternates, right?

And I realize this means they're good, but some days we're just not up for standing around a bright strip-mall parking lot.

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  1. Ahahaha,
    Try 888 at about, say, 9:05 a.m.

    1. I just have a dum question....why would you want to so to a so-so place for dim sum? You will end up with leftovers from the day before, soggy baos, and just unappealing stuff. Why not just go earlier in the day (NOT 9:05) but say 11?

      I know I did not answer your question, but I was just curious.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jkao1817

        Sorry - I mean good in the strict sense of the term. Not like "It's all good", but good as in the opposite of "bad." : )

        Actually, 11 is still too late, at least in my experience.

      2. New Concept in Monterey Park is excellent. They get crowded, but honor reservations.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mojoeater

          for dim sum? really....even for smaller parties of 2-4?

          1. re: jkao1817

            Well, New Concept just closed and is now Elite ....

            1. re: ipsedixit

              so much for making a reservation for dim sum! :o)

        2. If you can get there by 11:00ish on a Saturday, you might try Capital Seafood in the back corner of the 99 Ranch Shopping Center at Garvey and Atlantic. Except for last week during the New Year holiday, we have never had to wait at that time on a Saturday.

          3 Replies
          1. re: liu

            good call on partaking on saturday. no matter where i go (888, full house, etc) at 11am on sat, i have never had to wait for a table.

              1. re: wilafur

                We have also been seated immediately at the Kitchen on Saturdays, 11:00ish. Although this is not cart service, there are many trays being passed around, so it feels like a combination of menu order and "carts."

            1. I generally try to get to my favorite dim sum places by 10 a.m. or shortly thereafter, and I rarely have to wait, including at the often very crowded NBC Seafood in Monterey Park. But be aware that most dim sum places seem to fill up rapidly after that.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Mr. Cookie

                the problem with going so early is that the kitchen will not prepare all their offerings until they have a packed house. therefore you won't see a lot of diccerent offerings until noonish.

                1. re: wilafur

                  The trick, then, is to eat slow and linger ...

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    lack of patience on my part to do that. when i am hungry i want my food yesterday. =)

                    i only waited 1x, for egg tarts at 888, i was in at 11am and waited till 12:45 before the kitchen decided to pop them in the oven. kinda weird but there was not many people there that saturday morning/afternoon.

              2. I get to dim sum places by 10 AM. I had no problems getting seats at 888 or MPV at that time. Some places will offer a discount if you get your check before 12 noon (Empress Harbor and either Mission 261 or Triumphal Palace). Please confirm this before you go.

                1. When I'm hankerin Chinese around lunchtime rush many times I head to 301 w. Valley. Have not been there on weekends but I imagine its the same situation.

                  Mei Long Village, J&J, or Dragon Mark.

                  Ive seen one, maybe two places busy, but never all three - and all three are darned good. XLB at J and J is the best in town (open to debate).

                  Cant help you on Dim Sum. I only try when its an early lunch or "tweener". Never on weekends.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wilp

                    MLV, J&J and Dragon Mark will all be crowded to a certain extent for a weekend lunch.

                  2. have you tried mission261 yet? we've never had to wait there, even when 10 of us show up at 11am on a sunday. they have lots of seating in several rooms. no carts though, you'll have to order off a menu.

                    i don't think their dimsum is the best, but it's not bad, especially when you don't want to wait.

                    http://www.mission261.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mileena

                      Yeah - shoulda mentioned Mission 261 in the OP. We have, and like it. Thanks everyone for great suggestions and strategery.

                    2. I too never had to wait if I show up by 11AM on weekends. The only problem is the places with cart services the variety isn't that great until it's crowded and busy. So I will recommend someplace that you can order off the menu, like Sea Harbour (my fav).

                      The Kitchen's specialty items can't be ordered until 11:30, btw.

                      I will be seriously worried about eating at a dim sum restaurant that doesn't have a line out the door during weekends at prime time (11:45-1:30) .

                      1. 10.30 at NBC -- they're just starting to get the "real" stuff out, and you'll never have to wait. It's the after-church crowd on Sunday that's the real killer.