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The Kitchen

Bob Brooks Apr 22, 2007 03:46 PM

L.A. Times had an interesting article about this place in today's edition. Did a search and found no postings about it here. J. Gold was quoted as saying they had among the best dim sum around.

Anyone else been?

  1. rantsnravesnreviews Apr 22, 2007 03:52 PM

    I read that also this morning an am now anxious to see what other Chowhounders have to say. I have not been there yet either.
    http://rantsnravesnreviews.blogspot.com

    1. hch_nguyen Apr 22, 2007 04:04 PM

      Actually, there have been at least a handful of posts about it. Here's one of the first.

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/351746

      1. m
        mojoeater Apr 22, 2007 04:06 PM

        I've been to the Kitchen in Silverlake, but have a feeling you're talking about something else.

        1. liu Apr 22, 2007 04:10 PM

          Hello, Bob Brooks!
          The L.A. Times article is sitting next to me about to be read; it looks quite interesting.

          We have been to The Kitchen for dim sum numerous times since their change-up. For our tastes, the food has been second only to Elite since their change-up recently. But I say this knowing that dim sum is not always consistent and sometimes I think that The Kitchen is some of the best in Los Angeles.

          We have found the service at both The Kitchen and Elite to be extremely attentive and friendly. The Kitchen has TV screens scattered about, and even though they are not on full volume, the room seems noisy and a little chaotic. Also, no matter what we order at The Kitchen, our order is changed: either because they are out of something or ???? We never much care and have never left feeling short-changed, however. On the other hand, every time we have been at The Kitchen, one of the managers comes by (he used to manage Hong Kong Palace) to give us something special: one time he gave us a large bowl of hot sauce and another time he gave us some of their special tea in a baggie to enjoy at home! Other managers -- and they seem to have many! -- come by just to make sure we are fine.

          We enjoyed dim sum at Elite just yesterday morning; their system seems to work better and calmer. We systematically received everything we ordered, but I am not sure that the food is that much superior to The Kitchen. I think both are quite good.

          Our current three dim sum favorites -- for different reasons -- are Capital Seafood, The Kitchen and Elite.

          8 Replies
          1. re: liu
            h
            hazelnutty Apr 22, 2007 09:22 PM

            Do they have regular chinese food as well or is it just dim sum? Hope this isn't a silly question. I should read Verbila's article, but this seems faster. Thanks.

            1. re: hazelnutty
              liu Apr 22, 2007 10:15 PM

              hazelnutty - I am not sure if I can answer you. We have only been to The Kitchen during their Saturday morning dim sum feast; at that time, we have seen others ordering dim sum items and "Specials" from the same menu (these might be larger servings of some of their specialties). So, I don't know if there is any other menu during these Saturday morning dim sum hours.

              However, I can answer that they are a regular Chinese restaurant outside of these hours -- fully operational! In fact, the Times article does mention some of their best dishes to order, but those were not the focus of my read. I was mostly interested in their dim sum, health rating issues and customer service aspirations.

            2. re: liu
              PeterL Apr 23, 2007 08:30 AM

              Elite. Can you give me more info on this place? Where is it? And beside dim sum, anything else good there?

              1. re: PeterL
                bigtums Apr 23, 2007 09:08 AM

                I had dinner with the family at Elite about a week ago. Apparently the Macau pork is the thing to get. It was pretty good. But what my family really liked was their fried squid. Overall I thought the place was okay, but I'd love to go back and try the dim sum. Someone did a review on this place, here's the link.

                http://eatdrinknbmerry.blogspot.com/2...

                1. re: bigtums
                  eatdrinknbmerry Apr 23, 2007 08:33 PM

                  yes the macau pork is nicely cooked. as for the dim sum, i'd take a standard dim sum lunch any day (888, hop li, ocean star) over elite, 261 and seafood harbour. sometimes fancying up food isn't as good.

                2. re: PeterL
                  liu Apr 23, 2007 10:46 AM

                  Elite used to be New Concept only a few months ago. I only know it as a dim sum experience.

                  700 S. Atlantic Blvd.
                  Monterey Park
                  #626.282-9998

                3. re: liu
                  notmartha Apr 23, 2007 01:46 PM

                  Wasn't aware of the change up at The Kitchen. What's changed and is it all for the better?

                  1. re: notmartha
                    liu Apr 23, 2007 05:14 PM

                    The recent L.A.Times article indicates that The Kitchen is working hard to "raise" the Chinese dining experience -- from offering better customer service to keeping integrity in their food, all while trying to run a clean kitchen. Their initial Health Rating of "A" just recently slipped to a "B," but this same Times article mentioned that they are working diligently to return to their "A" status for the coming May inspection.

                    As I mentioned, the space feels a little disorganized and chaotic to me while dining, but I do think they are working hard to make some changes. I am hopeful that they will, and I continue to visit there while they work on their internal issues.

                    Of the many times that we have enjoyed dim sum, the service has been extremely friendly and attentive...just not yet tightly organized.

                4. o
                  Obessed Apr 22, 2007 08:07 PM

                  I went for Dim Sum this past Friday...and it was very tasty! I really like that we could mark off what we want on the English menu. We pretty much stuck to what Irene recommended (in the LA Times article). We also tried fried turnips, which were awesome. The only disappointment was they were out of the shrimp-chive dumplings. I'll definitely be back!

                  1. ipsedixit Apr 22, 2007 08:42 PM

                    I did not think dinner was that great. Have not been for dim sum.

                    1. hch_nguyen Apr 23, 2007 08:05 AM

                      Can someone give me an idea of the price points for dim sum at this place? I want to try it, but I hear it's a lot pricier. The article says something about dim sum being 4 times as costly as at other places IIRC, which I find to be a bit excessive. I've always been happy at NBC, and I'm not really sure that anything at the Kitchen could merit such a drastic price difference although I've never been there.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: hch_nguyen
                        ipsedixit Apr 23, 2007 08:58 AM

                        I don't know about the dim sum dishes, but I can tell you that dinner items are on average about 3x more expensive than at 888 or Ocean Star and about 2x more expensive than at Sea Harbour or Triumphal Palace (and easily 4x more expensive on average that Seafood Village).

                        1. re: hch_nguyen
                          c
                          cfylong Apr 23, 2007 09:09 AM

                          I ate there several weeks ago and, like Alberto Gonzales, I think I recall the dimsum prices begin at $1.90 for just a few items, then $3.80 for most, $5.80 - $6.90 for some specialties. More expensive, but still a terrific value at probably $15pp compared to some American or sushi lunches.

                          1. re: hch_nguyen
                            notmartha Apr 23, 2007 01:45 PM

                            Last time I went the regular dim sum prices at The Kitchen is about the same as New Concept, Sea Harbor, Mission 261, etc. The special are more expensive.

                          2. j
                            judge dee Apr 23, 2007 05:54 PM

                            When I had dim sum at the Kitchen I thought the quality was second only to Sea Harbor. I had a take out experience last week, and they missed my chicken knee order. Also, the take out was not as tasty.

                            I really don't find their prices very different from Sea Harbor. Neither do I see the special dining experience that's touted in the article - all you need to do is enter the dining room and the ambience is no different from other Chinese restaurants.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: judge dee
                              liu Apr 23, 2007 08:00 PM

                              As the article describes, they are a work in progress. It seems as though the owner has high aspirations but is somewhat frustated with what is really happening. Perhaps he will cave, or perhaps we will see some changes happening for the better. In either case, I watch with interest because some of the dim sum is quite good.

                              1. re: liu
                                h
                                hazelnutty Apr 23, 2007 08:25 PM

                                Maybe he should have opened in a different location. We need a good, clean, quality ingredients chinese restaurant near B.H. W. Hollywood, Melrose, Hollywood, Santa Monica. I know the rents are too high most likely.

                            2. p
                              pinpei Apr 24, 2007 12:30 AM

                              The Kitchen is quite good for dim sum, although the menu is limited. After a few visits, the gamut has been run. That said, it's definitely worth a visit or four. They have a few congees which are all quite good (try the pork bone & vegetable or the chicken & abalone). I'm still partial, though, to Triumphal Palace (more variety).

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: pinpei
                                liu Apr 24, 2007 07:58 AM

                                Triumphal Palace -- Thanks for the reminder! We haven't been for maybe 18 months or so...has it changed at all? Aside from more variety, do you think it is as good or better than The Kitchen?

                                1. re: liu
                                  p
                                  pinpei Apr 24, 2007 09:02 AM

                                  Triumphal's regular menu is not as good as it was 18 months ago, but it's still one of the better Canto restaurants in LA. That said, the dim sum menu is still as strong as ever. As for which is better between Triumphal and The Kitchen, that depends on the dishes.

                                  1. re: pinpei
                                    liu Apr 24, 2007 09:07 AM

                                    pinpei -- Thanks! It sounds as though it might be worth another visit for dim sum.

                                    Specifically, which dim sum items have "wow-ed" you at Triumphal?

                                    1. re: liu
                                      p
                                      pinpei Apr 24, 2007 09:19 AM

                                      It's tough for me to be "wow-ed" by dim sum outside of Hong Kong, but I do give praise to TP's dumpling in soup and almond tofu w/ginger sugar.

                                      1. re: pinpei
                                        liu Apr 24, 2007 09:42 AM

                                        "...almond tofu w/ginger sugar." Oooohhh -- sounds delicious!
                                        Thanks for your recs, and if we can part from our usual rotations (The Kitchen, Elite, Capital, dumplings, banh mi...) we might visit there this weekend.

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