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Thanks guys! My trip to the San Gabriel Valley!

d
Diana Aug 3, 2007 05:01 PM

Thanks to everyone who gave me great advice!

I arose bright and early, did an hour of Tae Bo, 30 minutes of stairstepping, and 40 minutes of cardio program on the stationary bicycle. I was READY! My Husband, Cullen, and I headed out and got to the SGV at around 11:00.

We decided to first stop into the San Gabriel Superstore and look around. Spotting Yum Cha and seeing it not too full, I headed in and forced myself to a good position. I wanted to try Sweet Brown Sugar (or whatever) Rice Cake. I used the right name when I pointed to it and asked for it from some guy behind the counter who promptly...disappeared never to return. Finally, I asked a lady for one. I said "brown" three times and pointed to it on the menu. The cakes I got were oddly stark white. But they were good. I don't think it was the right thing, but Cullen and I enjoyed them, nonetheless. Interesting texture.

We wandered around the store a it, looking at all the yummy stuff and amazing selection of, well, everything. Our little 99 Ranch and Greenland Markets are far, far less interesting to me now! I found a sign that was finally truth in advertising "Aisle 14 b, cookies, canned fish and junk food" as well as the darned niftiest cookies ever- 30 boudoirs, Love Story and Love Letters, all on the same shelf. At only $1.99 a box, bliss can be yours!

We got to Ocean 888 at around 11:30, and sat right down, right near where the carts come out. Some people would hate a spot by the kitchen, but I liked getting first look. We had:
Pie Gwut over rice (pork spare rib with some sort of sausage), shrimp and green onion gow, sweet pork bun (not a bao, smaller and glazed) , Fried rice noodle cake, fried taro cake with shrimp, Don fu faa (steamed tofu in sweet ginger syrup), squid curry, lightly cooked octopus over adzuki beans (I wrapped my beans in the octopus) Shrimp rice balls, eggplant stuffed with shrimp, sesame lotus jin dui (balls), daan taat (egg custard tart) and laai wong bao (egg custard bao). ..and some other stuff I don't remember right now. Everything was AMAZING!

I wanted chicken feet and tripe, but I was darn near exploding by then. Also, Cullen turned a little coward o me, and the cart ladies weren't so much showing this white girl the more fun items so much as flashing them at me quickly. I almost had to drag the squid and octopus onto the table myself. They just pretty much refused me the duck tongue and didn't open the lids of the tripe cart.

We had to take two of the egg custard balls with us. We paid around $40, which shocked Cullen, who predicted $80. I used Ubergeek's lovely little advice page to say a few butchered words, mostly thanks and saying names of a few dishes. It helped with my "Dim Sum Cred" in the end, sort of. Thanks Uber!

And no peanut interaction at all!

Next time we can manage such a feat, we head to Mei Long Village!

I tired to get picture of everything, but sadly, a lot just didn't turn out too well. Here's what I salvaged:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wavewenc...

  1. f
    foodism Aug 3, 2007 05:06 PM

    Sounds fabulous. I need to head out there soon.

    1. wilafur Aug 3, 2007 05:06 PM

      goddamn you guys ate a lot! when i go to 888 for dimsum, i'm out for $10pp.....and stuffed to the gills =)

      glad you had a great meal at 888.

      1. raytamsgv Aug 3, 2007 05:11 PM

        I'm glad you had a great time. But I can't imagine how a party of 2 can ring up $40! We average about $11 per guy when I hang out with the guys. I guess you must have ordered all the expensive dim sum. :-)

        5 Replies
        1. re: raytamsgv
          d
          Diana Aug 3, 2007 05:16 PM

          yeah, we had some. We had 13 dishes-that I remember...some of them were the pricey ones. then again, we didn't check the bill...

          1. re: Diana
            ipsedixit Aug 3, 2007 08:34 PM

            I am truly not worthy to be in your presence.

            Sugar rice cakes AND 13 items of dim sum. Yowza. Good for you.

            The sugar rice cakes usu. fill me up by themselves.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              liu Aug 3, 2007 09:20 PM

              Oh, now I am just "blown away impressed!" I forgot about the rice cakes before the $40 dim sum!!!! (Just teasing...really!)

              I always want to eat waaaay more at dim sum, but with all the carbs, I get full very fast. Then, that night I dream-with-regret about what I didn't have!

            2. re: Diana
              PeterL Aug 3, 2007 10:27 PM

              Well that morning exercise regiment apparently helped. I myself would've needed another 2 hour session afterwards if I ate that much.

              1. re: PeterL
                d
                Diana Aug 4, 2007 09:02 AM

                Well, We sure couldn't eat the rest of the day!

                This morning (the day after) I did another hour of tae bo and about 30 minutes of cycling and had only a few berries and some soymilk for breakfast.

                Meanwhile, Cullen ate the leftover two laai wong bao.

                I'll be hungry again by lunch, maybe.

          2. hch_nguyen Aug 3, 2007 05:19 PM

            Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself sans peanut reaction! A male friend and I stuffed ourselves silly at dim sum (at Ten Ten Seafood in Anaheim) for $17.00 total for the both of us, so I'm definitely impressed with the amount of food you must have sampled. I hope you make it out to SGV again soon. Dim sum in Chinatown just isn't the same.

            6 Replies
            1. re: hch_nguyen
              d
              Diana Aug 3, 2007 05:22 PM

              Hrm.. maybe we were ripped off?

              1. re: Diana
                hch_nguyen Aug 3, 2007 06:47 PM

                Well Ten Ten is amazingly cheap. It's where I always go for dim sum in OC. From what I read of your write-up and considering you had at least 13 dishes, the price you paid sounds about right, so don't fret.....

                1. re: Diana
                  Sarah Aug 3, 2007 07:08 PM

                  With 13 dishes it averages out to $3/plate - quite reasonable! A friend and I had $70+ of dimsum at Yank Sing (SF- the old one on Battery) and were SO stuffed we had to stop at a furniture store to -um rest on their sofas and beds.

                  1. re: Diana
                    PeterL Aug 3, 2007 10:28 PM

                    I doubt it. You must've ordered some special plates. Those are the most expensive (at $5.00 per?). When we go we rarely if ever order the specials.

                    1. re: PeterL
                      Sarah Aug 4, 2007 10:10 AM

                      It was a while back -- I think our downfall was the peking duck cart which we flagged down several times and repeated orders of lobster dumpling and many others...we were not in a skimping mood.

                      1. re: Sarah
                        b
                        bulavinaka Aug 4, 2007 10:18 AM

                        Awh heck - why not? Yes, a little pricey by dim sum standards, but can you imagine something similar being served at any of the first or second tier non-Chinese restos in LA? You'd pay at least three times the price and get so preciously little...

                2. b
                  bulavinaka Aug 3, 2007 05:23 PM

                  Sooo glad you folks enjoyed it and no nut-related swelling... and yes, it's pretty amazing that one can eat like royalty yet squeeze so little out of one's wallet. I hope this encourages Cullen to venture out there with you more often - it's literally another world that is just 30 minutes away...

                  As much as you folks piled away, you can easily do three orders of xlb's or other dumplings along w/ a couple other dishes at Mei Long Village, especially the pork pump. And don't let Cullen be put off by the name - he'll thank you for it later...:)

                  1. liu Aug 3, 2007 06:09 PM

                    Diana -- I loved reading your write-up of 888 and I can feel your enthusiasm in every word! This is exactly what we do with our Saturdays; we "fest" (I don't know if this is a word, but it should be!) and feast our way through the neighborhoods of LA...so much fun! And I, too, am VERY impressed by your dim sum bill. Two of us have never seen beyond about $35 in our years of dim-summing! Very impressive, indeed!

                    I do hope, in time, you will try Elite (on a weekend morning). Although it is not a cart place, their dim sum is very good. They do have many trays being passed around, so you might not miss the carts.

                    1. Sam Fujisaka Aug 3, 2007 06:22 PM

                      Incredibly wonderful and delicious sharing of your experience. Just too bad you didn't get the chicken feet and tripe!

                      1. d
                        Diana Aug 4, 2007 03:12 PM

                        By the way was that Jasmine tea we were drinking? Anyone know?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Diana
                          b
                          bulavinaka Aug 4, 2007 03:41 PM

                          If it had a floral aroma, then yes, it was... if it's aroma was more earthy, then it might have been puh erh tea...

                          1. re: bulavinaka
                            d
                            Diana Aug 4, 2007 03:42 PM

                            hmmmm, not so floral..probably pur erh.

                            1. re: Diana
                              Das Ubergeek Aug 6, 2007 09:19 AM

                              Also possibly tiet kwun yum (ti guan yin in Mandarin)... I've had that at 888 before. Usually served with Chiu Chow (Chaozhou) food.

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