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Capital or Elite for Sunday dim sum?

Wondered if any dim sum aficionados could weigh in on their current opinions of Capital and Elite. Trying to decide between the two but a search of past threads has left me stumped. Many thanks...

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  1. Capital is considerably larger, has cart service, and has more traditional dimsum. Elite is much smaller, has menu service, and has more innovative dimsum. If you know dimsum pretty well already, Elite may be a more interesting choice, though you should expect a wait. If you are not too familiar with dimsum, Capital would be a safer choice, as you can point and ask questions. Capital is very competent, while Elite is more progressive.

    1. Elite seems to be the new hot place. I think it's clean and the food is decent BUT: I can't get used to ordering dim sum AND the prices @ Elite are high/higher. @ a 'normal" dim sum place, you can eat for $10 a person. @ Elite- I'd say it's $20-$25

      1. Depends on what you are looking for and what type of experience you are after.

        Elite and Capital are really different. Sort of like asking whether you should get a Hummer or a Toyota Prius.

        Elite is order-off-the-menu and provides avant-guard type dim sum dishes. Capital is much more traditional, with the old style cart service. Both are fine at their own niche, just depends on what kind of niche you are looking to fill.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Had a fabulous experience at Elite, as I thought the quality was among the best I've found so far. Didn't think the pricing at Elite was high. I think it was a $2/$3/$4 pricing structure for their A/B/C items. I seem to recall our party of 4 paying about $50 for our meal. I think we ordered 14 or 15 items, so we paid a little over $3 per item, averaged $12-13 per person. That almond snow bun pastry they have is spectacular!

          I thought Capital was just OK. Wasn't that impressed the first time I went. Thought it might have been a fluke, so we went back a few months later. Just about the same, average selection of items, some of it served moderately warm instead of steaming hot. It's unlikely I will go back to Capital for a few years, unless I read about major improvements to the food quality.

          Mission 261 is the most expensive dim sum place I've been to. I think the pricing was higher because they charged us for each refill of a pot of tea, instead of charging a flat per/person cost.

        2. I haven't tried Elite, yet, though my Mom thought it was some of the best dim sum she ever had. I have tried Capital. It's quite good, but I think there are other dim sum places are better (e.g. 888 in Rosemead). As others have noted, it ultimately depends on what you are expecting from dim sum.

          1 Reply
          1. re: raytamsgv

            I haven't tried Capital, but have tried Elite. My recommendation if you do go to Elite - go early (they open at 9am) and try the Macau Pork - DELICIOUS!

          2. I'm a very frequent visitor to the L.A. area --- just to eat and shop. Please tell me where Capital and Elite are located. Hubby and I would like to try the dim sum at both places. We go to Ocean Star, on Atlantic Blvd. in Monterey Park quite often and they are good and the prices are very reasonable.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mommyet

              Go to http://www.lapublichealth.org/rating/ and enter the restaurant's name. That will give you the address of **any** restaurant in L.A. County!

              You also get the Health Department's score--90 and up is an A, 80-90 is a B, 70-80 is a C, and under 70 you may not want to go. (While many restaurants are A-rated, there are some on this board who insist that you have to accept a B if you want authentic Chinese. I don't know.)

              1. re: mommyet

                Both are pretty close to Ocean Star, just a bit south, down the block.

                Capital is in the same shopping center as a Ranch 99 market, which is more easily visible from the street. Capital is in the very corner of all the shops.

                Elite Restaurant
                700 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                Capital Seafood Restaurant
                755 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                1. re: Wonginator

                  Thank you both, Lee by the Sea and Wonginator for responding to my question. I hope Elite and Capital have better dimsum than Ocean Star. Next time we are in l.A. we will eat at both places.

              2. I grew up in SoCal and have been eating dim sum for the past 25 years. Elite is as good as it gets outside of Hong Kong. LA used to languish behind Vancouver, Toronto, and SF with average restaurants such as NBC, Empress Pavilion, etc. No longer. With the advent of New Concept (now Elite), Sea Harbor, Triumphal, the Kitchen, and Mission 261, LA is now second only to HK in top-flight Chinese food.

                With that said, Capital and Elite aren't even in the same league. While Elite does have unique items, it also features standard fare such has har gow that can be compared to Capital's har gow. The skin of Elite's har gow is thinner and more refined, and the shrimp is larger.

                If you want the best that SoCal has to offer in terms of dim sum, I would rank them in this order:

                1. Elite (baked goods are especially good here)
                2. Mission 261
                3. Sea Harbor (very good steamed dim sum)
                4. The Kitchen
                5. Triumphal (this place used to be hot, but the owner sold it soon after it opened and it's never been the same since)

                3 Replies
                1. re: Dude Man

                  Great list - most have their strengthes unmatched by others... Mission 261 - is it the service and atmosphere you like? I've found their offerings somewhat inconsistant, some dishes arriving cold, and could use a little more "chi." But I'd be awful happy if someone was having a banquet there...

                  1. re: Dude Man

                    I think The Kitchen went the way of Triumphal. When it opened, it was quite good, but the last time I went there about a month ago, it was very average. The rumor is that the chef at The Kitchen left to start Elite.

                    1. re: Dude Man

                      I'm not as enthusiastic with the developments in LA compared to SF or Vancouver let alone Hong Kong. SF still beats LA hands down on the top end (ie. Koi Palace), but LA has more breadth and variety. Additionally after my trip to Hong Kong earlier this year, I had not interest in dining at any dim sum places here. Sadly / Fortunately the memories have faded somewhat since and I've become more forgiving and my cravings have gotten the best of me. .

                      Having said that my rankings locally would look like this.
                      1. Sea Harbor
                      2. Elite - hate the supersize dim sum though.
                      3. Triumphal - first two are in another tier altogether in comparison.