Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Oct 30, 2001 12:11 PM

Empress Pavillion

  • m

I had lunch (dim sum) yesterday and I enjoyed my regular items. I was amused to see a new cart with boba tea. It was really funny because just a few weeks ago I had asked my lunch date if he had had a boba tea yet and suddenly there they were.

I did find the food at EP to be good as usual, but everything sadly lukewarm (temperature). I'm not sure if that's the way it's supposed to be, or just a function of the way it's served.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's not supposed to be lukewarm. That's why they sometimes have propane heaters under the carts.

    1. We don't go to EP by choice anymore. Their dim sum is very mediocre and the cart-to-customer ratio is very skewed.

      Unfortunately, restaurant quality in Chinatown has gone down considerably in the last couple of years and this neighborhood hardly lives up to its name anymore.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Awesomer

        Am I glad to hear that someone else feels this way regarding Chinatown and the EP in particular, given its reputation on this board by many. The dim sum is truly ho hum, not bad, just not anything special. And yes, luke warm, maybe.

        1. re: carter
          Adrian Hopkins

          I totally agree that EP is lousy for Dim Sum. However, I'm quite impressed with the dinner items, such as the mayo shrimp, XO beef, some of their soups, and BBQ meats. EP is a decent restaurant IMHO, but not for the dim sum.

          On the other hand, I have yet to find a very good Cantonese Chinese (or Szechuan and Chuichau) restaurants in California. Granted, I've had better in San Francisco and Fremont up north, but I guess it's easier to find good Northern Chinese and Taiwanese (not my cup of tea) around the Monterey Park area. As I know, most Cantonese from Hong Kong move to Canada, in cities like Toronto and Vancouver, and I can attest the Cantonese cuisine there (including Dim Sum) is much better.

          1. re: Adrian Hopkins

            I agree, I have had better Cantonese in New York. But then again maybe I haven't been to enough Cantonese restaurants to really draw a conclusion. I did go to the often praised Ocean Seafood for dim sum and I wasn't that impressed. The food was OK but nothing great. I think the majority of Chinese in the L.A. area (especially the San Gabriel valley) are from Taiwan. This is why you can probably find many good Northern Chinese and Taiwanese restaurants.

            1. re: Adrian Hopkins

              I guess it depends on what you like. I have been much more disappointed with northern restaurants here than with Shanghai/Zhejiang or with southern (except for Foochow in Chinatown, which is disappointing. There was a Fujian place in Flushing I found but the sign advertising the Fujian food was only in Chinese and I had to ask the waiter for a different menu as all the dishes on the menu I was handed were Cantonese).
              For Southern Chinese dishes, I still like 888. And since you probably read Chinese, make sure to look at the seasonal specials (a while back had a great dish there with pigeon breast).

            2. re: carter

              Interesting, I found the dim sum at Ocean Seafood to be luke warm too! It wasn't bad, it just wasn't as great as I expected it to be. However, I found the service and atmosphere to be excellent. The prices weren't too bad either. And because it's in Chinatown it is accessible to an extent by public transportation. It's just that I haven't been able to find any decent Chinese restaurants anywhere outside the San Gabriel Valley.

          2. I still like empress. it is very up and down, though. i did have a great dinner there a couple of weeks ago (not dim sum, of course). deep-fried spot prawns, bitter melon soup. i also had great dim sum recently at that dim sum place--i can't remember the name--that is further south on broadway, the one that's upstairs in that weird minimall area. seriously great dumplings and pastries.