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Empress Pavilion

  • toitoi Feb 22, 2008 06:55 PM
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Over the years I've had Dim Sum at the Empress Pavilion, usually weekdays. Last Sunday, we went knowing full well there'd be up to an hour wait. Got there at Noon, seated about 1.

Noticed in the window, a change of ownership liquor license application, but didn't think about it. When we sat down, we noticed that there were only two carts circulating the enitre room, and a few waiters were carrying trays of eats.

Asked for duck, bbq pork, chicken, and suckling pig - sorry all gone was the answer, and that was at about 1:15. There wasn't even a cart of cooked to order, gai-lan. No shrimp toast, but we got five battered deep fried shrimp. Fortunately, there were chicken feet (not many folks appreciate them).

When we left people were still waiting to be seated, unaware that they'd have to order from the menu to be fed - Dim Sum done.

Guess a change of ownership is in the works, but to run out of food on a Sunday when they know hordes of people will be coming is inexcusable. And, it's New Year's !!!

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  1. This place has been going slowly down the pan for years.

    1. Dim sum before 10:30AM is a "must" these days in most joints, if you want any decent selection...

      1. We were there last Monday around 11am...The dim sum was excellent...Huge selection,hot fresh food,carts comming by constanty.Shrimp toast was delicious! As was our order of 1/2 Peking Duck. I shoud mention that it was President`s Day.We eat lunch there every 2 months and this was the best!!
        (We also lived in taiwan and Hong Kong for 12 years)

        4 Replies
        1. re: foody

          Did they still have "dou hua" (tofu flower with ginger syrup) by 11AM?

          1. re: J.L.

            sorry..too full for dessert! Did`nt notice.

            1. re: foody

              where is empress pavilion?

              1. re: jaymor

                In Chinatown.

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                Empress Pavilion Restaurant
                988 N Hill St # 201, Los Angeles, CA

        2. Out of dim sum at 1:15? Not surprising, especially if it's been an unusually busy day. Mty understanding is that large amounts of the prep work on these items is done the night before, or the wee hours of the morning, and once they're out, they're out...

          4 Replies
          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

            There isn't an outstanding dim sum place in LA anymore. No place like the old New Concept or Seafood Harbour. But IMHO most big dim sum places (Ocean, Capital, HongKong Harbour etc) serve better dim sum than Empress. If you are in old Chinatown, you might try JR Bistro at night for Mongolian firepot (off menu). The assortment of good quality meats is extensive-- beef, lamb, tripe, intestines, veggies, vegetarian stuff, fish etc. The portions are quite generous and beats shabu shabu places by 10,000 miles. For about $25 pp (if you are a big eater like me,) you'll leave happy and with a doggie bag.

            1. re: poggibonzzi

              I would disagree with you. Elite, which replaces New Concept, is quite exceptional. And, Seafood Harbour, if it's the same one, on Rosemead is still very good. I would be interesed in JR Bistro, if you have the address and number.

              1. re: cfylong

                JR Bistro is at 750ish N. Hill St, it's on the ground floor of the same building as Ocean Seafood. Sorry I do not have their phone number but reservations won't be needed as it is a big place that is usually only half to two thirds full. I usually also order their crispy skin chicken and take it home because it is quite good and a great deal at $6.99. As I said before the hot pot (Ta Pin Lo) is not on the menu but indicate that's what you want and the table cloth will be removed and the built in table top burner will be revealed. You'll be handed a special menu much like a lengthy sushi menu where you can check the items you want. Bon Appetit.

                1. re: cfylong

                  I'll second cfylong's comment re: Elite and Seafood Harbour. If I have any guests coming out of town, those are the 2 top-notch Dim Sum place I'll treat them at. And I'll be there SUPER EARLY on a weekend like around 10:30am... or else...

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

                  Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
                  3939 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

            2. I went back to EP yesterday, arriving at 11:30. The place was in full swing; carts aplenty, and not yet that crowded (it opens at 10am). Everything, except the gai-lan (overcooked) was tasty including the chicken feet, tripe, and shrimp toast. We even had the suckling pig at $13.50. The centers of the sesame balls were still warm and the pastry of the egg custard still flaky.

              I'll never go late again, or on the weekend !!!

              1 Reply
              1. re: toitoi

                Lesson learned!