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Apr 6, 2008 01:05 AM

Dinner At Empress Harbor --Suggestions?

Dinner at Empress Harbor on Sunday night for a party of 6. Anything particular we should order?

Manny thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. They have nice specials where you get 6 dishes and a soup for like $10 a person, but it's all written in Chinese. Everything is pretty solid there, but the seafood might be a little bit pricey.

    4 Replies
    1. re: WHills

      "but the seafood might be a little bit pricey"

      Really? How so?

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Well, at a budget place like Seafood Village or New Capital, you can get crab for like $5.99 to $8 a pound, fish starting at $15 a pound, and live spot prawn for maybe $19.99 a pound. At Empress Harbor, I doubt they have these prices. My guess is over $10 a pound for crab, around $30 a pound for shrimp and over $20 a pound for fish. Thus, live seafood is more expensive at Empress Harbour than at a "budget" seafood place. Same comment would apply to Sea Harbour. Where you might pay $100 for a live king crab at Top Island, it can cost $300 at Sea Harbour.

        1. re: WHills

          But Empress Harbor, and esp. Sea Harbour, are not what you have called "budget" seafood places.

          While I really like Seafood Village, the quality of the live seafood (as well as the selection) and level of execution just doesn't match what Sea Harbour puts out.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            That's what I mean by it being pricier...non-budget. I guess your original question was how is Empress seafood "pricey." I'm not commenting on the quality...just the price.

    2. Any dim sum place in Chinatown is just plain horrible. Head further east for Elite or Seafood Harbor. SGV ain't that far really.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Vince S

        You have confused me. Empress Harbor is in Monterey Park owned by a person who was once a partner In Empress Pavillion in Chinatown. Am I incorrect in this perception?

        1. re: Hughlipton

          No, you are correct. Vince must be referring to Empress Pavilion in Monterey Park.

        2. re: Vince S

          Empress Harbor is in Monterey Park, next to Ocean Star.

          Empress Pavilion is in Chinatown.

          The OP was asking about Empress Harbor. Very good dim sum in my last 3 visits there.

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

          Monterey Park Empress Harbour
          111 N Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

          1. re: Wonginator

            Had some good dim sum at Empress Harbor this morning and afternoon. 2 people got stuffed for $37 plus tip. I guess I'm curious as to how much and which of the dim sum is actually made on premises and how much is made at some "factory" elsewhere and steamed at Empress.

        3. Just a follow up.
          6 of us went to Empress Harbor on a Sunday night and had the following:
          Fresh Rock Cod (pulled from the tank)deep fried with salt and pepper crust
          Sauteed oysters in green onion and ginger
          Suckling Pig (small sample portion)
          Two types of "fungus" -- mushrooms -- in garlic sauce
          Walnut Shrimp (yup, the kind in mayo -- we had some folks who like more Americanized food)
          Filet Mignon "french style" (more for the folks above)
          Beef Chow Fun (ditto)
          Honey garlic pepper chicken
          Dry String Beans
          Corn soup (the old standby)

          Everything was excellent to very good, with the cod and oysters really standing out. I would definitely go back for a more seafood intensive meal. Even the usually hum drum walnut shrimp was immeasurely better than what I've had at other places, with the shrimp having a really excellent flavor. Another kind of hackneyed dish -- the dried string beans -- had a different spin, being rather fatter than the usual variety and tossed with little crumbly bits of roast pork. (They looked kind of like breadcrums.) They were delicious. Suckling pig was just so-so, not nearly as good as other I've had, but it was one of those things someone else wanted to try so we went with an apetizer portion. ( The suckling pig was the priciest thing we ordered too....) Beef chow fun was, well, beef chow fun. Better than most, but there are so many great seafood dishes on the menu I'd rather try. The "french style "filet mignon was actually very different, with a very strong and complex anise based sauce. The honey garlic pepper chicken was also very good with a nice balance of sweetness, spice and heat.

          I would definitely go back and concentrate on stuff from the live tank. The cod was really great and they had lobsters, crab and prawns floating about as well. The meal, before tip, cost $150 for the 6 of us, including one glass of wine and three soft drinks. The place was pretty full -- about 3 or 4 empty tables by 7:30 and it's a big dining room -- lots of chinese families celebrating or having familiy dinners. Nice atmosphere and good, attentive staff.