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Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park.

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Humorousam Aug 27, 2008 10:21 PM

Believe it or not, Elite is the name of a infamous little restaurant in Monterey Park, passed the famous NBC Seafood Restaurant.

I went in there just because my friend said his cousin had a recent job there, and told him that this restaurant has the most fresh seafood, even more so than NBC.

I had to check this out, obviously knowing the fame of NBC, and the irony of Elite being as little as 3 blocks down. I end up at Elite for both Dim Sum (breakfast) and Dinner. The only time I've ever done that in my life (trust me, my personal life is filled with things to do).

I STRONGLY recommend this Chinese based restaurants to first the English or Americans who can't get enough Dim Sum, this has to be the most fresh and most delicate Dim Sum in Los Angeles, (if it doesn't suit you the way me, I say top 5) I strongly suggest to try their dinner menu after you have tried their dim sum. The reason i recommend this to Americans or other ethnics other than Asian is because the service towards non-Asians is phenominal. Talk about tolarating other ethnicities. I wasn't so sure when I saw Chinese letters and most Chinese People inside, how I would be treated, but to my surprise; the servants were neither too surprised or too misprised to see a non-Asian. This was a first.

You won't find me adding new topics very often either, but this one had me at the modern way of ordering dim sum. This restaurant is recommended for everyone, family, adults, rich or poor. Great choice in simple chinese dining, the only bad thing is the poor selection of beer. ;]

Address,

700 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754

Phone Number,
(626) 282-9998

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  1. liu RE: Humorousam Aug 27, 2008 10:34 PM

    We have enjoyed dim sum here perhaps more than 40 times...always fresh and delicious! The service is attentive and always with respect. On weekends, expect to wait -- but it is worth it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: liu
      h
      Humorousam RE: liu Aug 27, 2008 11:07 PM

      Ah, couldn't put it better myself Liu! I usually go on weekdays, but invite friends for breakfast on weekends. IT'S PACKED, but worth it!

    2. h
      Humorousam RE: Humorousam Aug 27, 2008 11:23 PM

      Pretty much the best Dim Sum and service I've ever had in L.A. area.
      And the location is just ironic.

      1. j
        justagthing RE: Humorousam Aug 27, 2008 11:30 PM

        servants or servers....lol ;)

        "the servants were neither too surprised or too misprised to see a non-Asian"

        5 Replies
        1. re: justagthing
          h
          Humorousam RE: justagthing Aug 27, 2008 11:34 PM

          Servants! haha ;]

          1. re: Humorousam
            h
            Humorousam RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 10:10 AM

            you know i mean servers lol.

            1. re: Humorousam
              j
              justagthing RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 10:39 AM

              yes, but I couldn't resist, hee hee

              1. re: justagthing
                h
                Humorousam RE: justagthing Aug 28, 2008 10:55 AM

                haha, you've been to elite? what's your take?

                1. re: Humorousam
                  j
                  justagthing RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 04:58 PM

                  Seemed very typical Chinese. Some were nice, others indifferent. One lady seems to have a permanent scowl, but when this cute kid sat down, she started playing with him, teasing and even scolding him (in a nice way). So, eh, but I did really enjoy the dim sum, the only miss for me was that huge shark fin dumpling.

        2. raytamsgv RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 12:02 PM

          I agree with you. Elite is one of the best dim sum/Cantonese restaurants around. Here is some more info for your reading pleasure: http://www.geocities.com/raytamsgv/ch...

          1. liu RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 05:32 PM

            Just a brief Elite love story --
            I love the fermented black beans that they (and many other Chinese restaurants) use in some of their dishes. When I asked one of the managers at the desk (the lady with the glasses that is usually at their cash register) how I could purchase these beans in a Chinese market, she said that she would have some for me the next time I went to Elite for dim sum. Sure enough, she remembered and brought me my own personal container of these fermented black beans. And again, the next time I was there, she brought me another container to take home. How very thoughtful and kind!

            Every one of our many, many times something impresses us about Elite for dim sum! I think their egg tarts are the best of any I have had, and their almond muffins are luscious! I am also quite fond of their special vegetable rice noodles. Everything is superb!

            1. c
              chowmominLA RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 07:48 PM

              I too am a huge fan of Elite. I've recommended it countless times here on the boards for dim sum or dinner...that Peking Duck "two ways" is as good if not better than Lu Din Gee (LDG serves it with pancakes, Elite with buns for the skin and pancakes for the meat, mu shu (sp) style.) My dad is an "old school Chinese foodie" loved the pigs feet :0) Re dim sum, I've had shiu mai a thousand times in my life but this was the only place where I was completely blown away by its freshness... funny for the most basic of dim sum dishes to be so notably delicious. Never been disappointed there.

              9 Replies
              1. re: chowmominLA
                liu RE: chowmominLA Aug 28, 2008 08:09 PM

                I'm with you, chowmominLA!

                Every weekend we try to be experimental (like a true Chowhound might) and try other places...but we almost always agree that this is the experience we crave...almost every Saturday morning! Even when we try new (to us!) items on the menu, we are never disappointed. I could close my eyes and select...my only regret is that I get full too quickly.

                I also love that there are often surprises (new items!) being passed around on the trays. What fun! Elite is never boring.

                1. re: liu
                  c
                  chowmominLA RE: liu Aug 28, 2008 08:14 PM

                  Oh actually I do remember ONE time I was disappointed: I ordered something to the effect of "Blue Mountain Coffee Cake" off the dim sum menu (sounds intriguing, right), and I was expecting, you know, coffee cake... but instead it was this coffee flavored gelatin dessert which wasn't very good and nothing at all like what I'd expected :0)

                  1. re: chowmominLA
                    j
                    Jase RE: chowmominLA Aug 28, 2008 08:22 PM

                    My sister and I are pretty fearless eaters. We make it game to order at least two dishes that sound different when we go for dim sum. Then we try to make notes on a takeaway menu for next time. It's a fun way of doing dim sum russian roulette since we like Elite's execution of most dishes.

                    1. re: Jase
                      c
                      chowmominLA RE: Jase Aug 28, 2008 08:40 PM

                      Liu, Jase and anyone else, what are your favorite dim sum dishes?

                      1. re: chowmominLA
                        liu RE: chowmominLA Aug 28, 2008 09:00 PM

                        When their egg tarts are warm (and they usually are), they are divine.

                        They have some almond "muffins" (they are rather anemic looking) that can be wonderful; the flavor of these seems to vary from week to week, however.

                        I love their special vegetable rice noodles and their XO rice noodles. Regarding this last dish, the rice noodles in XO sauce, be sure that you get the rice noodles and not the taro pieces in XO sauce. The two look very similar but the texture is quite different. The taro is mushy, like a potato, while the rice noodles are smooth and sometimes crispy from the XO sauce.

                        1. re: liu
                          c
                          chowmominLA RE: liu Aug 28, 2008 09:17 PM

                          Sounds great; thanks! Oh and sorry I should have read your prior post, where you already answered my question :0)

                          1. re: chowmominLA
                            liu RE: chowmominLA Aug 28, 2008 09:56 PM

                            Hey, chowmominLA --
                            No problem repeating; I never get tired dreaming about Elite. It's Thursday evening...only about 36 more hours until dim sum!

                        2. re: chowmominLA
                          j
                          Jase RE: chowmominLA Aug 29, 2008 02:38 PM

                          The standards like the ha gow and shu mai are always good. But we really like their rendition of taro and turnip cakes. The traditional fried is comfort food for me. Elite's version is to steam it. We really like that version.

                          For a dessert type item, try the home style sugar cake. It's sort of like a brown sweet sponge cake.

                      2. re: chowmominLA
                        notmartha RE: chowmominLA Aug 28, 2008 09:21 PM

                        Oh - we actually liked the blue mountain coffee jello. It was kind of unique, but our must have dessert is also the egg tarts, and we order the macau roast pork every time also.

                        Agree about the shau mai. Most places (even Sea Harbour) we pass on those, but somehow Elite's version is so savory...

                        Been there a lot for dim sum. So what else are good for dinner besides the Peking Duck?

                  2. j
                    Jerome RE: Humorousam Aug 28, 2008 11:22 PM

                    I personally don't get all the stuff in this thread about bad service in chinese places.

                    I've rarely had bad service in chinese restaurants. Sometimes - as at giang nan and 101 noodle express and YunGui yunnan and sichaun resto on Garfield, they've been incredibly friendly. And I don't appear Chinese or East asian in the least - as I'm not.

                    THis as opposed to an incident the other evening at an establishment serving french food - two tables - 19 people. We were told by the manager when making the reservation that there would be an 18% service charge calculated before tax on the meal.
                    Fine
                    Fine

                    After the meal, late in the evening, the hostess brings the check (we're paying cash as there are 19 of us) and I see that it's 20% calc after tax. It isn't the few dollars - it's the principle - perhaps fraud. I tell her i'd like to speak with the manager - everyone's gone home. She tells me this is the policy - flagrantly contradicting both what we heard and the website which is clear - 18% added for parties of 6 or more.

                    So we call out for extra - people pay. WE leave - ( i do this relatively quietly away from the tables so as not to ruin everyone's evening). The next day I call the resto - speak with teh manager - or owner - he tells me no it's 18% pre-tax. I tell hijm what happened, described the hostess, and he can check the bill. No credit card refund as we all paid cash.

                    So i'm getting a (small i'm sure) gift certificate. But the experience so soured me that I dont' know if I"m going back.

                    NOthing like this has ever happened to me at a CHinese restaurant, even when having planned a banquet there.

                    So there it is.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Jerome
                      j
                      justagthing RE: Jerome Aug 29, 2008 08:46 AM

                      Well, sorry to hear of your experience at the French restaurant. When people talk about bad service at a Chinese restaurant, it is usually during the meal or ordering, not at the end as what happened to you. For example, when ordering, the waitperson often makes comments or makes rude facial expressions. When you want more water, it may take you several hailings to finally get someone's attention. If they got something wrong and you point it out to them, they aren't as courteous to you and almost makes it your fault. But, it is something that many of us are use to, growing up with it, it really isn't rude to my standards, just how it is. Oh, and yes, I am Asian.

                      1. re: justagthing
                        c
                        chowmominLA RE: justagthing Aug 29, 2008 12:49 PM

                        My sentiments exactly... growing up I was always certain that the reason why I was treated so badly by staff at Chinese restaurants is because I'm Chinese but don't speak any dialect. Now I think that's just the way it is. It's a different culture. Without the somewhat cold service and the numerous typos on the menu, it wouldn't be authentic :0)

                        I also think it's ok to tip accordingly. With rude service I don't take it personally and won't think twice about it but I'm not leaving 15%. So when I get really good, friendly service and I tip 20%, they always seem so surprised... like they're not used to getting that much. Maybe because generally the tips aren't very good is another reason why, generally speaking, service is the way it is.

                        1. re: chowmominLA
                          raytamsgv RE: chowmominLA Aug 29, 2008 01:11 PM

                          That's very true. A few times, I've seen my mom get into some very heated discussions with some very colorful insults flying around. Those insults are definitely better in Cantonese. :-)

                          1. re: chowmominLA
                            Mr Taster RE: chowmominLA Oct 1, 2008 12:08 PM

                            I have it on good authority that the standard tip from Chinese customers in SGV restaurants is 10%.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster
                              raytamsgv RE: Mr Taster Oct 1, 2008 02:30 PM

                              That's why good Chinese restaurants love non-Chinese customers. :-)

                        2. re: Jerome
                          s
                          slacker RE: Jerome Sep 3, 2008 05:38 PM

                          You've got to name that establishment serving french food.

                          At Grace, they also calculated the tip after tax.

                          1. re: slacker
                            j
                            Jerome RE: slacker Sep 3, 2008 06:09 PM

                            the manager/owner apologized the next day and offered to make restitution. I didn't have any contact with the waitress afterards. It's a nice place - so give it a try

                            (lilly's)

                        3. c
                          chowmominLA RE: Humorousam Aug 29, 2008 04:00 PM

                          Okay so all this talk about Elite had my mouth watering so I went there for a late dim sum lunch today. I got there at 1:30 and was a little worried that I was able to find a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, and there was only about a 2 minute wait for a table -- not even enough time to pull up this thread on my iPhone and remind myself what to try.

                          When I was seated a waiter asked if I wanted tea and I said, "no thanks, just ice water please."

                          After checking boxes and scratching them out and checking different ones and scratching those out, I finally settled on an order of shiu mai (#2 on the menu), the dry scallop egg white fried rice (76) and the macau egg custard (34).

                          The shiu mai came out pretty quickly. I had been wow'ed by it before, and it wow'ed me again. It's simply the best shiu mai ever... so nice and plump, juicy, succulent, fresh... with large chunks of fresh shrimp mixed in with the juicy and slightly fatty pork, perfectly seasoned. There's a dab of smelt egg on top, just enough to give each bite little salty pops. So wonderful. Who would have thought that something as basic as shiu mai could be so tantalizing.

                          Next came the fried rice. Since I had the pork fried rice at Din Tai Fung, I've never ordered fried rice anywhere else because I never thought any place could have a fried rice as light, tasty and perfect. Until now.... The fried rice was wonderful. I think it may have been ever so slightly greasier than DTF's, but it had a different taste that I just loved, maybe simply because I was growing tired of DTF's pork flavored fried rice. I didn't really know what to expect with "dry scallop", it turns out that it's dried scallop flakes, and looks similar to bonito flakes, but is much better. It's not too salty, it was just right to give the dish scallop flavor. There was also thinly-cut asparagus, cilantro and green onion in it along with, of course, a generous amount of egg white (which I've realized I vastly prefer to whole egg in my fried rice.) Anyway, the order was huge so even after wolfing down a few servings I have enough left over for dinner for me and my toddler.

                          Finally came the three little baked "macau egg custard" pies. I picked one up, it was still warm. I took a bite and....

                          oh. My. GOD.

                          This had to have been the most wonderful thing I've had in a while, which is saying a lot for someone who lives her life around food. The custard was like a beautiful creme brulee, but more eggy and less sweet (with the slightly burnt surface reminiscent of burnt marshmallow from a campfire s'more) in a light puff pastry. It was warm and just melts in your mouth and is just so perfect. It reminds you why you love food and life so much. It's the "oh. My. GOD" factor that I hadn't had since I went to Sushi Zo about a month ago. Even though I'm not much of a sweets or dessert person, this little macau egg custard will be one of my all time favorite dishes of anywhere. But I can see how the recommendation for this custard was qualified on whether it's served warm, because room temperature would have made it completely different.

                          As I savored my lunch and looked around at the pretty dark decor and saw the staff smiling to their customers, I regretted my post just hours ago recommending VIP in Brentwood, in light of its convenient location. No offense to VIP or any of the other "good" dim sum spots -- they're all fine for what they are, whether it be factoring in price, convenience, what have you. But Elite is simply in another league. A completely different world.

                          I got a to go box for my fried rice, got the bill and saw there was a $1.00 tea set up charge. When I gave my bill back with my credit card I nicely asked if I should have a tea charge when I had no tea (recall, I was asked "if" I wanted tea, not "what kind", in which case I would have ordered anything, took a few sips and expected and paid the charge.) They quickly took it off. I responded with a generous tip.

                          Elite had always been neck and neck with Sea Harbour. Sea Harbour has always had fresh and innovative dim sum, a few stand out dishes and I've never left disappointed. But I think all around considering the atmosphere, the service and of course the "wow" factor of the food, Elite has edged Sea Harbour out to take the top spot for dim sum places in my book.

                          There are only two negatives about my experience with Elite. First, it is probably the most expensive of dim sum spots. I had a full, white linen service dim sum lunch at Blue Ocean Seafood (new New Capital place, in the space where MVP used to be) where the bill after tax but before tip was less than $10 for five orders of good, solid dim sum. Here, the shiu mai and the egg custard were $3.28 each, plus $11.80 for the fried rice, so with tax but before tip it was $20 -- twice the price for the same amount of food. Mind you, I think the $10 is worth it. It's not like the price difference of Urasawa versus those on the steps below; we're talking $10. Still, the price difference is worth the mention.

                          Second, I wanted to sample about $2,594.36 worth of food but as a solo diner I settled for three dishes for $20. Not the restaurant's fault, just a personal gripe of my own circumstance.

                          Anyway, blah blah blah... just go.

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

                          17 Replies
                          1. re: chowmominLA
                            liu RE: chowmominLA Aug 29, 2008 04:23 PM

                            Great post, chowmominLA! Hear my echo...if I could have written this myself, I would have!

                            I have been raving about Elite for more than a year now...since they changed names, and I consider it the best dim sum in our area; as you have said, it is on a level by itself and it consistently delivers delicious food.

                            In response to a few of the other posts here, we have been treated only with great kindness and respect; our service has always been attentive and extraordinary!

                            Next time, chowmominLA, do consider a cup of tea. Their tea is quite good and you can select between jasmine, oolong and pu-erh.

                            1. re: chowmominLA
                              notmartha RE: chowmominLA Aug 29, 2008 08:35 PM

                              Thanks for the review. I have been going to Elite instead of Sea Harbour for a while. Sea Harbour is good, but I don't think it is as innovative in putting little twists to traditional dim sum as Elite. I just find Elite's dim sum consistently good, and it's about the only restaurant that I will actually endure 1/2 hour or more wait. I guess I don't really watch the price at all, not when the food is good. I only gripe (a lot) if it's mediocre food and expensive prices.

                              The first few times we went the shui mai actually have 1/4 pieces of fresh scallops on top. I noticed that they were gone the last time we went. It doesn't really detract much, as it was still very good.

                              I don't understand the threads about bad services in chinese restaurants. I never have rude services in any of the chinese restaurants, just sometimes indifferent or slow ones. Not bad enough to deter me from going, anyway.
                              I don't know if having a kid in the party helped.

                              1. re: notmartha
                                c
                                chowmominLA RE: notmartha Aug 29, 2008 09:30 PM

                                At 1:30 today there was virtually no wait and plenty of parking, and at most dim sum places that might translate to limited choices or stale / room temperature / not-as-fresh dim sum due to sitting in the carts for so long -- but not at Elite -- it was as fresh and hot as it would have been any other time. So I'm thinking of shooting for around 1:30 for mid-week dim sum there from now on. Sushi Gen in Little Tokyo is the same way.

                                Oh and I forgot to mention something funny... at the table next to mine three Chinese women were finishing up and settling the bill -- there was no food left and no leftovers except three of the four squares of that "Blue Mountain Coffee Cake" aka coffee jell-o. They kept pushing it to each other only to have it pushed back like a hot potato. Wonder if when they ordered it they had been envisioning coffee cake rather than Jell-o too... lol.

                                1. re: chowmominLA
                                  notmartha RE: chowmominLA Aug 30, 2008 03:06 PM

                                  That's why I can never bring myself to the push cart dim sum places anymore. If I go early at those places there's not much selection, if I go at prime time the wait is 1-1.5 hours, and then I am at the mercy of the push cart ladies. Plus I like the fried food to be fresh hot out of the fryer, and it's hard to get that there.

                                  The only gripe I have on Elite and Sea Harbour is that you would think that they will try to serve the sweet stuff last, as a dessert, but sometimes the tarts arrive mid point through the meal and by the time we get around to eating them it's not as hot (still good, but I really like my food really hot).

                                  That is funny. I dunno, I think we were kind of stuffed then so we didn't mind something light like a jello instead of a cake.

                                  1. re: notmartha
                                    raytamsgv RE: notmartha Sep 3, 2008 03:32 PM

                                    If you want the tarts last, don't include it in your *initial* order. When you are close to finishing, tell one of the servers that you want to order something else. We do this because we often add items as we're eating.

                                    1. re: raytamsgv
                                      notmartha RE: raytamsgv Sep 3, 2008 08:49 PM

                                      I guess I have to try that. Just don't want to hassle with locating the waiter mid-way through the meal. We went today, and they served the egg tarts first! I always over order, not under.

                                      1. re: notmartha
                                        b
                                        bulavinaka RE: notmartha Sep 3, 2008 09:28 PM

                                        Just wave them down - the lines of communication there are good...

                                        1. re: bulavinaka
                                          notmartha RE: bulavinaka Sep 4, 2008 09:37 PM

                                          They were so busy yesterday our dirty dishes were only cleared once and I had a tough time flagging them down even for a check.

                                          I'll have to do that next time because a lukewarm egg tart is not as good.

                                          On unusual stuff, my parents (visiting from NYC) remarked that they have a little twist on even traditional dishes. It's kind of subtle - for instance peanuts with chicken feet, yam? with steamed pork ribs, taro with beef ribs, and asparagus in the shrimp rice noodle. My brother was kind of dismayed when he thought he's getting street food style fried rice cruller with noodles (#43) and there's shrimp paste in them.

                                          I am not sure why, but I like #35 - it's kind of a sweet chewy pancake, but with bits of chinese sausage thrown in. My hubbie can't fathom the texture and the sweet and savory at once, but it's kind of interesting. I don't think I've seen it anywhere else.

                                          We also like the panfried turnip cake with XO sauce.

                                      2. re: raytamsgv
                                        e
                                        exilekiss RE: raytamsgv Sep 4, 2008 01:40 PM

                                        Totally agree w/ raytamsgv. :)

                                        notmartha, whenever I go with my Dim Sum Hounds, we always order our desserts halfway through the meal (just tell them you're adding some dishes), that should ensure you get your desserts fresh out of the kitchen toward the end of your meal. Enjoy. :)

                                2. re: chowmominLA
                                  JAB RE: chowmominLA Aug 30, 2008 11:29 AM

                                  Since the fried rice (not a dim sum item) was over half your bill...

                                  1. re: JAB
                                    ipsedixit RE: JAB Aug 30, 2008 10:43 PM

                                    Ordering fried rice at dim sum is just foolish.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      m
                                      Mel Gee RE: ipsedixit Aug 30, 2008 11:45 PM

                                      In Q'i'Goh (a city of far-western China populated historically by Shanghai expats), the local version of dim sum is always served on a fragrant and deliciously oily bed of fried rice, which contains dried fruits and vegetables reconstituted in sour camel's milk.

                                      You can try the dish at one of the more than 50 Gohean restaurants in Southern California, located primarily between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Among the better known are Father's Office (SM branch only), Cut (available on the small-plates menu for $146 the piece), Tito's Tacos (try the amazing hard-shell BBQ camel-hair bao!), and Q'i'Wu Express (no food -- “express” is a rough translation of “no food, nothing”).

                                      1. re: Mel Gee
                                        ElsieDee RE: Mel Gee Aug 31, 2008 06:00 AM

                                        *blink*
                                        *snarf*
                                        Brilliant!

                                      2. re: ipsedixit
                                        JAB RE: ipsedixit Aug 31, 2008 02:08 PM

                                        I don't know that I'd go that far. I've been known to order salty fish & chicken fried rice at dim sum.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          c
                                          chowmominLA RE: ipsedixit Sep 1, 2008 11:00 AM

                                          Um, I loved it and I don't think they serve it for dinner, so no regrets.

                                        2. re: JAB
                                          c
                                          chowmominLA RE: JAB Sep 1, 2008 11:02 AM

                                          Two orders of dim sum and an order of fried rice is roughly equivalent to five orders of dim sum so I think it was a fair comparison.

                                          1. re: JAB
                                            c
                                            chowmominLA RE: JAB Sep 1, 2008 11:14 AM

                                            If you're talking about the price comparison, I figured two orders of dim sum and an order of fried rice is roughly equivalent in volume to 5 orders of dim sum, so the compariason was fair. Five orders of "M" class dim sum at Elite would have been twice the cost as at Blue Ocean .

                                        3. j
                                          Jerome RE: Humorousam Aug 31, 2008 07:43 PM

                                          went today.
                                          service was fine, very friendly.
                                          Best thing - immediately brought a fresh pot of chrysanthemum tea when asked. When we commented on the (good) jasmine tea in the standard pot - the water asked if we wanted something stronger. We said, sure, tie guan yin tea would be great. They brought out a pot and it was fantastic.

                                          As for the dimsum itself - nice, but I wasn't all that impressed. We had the vegetarian "supreme" rice noodle, the siu mai were VERY GOOD, the rolled tofu with the sweet sauce, the ok goose webbings with papaya, the zongzi were Excellent (glutinous rice in leaves), the glutinous rice filled bao, so so, I found the selection a bit more limited than i expected - no geoduck, no straight tendon dishes, no straight tripe, no octopus or simple roasts, there was a beef stew with some tripe...

                                          what is delicate to some is bland to others. Also, no phoenix dumpling in soup (ok with shark fin) .

                                          We had one fried taro roll flled with dried scallop that was disappointing. But the room is pleasant, the service fine, the chasiu bao baked or steamed fine, if you like your hargow go for it, the chiuchow style fun gwor with the peanuts were dandy.

                                          Not my first place to go back. Bad? Not at all. But i prefer 888 and even (HORRORS) empress. And for a menu dimsum place - mission 261 (if that's the right number).

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Jerome
                                            k
                                            kfung RE: Jerome Aug 31, 2008 11:55 PM

                                            ...

                                            1. re: Jerome
                                              sbritchky RE: Jerome Sep 1, 2008 01:57 AM

                                              Jerome, tie guan yin is also called Iron Buddha, correct? If I ask for that will they know what I mean?

                                              I used to have Iron Buddha in Hong Kong with very early morning dim sum, and it was black and strong and served in tiny saucers. Are we talking about the same tea?

                                              1. re: sbritchky
                                                j
                                                Jerome RE: sbritchky Sep 1, 2008 04:50 PM

                                                YEs it's iron buddha - lit iron avalokitesvara boddhistava aka guanshiyin pu-sa, aka guanyin (japanese Kannon).

                                            2. s
                                              slacker RE: Humorousam Sep 3, 2008 05:51 PM

                                              Elite is now No. 1 for me too, for dim sum. It's better than Sea Harbour, after very recent re-visits to both.

                                              I just never could understand why anyone would go to a place like Elite or Sea Harbour and only order the basic stuff. Okay, so order some of the basics that you can't live without, but to me, the whole point of having dim sum at places like these and paying the premium, is to try their more unusual offerings.

                                              I haven't been there for dinner, but the menu looks very interesting, quite different. Except for those Thai dishes, I don't know about that.

                                              16 Replies
                                              1. re: slacker
                                                liu RE: slacker Sep 3, 2008 06:12 PM

                                                slacker...honestly, we try to order new items all the time, but there are SO many of our favorites that we crave. We go every weekend, almost! Still, it is not often enough.

                                                Our "must haves" are more than we can consume at one sitting...
                                                While we always approach it intellectually and decide that we "should" order their "unusual offerings," it just doesn't happen. Whatev -- we are never disappointed and always leave with a smile!

                                                1. re: liu
                                                  s
                                                  slacker RE: liu Sep 3, 2008 08:41 PM

                                                  I don't think there are actually that many unusual items. They do do so many of the "regular" ones so well. I think Triumphal has more variety, but Elite is still better.

                                                  1. re: slacker
                                                    liu RE: slacker Sep 3, 2008 09:32 PM

                                                    Clarification -- unusual or new TO US.
                                                    I agree that they do the basics with extraordinary skill; their egg tarts are amazing! Yet, we would like to stretch and try a few items that we don't normally order...yet we remain extremely satisfied with our usual rotation of our favorites. So, it doesn't really matter if their menu is more varied than some of the other dim sum places; what they do they do so well.

                                                    1. re: liu
                                                      s
                                                      slacker RE: liu Sep 3, 2008 10:33 PM

                                                      I meant unusual relative to the general offerings at most dim sum places. Like that giant shark's fin dumpling in broth, which I really liked. And the Baked scallops and turnip cake, which I really did not like. And the Bamboo pith and sea cucumber wrap (like).

                                                      They also do a great version of the suen jook roll, pork, sometimes with some sort of veg (sometimes available in all veg), rolled in bean thread sheets. Every dim sum place has this, but theirs is so good.

                                                      1. re: slacker
                                                        liu RE: slacker Sep 4, 2008 08:37 AM

                                                        slacker, do you know what this bean thread roll is called on the Elite menu? We think Capital does a very good version; they have two with different fillings...I like one better than the other but I only know the distinction visually and not by name.

                                                        1. re: liu
                                                          kingkong5 RE: liu Sep 4, 2008 11:54 AM

                                                          speaking of unusual dishes at Elite, I'm planning on taking my mom and family there for her birthday this Sunday. Our typical dim sum orders consist of har gow, shui mai, turnip cake, chicken feet, tofu sheet rolls, the flat rice sheet rolls with shrimp in them, and sometimes the sticky rice in lotus leaf.

                                                          What unusually good items would we add to that?

                                                          1. re: kingkong5
                                                            ipsedixit RE: kingkong5 Sep 4, 2008 02:14 PM

                                                            kingkong5,

                                                            I would suggest you try some of the following at Elite:

                                                            1. Pork and abalone dumplings in shark fin soup
                                                            2. Steamed taro cake
                                                            3. Deep fried peanut and sesame cake
                                                            4. Beef stew with curry sauce
                                                            5. Claypot (salted fish and pork)
                                                            6. Congee (duck eggs and fish maw)
                                                            7. Pancakes

                                                            1. re: kingkong5
                                                              liu RE: kingkong5 Sep 4, 2008 03:08 PM

                                                              kingkong5 -- Their sticky rice in lotus leaf is loaded with tasty surprises! I do wish that they wouldn't use the paper to separate the lotus leaf from the rice, however; I want to taste the leaf! There must be a practical reason for this?

                                                              1. re: liu
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                                                                bulavinaka RE: liu Sep 4, 2008 03:17 PM

                                                                We were caught off guard by this as well - a true WTF? moment... In general, they excel at the standards - except this... Someone please talk to the kitchen!

                                                                1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                  ipsedixit RE: bulavinaka Sep 4, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                                  Some people prefer it this way. Easier to eat, and you don't get your hands all sticky unwrapping the bamboo/lotus leaf.

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                    b
                                                                    bulavinaka RE: ipsedixit Sep 4, 2008 03:45 PM

                                                                    Then they ought to sans the flora. My MIL would have inflicted bodily harm on to someone - probably me for taking her here - had she been presented this... Traditionalist rant over...

                                                                2. re: liu
                                                                  notmartha RE: liu Sep 4, 2008 09:31 PM

                                                                  I can still taste the leaf even with the wax paper. I found the rice a little too mushy when we ordered it a while back, although it was pretty tasty with the bits of abalone thrown in.

                                                              2. re: liu
                                                                s
                                                                slacker RE: liu Sep 4, 2008 01:34 PM

                                                                They call it "Bean curd wrap oyster sauce" No reference to the pork inside, there's some wood ear mushrooms mixed in the pork--I'm pretty sure that's what I noticed before I devoured it in two seconds.

                                                                1. re: slacker
                                                                  liu RE: slacker Sep 4, 2008 03:04 PM

                                                                  Thanks, slacker!

                                                                  1. re: slacker
                                                                    notmartha RE: slacker Sep 4, 2008 09:30 PM

                                                                    That's #3 on the menu.

                                                                2. re: slacker
                                                                  raytamsgv RE: slacker Sep 4, 2008 12:30 PM

                                                                  That might be true, but after a while, even the most unusual dishes become normal. As a child, I complained frequently how we always at boring dim sum every week instead of exotic foods like pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs. Discovering relish and pickles was like nirvana to us!

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