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Aug 29, 2008 09:43 AM

Westside Dim Sum

I just moved from Pasadena to Westwood and I've been struggling to find a good dim sum place nearby. I used to go down to Rosemead (Sea Harbor, NBC, etc...) or when time was an issue to Hop Li's on Baldwin in Arcadia but now I can't find a decent dim sum place that doesn't require more than a half hour drive. Anybody have any good recommendations for a dim sum place in the Westwood, Brentwood, Santa Monica, or other nearby West LA areas? Thanks very much.

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  1. I have some bad news for you- there aren't really any good dim sum places on the Westside. There is that VIP place on Westwood but in my opinion, you might as well get in the car and drive to downtown LA or San Gabriel. It's just not worth it. I moved to WLA and then to MDR from Rowland Heights a few years ago and the lack of dim sum is at times tortuous.

    1. This topic is WELL-covered in prior posts. A simple search of this board yields:

      1. Why doesn't someone get the hint and do some GOOD dim sum in the South Bay area. It would be soooooooooo appreciate it, and they would have a ton of business. The place in Lomita Regal Palcae, was sold, and it is NOT GOOD!!! We went to try it a few weeks ago and the har gow skins were mush. The pork buns were so small and barely had any pork in them, the sui mai was just ok. They charge $13 for brocolli, and the rest was less than memorable. Some one please someone come to the South Bay and give us some delicious DIM SUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        1. VIP on Wilshire (not Westwood) and Barrington is the ONLY place that serves dim sum west of Chinatown (and east of China save Hawaii). It had gone downhill for several years but the last time I went (several months ago), it actually good. Believe it or not, my mom (Chinese) and her foodie friend preferred it to the lunch at Din Tai Fung I dragged them to!!!! HUH?!? Well I wouldn't go that far but in my opinion, although it's not as good as many places in SGV, particularly Sea Harbour which you're used to as well as one of my personal faves, I do think it's good enough for you to give a shot. I do believe it is every bit as good as Empress Pavilion and even better than Ocean Star, for example.

          Sorry, can't find a link to the place, but it's there.

          Report back, please.

          6 Replies
          1. re: chowmominLA

            very interesting. might walk there this weekend to check out their dim sum.

            1. re: wilafur

              Fingers crossed that they don't screw me over in my defense of them. Please report back!

              1. re: chowmominLA

                I was pretty happy with my dim sum brunch at VIP Seafood a few months ago. Nice room, cart service, certainly nothing cutting edge but the dumplings were tasty and the fried items crisp and hot. We got there shortly after it opened after 11, and by the time we left there was a wait with a large proportion of Asian patrons and families. VIP is on the upper level of the two-story minimall on the N/W corner of Wilshire and Barrington.

            2. re: chowmominLA

              I heard a rumor that VIP Harbor changed chefs recently (a good move), which is why my experience there 2 months ago was better than before....

              1. re: chowmominLA

                We used to frequent VIP for dim sum; then it turned bad and then really bad.
                I am glad to hear that this might be a current Westside option. I like the bright space and the service.

                chowmominLA -- Knowing how you recently enjoyed Elite in the SGV, I am wondering if you still recommend VIP? I know it won't be as good as Elite, but would you consider VIP dim sum occasionally?

                1. re: liu

                  Hi Liu,

                  I work downtown with the luxury of long lunches so I find myself in the SGV for Chinese food about two or three times a week (like today). As such, even though I live on the Westside I don't frequent VIP (or any Westside Chinese restaurant) during the evenings or weekends. But if I didn't have such regular weekly access to the SGV, I would probably visit VIP about one time for every three or four times I'd motivate down the 10. I do think places such as Elite, Din Tai Fung and Luscious Dumpling are worth the drive *some of the time*, but with gas prices what they are and the value of time, no doubt there would be occasions when it just makes more sense to go a mile away to get a fix. Come to think of it, we had VIP dinner delivered last week and it was very good (especially the dow mew (sp), aka snow pea shoots with garlic.)

                  I still recommend that the original poster check VIP out, and other people too, if they are similarly located. My prediction is that he/she will find although it's not as good as Sea Harbour, it's very good considering where it is, and better than places in Chinatown and even some popular places in the SGV. Ironically it's less expensive than some SGV spots such as Elite. I think it's good enough to be an option to the trek (really it's the ONLY dimsum alternative to the trek) and, worst case scenario, it will only improve the OP's appreciation for the SGV.

              2. dear

                no there really isn't.

                on the other hand - hard to find a good deli in pasadena or the SGV. A whole new cuisine to explore.

                Sorry. I don't care for VIP. And what was the one in Santa monica - closed a year ago. ANd it was just ok. very limited selection.

                Hop Li and JinJiang (pico and santa monica ) near westwood aren't that bad in general. And Hu's szechwan if you order only sichuan dishes is decent.

                but dimsum? not any more.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jerome

                  Thanks for all your responses, I'm going to try to check it out this weekend. I'll report back after. All in all, though, it does seem to be a dismal scene.