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Another SGV DimSum Query

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A group of us (probably between 9 and 11 persons), not all from LA, will be getting together for DimSum on a Saturday in a few weeks. We're a mix of experienced DimSum eaters and 'newbies' with a sense of adventure. We're looking for the best. I've done a bunch of reading on this and other forums and am pretty aware of the "no cart" vs. "cart" debate. Can you please share your collective wisdom on the following choices? Also, with that many (9 to 11 people) would we be able to reserve a table ahead?

In appreciation,
vieux_carre

In the no cart category:

Elite Restaurant
700 S Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-9998
<www.elitechineserestaurant.com>

Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
3939 Rosemead Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 288-3939

For the more traditional cart service:

Empress Harbor
111 N Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA
(626) 300-8833
<http://www.empressharbor.com/>

Capital Seafood Restaurant
755 W Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
(626) 282-3318

888
8450 E Valley Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 573-3483

New Capital
140 W Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 288-1899

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

888 Seafood Restaurant
8450 E Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770

Capital Seafood Restaurant
755 W Garvey Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant
3939 N. Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770, USA

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

New Capital Seafood
140 W Valley Blvd Ste 212, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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  1. Capital will be no problem for 9-11, many families have that many and more, and there are a lot of round tables. I love Capital, its dependable and an aesthetically pleasing place, nice service, great place. It has the regular stuff like bao, egg rolls, but also has more interesting things, including nice different steamed things for a lower cal alternative (if such a thing exists at dim sum). Capital is my number one vote

    888 is hit and miss for me, I've had some nice things, some not so nice, and it can get crowded there.

    I don't like Elite, but I'm not in the majority. Its a small place, you can get a line. I don't recall there being a ton of large tables.

    I have not liked Sea Harbour (again, I'm not in the majority) although I liked their chicken knuckles (its like fried chicken cartiledge with scallions, etc, yum), but you can ge the same dish at King Hua, which is similar to Sea Harbour, but I think better (lots of nice congee selections there at King Hua as well, its a non-cart place like Sea Harbour, I really liked it there, it has fabulous egg rolls, their chicken feet were only so so though)

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    King Hua Restaurant
    2000 W Main St, Alhambra, CA 91801

    3 Replies
    1. re: noshie

      noshie:

      Thank you for the quick response. I really appreciate your insight. Two follow up questions:
      1. When you mention "Capital" are you referring to Capital on W. Garvey or New Capital on W. Valley upstairs?

      2. With our number, do you know if we can call ahead at Capital and reserve a table on a Saturday and avoid a wait?

      Thanks for the clarification,
      vieux_carre

      1. re: vieux_carre

        New Capital doesn't get a lot of props for quality. Not to say that it's bad, since it isn't, but it's really the value alternative when it comes to dim sum. Capital (on Garvey) has a lot of nice items and very nice decor.

        1. re: vieux_carre

          I mean the Capital on Garvey (exit the freeway at Atlantic, then make a left into the parking lot off Atlantic, Capital is in the same mini mall area as the 99 Ranch market.

          I don't know if you can reserve, I would just call. I don't imagine you would have much of a wait on Saturday, Sunday is the bigger day for dim sum (although at a smaller place like Elite you very well have to wait on a Saturday too) I usually go Sunday. Capital was running a special of 20% off the bill for ordering before 10:30 by the way, but some of the good stuff comes out later (roast duck, roast pork, which is really good there), so since you are wanting more variety, I would go on the later end of things. Their fried rice that they wheel around ina cart with one clay pot of fried rice (the other clay pot has pickled pigs feet in vinegar with egg I believe) is very good, as are the small bowls of stir fried noodles that come around on the later end (I would think some of your "newbies" might appreciate these dishes rather than the tendon salad (which I love)/cubes of blood/many varieties on tripe that are also there. Be sure to get their green wrapped dumplings (I think they are made/involve spinach) and I like their cucumber salad too, also they have multi-flavored sesame balls (green tea, custard, traditiona sesame balls and ones with black sesame seeds). Their bao are only so so, their shrimp and vegetable fun are good.

          By the way, Ocean across the street has private rooms you can reserve, but I believe there is a minium charge. Also, I am not a big fan of their dim sum except for their two flavored tofu (curry and sweet and sour) which dish is SO hard to find (they used to have it at the precedessor to Empress Harbour, I forget the name, which predecessor was related to the most wonderful San Francisco dim sum place in the Embarcadero (but I digress)--Have a nice time, its always great to go with a crowd, more to order)

      2. For off-the-menu: Sea Harbour.
        Don't just stick to the items on the menu, however; the best items are sometimes reserved in the back by request only. Check with the floor manager to see what they have -- often it'll be a nice hunk of geoduck sashimi, or sea cucumber marinaded in XO sauce and deep-fried to a wispy cloudy-like texture.

        For cart service: Ocean Star
        There isn't much to differentiate the various cart joints -- eg. 888, New Capital, Empress, etc. -- except for ambiance and atmosphere. And for that, none beats Ocean Star. When they open up the back portion, you'd swear that you could land a couple of 747s with room for a ocean liner.