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May 23, 2009 01:43 AM

Tasty Chinese seafood in a clean establishment?

Is that a fantasy? Looking for awesome crab, s&p shrimp, pan fried noodles without roaches. I don't care how charming some people find a C rating.

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  1. Do you equate clean with an A rating? It's very difficult for a Chinese restaurant with a vast menu to get an A rating due to the variety of ingredients and cooking and preparation processes. Occasionally you'll see an authentic Chinese seafood restaurant with an A rating--I know ABC Seafood in Chinatown has garnered such a rating. But I wouldn't go there because the food is so-so and the premises are sort of a dive. If a B rated, attractive looking place is OK, I think you do have a number of alternatives.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      Which clean B-rated, great places do you know of? I am astounded by the amount of chinese restaurants I find reviews for where people find roaches.

      1. re: 1newyorkguy

        Give Sea Harbour in Rosemead a try for excellent seafood as well as some of the best dim sum in SoCal. They usually have a "B" rating. Considering the very valid points raised by Chandavkl, Sea Harbour has done a stellar job in offering what you are looking for. I looked up their most recent rating based on a March inspection, and they received 86. which is a "B" pushing toward an "A." Their dining room is always crisp and clean, as are their display tanks. I'm a former saltwater reef tank enthusiast and am amazed at this place's commitment to keep their display tanks in such top order. What the kitchen and holding tanks look like, I have no idea.

        You've listed crab, s&p shrimp (assuming salt and pepper shrimp) and pan fried noodles - we've had the "awesome" varieties there time and again. Their ultimate pan-fried noodles for us is their chow mein with crispy noodles, or "leong min wong." Also consider a great rec from Ipsedixit: if ordering live shrimp from the tanks, remove the heads before eating and set aside. Ask the waiter to have the heads done by the kitchen in the salt & pepper style. They'll do it right where you can eat the heads whole.

        1. re: bulavinaka

          These are good suggestions. You can get a "B" for stupid nonsense (keeping plastic-wrapped stacks of plates too close to the floor, for example), or a few little dings here or there. You do have to be less-than-mindful of sanitation to get a C.

          So go for a B-rated plcae. Sea Harbour is a good idea. If Mission 261 is open, you could go there too.

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Mission 261 closed for remodeling about 3 months ago. Sign in the door promises some kind of culinary nirvana when they reopen. However, last time I went by there was no remodeling work in sight. The sign also states that they are receiving mail there, to assure us this is not the more typical "remodeling" which often equates to out of business.

            1. re: Chandavkl

              SG didn't approve the development plans of the owners that included building a multi-use hotel/retail spot as part of the "remodel". Mission 261 might not reopen until things progress on the land development front.


          2. re: bulavinaka

            Does Sea Harbour have some good crab dishes? Yelp pictures and reviews didn't bring up a single mention.

            1. re: 1newyorkguy

              You can pretty much order it any way that the kitchen would be familiar with. Salt & pepper crab and ginger scallion crab were great. We will probably order black pepper crab the next time we go. But just as a heads-up - it has been close to a year since our last visit.

            2. re: bulavinaka

              I agree that the cleanliness of the tanks is important. Have you been to/have any thoughts on Newport Tan Cang?

              1. re: 1newyorkguy

                Sorry, I haven't been there. Hopefully someone else will chime in...

        2. Or Elite, or 888 Seafood, or Newport Seafood, or what's that Chiu Chau Seafood place on the south side of Garvey between Atlantic and Garfield, closer to Atlantic.

          All of those had Bs the last time I went. Elite might have even had an A. And I've never seen any cockroaches in any of them, although just because you don't see them doesn't mean they aren't there - everywhere.

          1 Reply
          1. re: estone888

            Seafood Village is the Chiu Chow place in question.

          2. Ocean Seafood and Yang Chow, both in Chinatown, both had an "A" last time I was there.

            5 Replies
            1. re: wienermobile

              Neither are even comparable to the other places mentioned above.

              1. re: wienermobile

                This reinforces the statement I've made a couple of times on this board that I probably wouldn't eat at an "A" rated Chinese restaurant because that means the food isn't very good. Actually, there are a few good "A" rated Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, but these are smaller restaurants with more limited menu selections than the big dim sum/seafood places.

                  1. re: 1newyorkguy

                    Frankly I don't remember since the A-B-C rating isn't terribly meaningful to me. Next time I see one I'll add to this thread.

                    1. re: 1newyorkguy

                      Again, Chandavkl's advice is gold. Smaller specialized places tend to be easier in controlling the issues of your concern. We were at 101 Noodle Express in Alhambra a couple of weekends ago and they had an "A" in their window. We were at Luscious Dumplings about six weeks ago and they also had an "A" in their window. Looking up the two on LA County's Public Health website, the scores were 93 and 90, respectively. I think you can do a lot of this homework online. If all you're looking for are LA County Health Inspection ratings, you can go to the website that I posted above. Type in a zip code, pick a letter for the first letter of the restaurant name, and go down the list that pops up.

                      I'm sure you've at least been told this as well. Use your senses. If it doesn't look, smell, sound, or feel right, than it's probably a no-go. Also the "better" places obviously draw crowds. Given the extremely discriminating nature of the average SGV diner's tastes, I usually feel very safe eating places that have a good reputation around here, regardless of the letter in the window. Also, the vast majority of seafood places of substantial size in SGV have such high volume (food turnover) which speaks to freshness. We've been going out to the SGV from the Westside about 1-2 times a month for the past 15 years and have yet to have any food-related issues.

                1. First of two times our gang visited the now-replaced New Concept, we found it squeaky-clean and the food uniformly fresh and delicious. Afterwards we went out side and posed for pictures next to the "C" placard...

                  The only "bugs" we saw were crabs and lobsters!