Dim Summing it up in Monterey Park at NBC
After enjoying a terrific banquet meal here a year ago, I've been wanting to come back as a paying customer and sample more of what this place had to offer. With time on our hands on Monday, we figured the holiday would be an ideal time to make a quick and hopefully traffic-free lunch trip to Monterey Park.
We arrived around 1:45 PM for a late lunch, in order to beat the crowds; the place was bustling and nearly full, but we were seated right away. We saw they were doing dim sum, which I'd hoped would be the case, although I was prepared to order menu items as well. As it happened, the allure of the carts overwhelmed us and we decided to go along for the ride.
At this juncture it should be noted that my wife and daughter, Chowhounds In Training, do not relish this sort of eating adventure quite as much as I do. Not that the Dim Sum fad is anything new anymore; I remember weekends with my dad hitting the Empress, CBS and ABC (why are all these restaurants named for television networks?) in the late 1970s. But although it's no longer exotic by current LA standards, there is a large contingent of people for whom the idea of pointing to objects on a cart—some bearing tentacles—and agreeing to consume it in the absence of a satisfactory description holds little appeal.
My problem is rather the opposite: I'm afraid that the servers with the really good stuff will pass me by, fearing their authentic delicacies will be too exotic for my Caucasian tastes. So each time, I try to flag down an unfamiliar cart or two, just to make sure I'm not missing out.
And so it begins. We had the obligatory pork/shrimp Shu Mai, the Har Gow, the delicate Shrimp RIce Roll. We fleshed out our feast with steamed Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli). We enjoyed some sweet dishes as well: steamed Ma La cake and White Lotus buns, as well as a sort of soft tofu soup in a sweetened rice wine broth.
The Chowkid loves salty Soy Sauce Chicken, and I would have liked to try their Fried Leek Dumpling, but we didn't see any on offer that day.
The food was solid and well-prepared, although I think an earlier arrival might have given us slightly fresher offerings. Service was brusque but friendly, and servers did their best to patiently explain their wares despite the language barrier.
The NBC clearly excels at banquets and big, festive dishes, but is not a bad option for Dim Sum. Worth the trip!
NBC Seafood Restaurant
404 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754
Or I take matters into my own hands. My favorite item is not doing the rounds on the carts? Bug a waiter, or the pit boss waiter (aka the "captain" or the mgr) and request it. If you are lucky it will be delivered either by the cart lady herself once she's done with selling her inventory and picks up your order from the kitchen, the waiter, or sometimes the pit boss himself. But yes, hunting down the cart lady and taking matters into your own hands is perfectly fine too. Now I can't remember if I ate here, or at ABC many years back, now I am confused.
jesus, yes. when i visit family in LA, we go to nbc almost every day. we all get our favorites: chicken feet for the kids, lo bo gao for the whiteys, pork shumai, blood cubes for anyone suspected of illness (usually everyone), pig ear, bbq pork buns, sesame balls.....now i'm so hungry i'm willing to put up with my bossy uncles!
also missing nyc seafood and mas' islamic (rip tung lai shun)