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Jul 22, 2010 07:47 PM

#1 Sea Harbour, #2 Elite, #3 ______ ?

There seems to be broad agreement here that Sea Harbour and Elite are the top dim sum restaurants in the LA area. What would be contenders for third place?

Besides SH and Elite I've only been to Lunasia, which is okay but disappointing in comparison. Other candidates appear to be King Hua in Alhambra and Happy Harbor in Rowland Heights.

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  1. Here's my list of Top 5 (combo of both cart and menu style)

    1. Sea Harbour
    2. Elite
    3. Ocean Star (tie)
    3. 888 (tie)
    5. Empress Harbor

    Every other place is essentially fungible -- e.g. Capital, King Hua, New Capital, etc.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      King Hua is pretty refined but Elite and Sea Harbour are really nice.

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

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

      1. re: mc michael

        "refined" meaning a refined experience (like Lunasia), or refined food?

        1. re: Peripatetic

          the atmosphere, the milieu. but the food ain't bad either.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Ipse, I got scared away from Ocean Star a few years ago when there were some ownership changes and the quality apparently went down the toilet.... what's happened since then that they're tied with 888 on your list?

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster

          The upheaval in the back of the restaurant has affected the regular menu more than the dim sum side.

      3. As much as Ive loved Sea Harbour and Elite, I am kinda mesmerized by the cart experience....I had 2 great dim sum meals at Empress Pavillion...Where should I go in the SG Valley?

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

        5 Replies
        1. re: lapizzamaven

          I like Full House (but beware the house does get full).

          1. re: mc michael

            Which location do you prefer, the Chinatown one or the Arcadia one?

            1. re: Peripatetic

              No dim sum at the Chinatown location unless they've added it.

            2. re: lapizzamaven

              888 in Rosemead or Empress Harbor in Monterey Park.

            3. 888 (imho, best cart-driven dim sum in SoCal)

              4 Replies
              1. re: degustateur

                I don't get the hype about 888. I've gone here 3 times in the last 3 years, and each time has been an average or underwhelming experience. I went just 2 weeks ago, hoping my previous experiences were out of the norm. Nope, same as before.

                To me, Empress Harbor and Ocean Star are easily superior, with other good choices like New Capital, Blue Ocean Seafood, and East Gourmet Seafood. Capital Seafood and NBC have fallen down my ranking list.

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

                New Capital
                8823 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA

                East Gourmet Seafood Restaurant
                8118 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA 91770

                Blue Ocean Seafood Restaurant
                1412 S Garfield Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

                1. re: Wonginator

                  Is Ocean Star still good? There were some negative reports last year after the former owner of NBC (reportedly) bought Ocean Star:


                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      I was going for another datapoint. :)

              2. yep, happy harbor is very good as well.

                1. 3. Lunasia
                  4. King Hua
                  5. 888

                  Has Mission 261 re-opened?

                  Mission 261 Restaurant
                  261 S Mission Dr, San Gabriel, CA 91776

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

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: martyR

                    Mission 261 reopened in April but I can't find much in the way of commentary here about the food since reopening. Y*lp has some persuasively* negative reviews, though.

                    * Not (obviously) written by shills, anti-shills, or hipsters.