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Decent Dim Sum in Chinatown?

Hey guys, I realize that the best Chinese food is in the SGV but I am having a dim sum craving and I am having trouble convincing my friends to head out to Elite or Sea Harbour. Understanding that its not the best, what would be your recommendations for Chinatown dim sum joints. I have had decent if not that exciting dim sum at Empress Pavilion, but was hoping maybe there was something better...

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Empress Pavilion Restaurant
988 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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  1. Chasgoose...in spite of the abuse Empress often gets here, i have not found Elite or Sea Harbour to be significantly better, at least as far as basic dim sum goes...Im not into exotic dishes(tried a chicken feet dish at Elite that several tables were clearly enjoying...sorry, not a chicken part i find worth chewing on...but har gow was excellent every time ive been to EP...fresh, juicy shrimp, nice textured skins...same goes for the rice noodle shrimp, sticky rice, etc....

    3 Replies
    1. re: lapizzamaven

      The service has gotten better at EP. Usually I have to ask three or four times for extra mustard. Now I only have to ask maybe twice. A major improvement. I get peeved having to keep asking. And their dim sum is good.

      1. re: lapizzamaven

        I think that the Empress may not necessarily be the greatest dim sum in town, however the ambiance is worth it. On the weekend, it is bustling with carts of food and hundreds of people. It's really huge, like the Costcos of dim sum. You may be able to grab a window seat and look out from the second story into Chinatown. It's a great place to eat.

        1. re: lapizzamaven

          Gave up on Empress Pavilion dim sum a couple of years ago after Mrs. Chandavkl rechristened it "Alpo Palace." Hadn't gone back until a few weeks ago when we attended an afternoon party there. It wasn't any better.

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          Empress Pavilion Restaurant
          988 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        2. I like Ocean Seafood and have been going there for a long time. I think it's much better than Empress Pavilion. They have a nice second floor dinning room with cart service. Sea Harbour is my favorite but if you don't want to make the drive the dim sum here is always fresh and hot. They are very busy on weekends but the wait is always short. Easy parking.
          http://www.oceansf.com/

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          Ocean Seafood Restaurant
          747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

          1 Reply
          1. re: wienermobile

            Seconded. In my humble opinion, Ocean Seafood is much better than Empress. The selection is better. The Cha Siu baos at Empress have too much honey, and they cheap out on the bbq pork. I got stuck in one of the minor aisles at Empress and was never served. We had to go chase down the carts and eventually moved to the more trafficked aisle. Not worth the long wait.

            Try also Golden Dragon on Broadway. No wait, lots of carts, great coconut bun, and the har gao is just as good as the others.

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            Ocean Seafood Restaurant
            747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

          2. CBS or Ocean Seafood.

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            Ocean Seafood Restaurant
            747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            1. Empress, Ocean, CBS, even Golden Dragon will fix your dim sum craving fine.

              I get an itch and a quick stop at Family Pastry will do it for me. They got the best baked char sui bao around.
              Just delivered a couple dozen to relatives in LV this weekend...they want them everytime I come to LV...they said they freeze well.

              1. Went to Ocean Seafood Saturday morning. Hadn't been in a number of years, as friends always insisted on Empress Pavilion.

                Ocean Seafood is far superior to Empress in every way. Large numbers of servers constantly circulating with carts and trays. Everything we had that was meant to be hot, was. The suckling pig's crispness was superb., and the meat beneath was meat, not grizzle, fat and bone like Empress. The dumpling's skins were thin and translucent.

                Three cheers for Ocean Seafood. Never again to Empress.

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                Ocean Seafood Restaurant
                747 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                Empress Pavilion Restaurant
                988 N Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

                3 Replies
                1. re: toitoi

                  Just tried Ocean a couple weeks ago, and I agree about the quality. However, the second my (mostly white) group was seated, we were surrounded by a crush of servers who started pushing all the high-ticket items on us. One of them actually put a plate down and stamped our card without our agreeing to it. Again, everything was really good--and nothing was *that* expensive--but it did feel like we got taken advantage of.

                  (Then again, which is worse: that, or seeing those almond milk pastry things at every freaking table at Capital Seafood in SGV yet not being able to get one to save your life? I guess no matter where you go, you're gonna get whited.)

                  1. re: thestratbrat

                    Don't worry--it's not just your skin color. One of my ABC friends always has plates of dim sum dumped on his table without his approval. I tagged along with him just to witness it and to read the riot act in Cantonese if that happened. Unfortunately, I must've blown my cover by ordering chicken feet.

                    lways keep the card away from the edge of the table--preferably away from the aisle. That way, they won't be able to charge you unless you really want it. If put a plate on your table that you don't want, wave it off with one hand, and cover the card on the table with your other hand. They'll get the message quickly.

                    s for the Capital Seafood almond milk pastry, it's pretty popular, so it is taken pretty quickly. There are only two viable options at that point:

                    1) Go to one of the guys with a tie and tell him you want one.

                    2) Keep an eye on the kitchen door for the dish to come out. When one comes out, go to that person and tell him/her that you want one.

                    In both case, if you aren't the only non-Asians in the place, show them where you are sitting just in case all non-Asians look the same to them (this does really happen, sometimes).

                    1. re: thestratbrat

                      Just tried Ocean a couple weeks ago, and I agree about the quality. However, the second my (mostly white) group was seated, we were surrounded by a crush of servers who started pushing all the high-ticket items on us. One of them actually put a plate down and stamped our card without our agreeing to it. Again, everything was really good--and nothing was *that* expensive--but it did feel like we got taken advantage of.

                      (Then again, which is worse: that, or seeing those almond milk pastry things at every freaking table at Capital Seafood in SGV yet not being able to get one to save your life? I guess no matter where you go, you're gonna get whited.)
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                      And, I rest my case ...

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7899...