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Delicious dim sum--with carts in SGV?

My family enjoys the cart style of dim sum, because we all like different things and it has been easy and fun to order what we can see. We are not experts at this kind of food and in searching the board, it seems that Sea Harbour and Elite are the CH faves, but that perhaps they only offer menu service, not carts. We want to head out there--where to?

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  1. Here is a prior thread covering this subject to get you started: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/595179

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Here's another thread discussing cart dim sum:


      Personally, I'm still more confused than ever about which ones to try.

      This is the list I have of the most frequently recommended cart dim sum places, accumulated over several years of reading this board (in no particular order):

      - Four Sea (San Gabriel)
      - Empress Harbor (Monterey Park)
      - Ocean Star (Monterey Park)
      - Hong Kong Palace (Rowland Heights)
      - 888 Seafood Restaurant (Rosemead)
      - Capital Seafood (Monterey Park)
      - NBC Seafood Restaurant (Monterey Park)
      - New Capital Seafood (Rowland Heights)
      - Full House Seafood Restaurant (Arcadia)
      - New Capital Seafood (San Gabriel)
      - Empress Pavilion (Chinatown)

      Reportedly, none of them approach the quality of Elite, Sea Harbour, Lunasia or King Hua.

      I still have a soft spot for cart dim sum. My favorite dim sum place ever in the US was the short-lived Crystal Garden in Flushing (late 1980s cart dim sum restaurant). I still haven't found char siu bao or dofu fah as good as theirs, anywhere.

      1. re: Peripatetic

        Four Sea is not a dim sum place, nor does it have carts.

        Four Sea Restaurant
        2020 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thanks -- not sure how that ended up on the list.

        2. re: Peripatetic

          Top pick out of this list is New Capital Seafood in Rowland Heights and judging from the clientele, its a favorite with locals. Took my world traveler cousin Julian there one Saturday morning and he voted that this was one of the top ten restaurant experiences that he had had.

          New Capital
          8823 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA

      2. New Capital Seafood has carts and truly excellent dim sum.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bob Brooks

          Second this recommendation - a favorite of Mme Zoe because together with a large and varied selection comes really warm service.

        2. It may be a bit old fashioned - but I really enjoy Hong Kong Palace in Rowland Heights.

          Prices are reasonable, the items are fresh and though I speak only english and the servers just a bit - somehow we all get along just fine.

          FYI, I tend to go on big holidays, when there's a crowd, so maybe my experience is different than every day. But I can tell you they are better than Ocean Seafood on those days anyway : )

          Good luck and happy pointing and eating!

          Hong Kong Palace
          19101 Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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

          1. Empress Pavilion for cart-style dim sum.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              I just realized a big boo-boo on my part.

              I meant to say Empress Harbour (in Alhambra) and not Empress Pavillion in Chinatown.

              My bad and apologies to the OP.

              1. Empress Harbour at 111 North Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park

                1 Reply
                1. re: granadafan

                  Both of the above are great favorites of the Owen kids and their family. EH was the one Pa-in-law always took us to from 'way back when, though when we introduced him to 888 he thanked us profusely and allowed as how he liked it better. However, we've been to EH again during the past year, and it's apparently got new owners and a nice freshening-up. EH I think has the edge with the more delicate stuff; 888 has that stewed tripe with hot chile oil I'm addicted to. All good, though.

                2. I've tried a lot of the cart places in the SGV. I think 888 Seafood in Rosemead - 8450 Valley Boulevard #121 Rosemead, CA - has by far the biggest and best variety of dim sum in the area. If you go on a weekend the variety is amazing - far greater than it is at order off the menu restaurants such as Elite and Sea Harbour, and the quality is very high. (Perhaps not quite as refined and as fresh as at Elite and Sea Harbour, but pretty close.) They also have some dim sum that I have yet to find anywhere else in the SGV, such as my favorite - pan fried gau choy gau (sp?). If you do go on a weekend and don't want to wait a while for a table, try to get there by about 10:30am.

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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: estone888

                    888 used to be my favorite but they have since gone downhill. The last two times I've been there I can't even get the regular stuff like ha gaw and sui mai. My suggestion is try elsewhere. I still like NBC on Atlantic in Monterey Park.

                    1. re: luckattack

                      I was there twice between Christmas and New Years and it was as good as ever and there was certainly plentiful har gow and siu mai.

                  2. Sea Harbour (my favorite) doesn't have carts but they do have a menu with photos of each item to make it easier to order.

                    1. Elite is "order from menu" (with pictures) but some of the fun of the cart experience remains; at least as of last month's visit, waitresses still come through (or past) with trays of stuff, and offer whatever-it-is, in addition to whatever you have already ordered (we received a persistent re-offering of "Chicken Wings with Coca-Cola Sauce")

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                        Elite has pictures? I missed that and it was a challenge ordering some of the dishes based on description. Unfortunately I don't read Chinese. We guessed wrong on a couple dishes, but it was all good.

                        1. re: granadafan

                          Each table at Elite apparently gets only one laminated "picture menu"; we managed to wrangle a second one for our table of 10

                          1. re: granadafan

                            Yeah the pictures are as easily accessible as they are with Sea Harbor's menu. Speaking of not reading Chinese. Here's my post on an amusing incident that happened to us at Elite due to bad translation from Chinese to English side of menu.


                        2. I like 888. NBC is also pretty good.

                          1. Blue Ocean Seafood is my favorite dim sum place with carts. Prices are ridiculously reasonable--$1.59 for any item in the carts! Food is fresh and delicious! I prefer it to NBC, Capital, New Capital, and 888 in SGV area.

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

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: fdb

                              Yes, it's quite cheap, but I don't particularly like the food there. If you like their food, more power to you.

                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                You'd be better off at Yum Cha Cafe or even Dim Sum Express.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  Excuse me but Yum Cha Cafe or Dim Sum Express is in an entire different league than Blue Ocean.

                                  Dim Sum Express
                                  326 N Garfield Ave, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    I had some really horrible dim sum at the Yum Cha Cafe on Atlantic. I like the Chinatown branch, however.