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Jun 27, 2011 08:21 PM

BEST Push Car Dim Sum

I am taking an 87 year old here from Ukraine t
for her first dum sum experience. I have told her about the cart system, which fascinates her. For myself I might go to Ocean Star, but it us getting pretty tired.

Would anyone suggest a cart restaurant that is both excellent and fresh?


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  1. Ocean Star is still the best in my experience. Great food, even better cart experience.

    A close second would be Empress Harbour (next door to Ocean Star) or 888.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Empress Harbour has gone downhill, unfortunately. I don't recommend it.

      888 is a better choice. It is also very accessible for an older person.

      1. re: raytamsgv

        have been to several and love the carts.. I just went to Ocean Star on Fathers Day. Wow the place is big, sat close to where the carts came out, great variety and excellent quality. $2.28 a dish on weekends and $1.98 during the week. I was blown away by the freshness, quality and selection. Best I have been to.. Recent stops have been New Capital, Empress Pavilion, NBC at this place stole the show hands down in all aspects. Have fun wherever you go..

        New Capital
        8823 Garvey Ave, Rosemead, CA

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

    2. What day and time are you thinking of going? And, where are you based and how far are you willing to drive? That will affect your recs!

      For instance, If you hit Hong Kong Palace AFTER 11:30am on a saturday, you'll get lots of choices and it will all be fresh. (You are at the peak time.) Go after 2pm, not so much. And if you don't want to drive that far - well then that takes it off the list, doesn't it?

      And what a stunning fun adventure for your 87 year old friend!

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: happybaker

        This is not Kiev !!! She is really game.

      2. I'd give a very strong vote to 888 Seafood in Rosemead. I think it has by far the biggest variety (including some Chiu Chau style dim sum that is very hard to find elsewhere - gau choy gau, anyone) and if you are there at the right time the freshest - especially if you're sitting near where the carts exit the kitchen.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: estone888

          Empress Harbour and 888 are my two favorites, EH having pulled up after a recent change in management (or so I'm assuming). However, although that has the edge in pastries, 888 still leads in the flesh department; I think they're the only ones selling stewed tripe with hot chile oil, a dish that brings me to my knees with delight. YMMV.

        2. I am thinking of a Saturday morning. Distance is no issue. I'm an Angeleno Hound.

          1. East Gourmet in Rosemead (San Gabriel @ Garvey) may be the new contender for best cart dim sum. Extremely crowded, though,since besides being good it's also among the cheapest.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Chandavkl

              By "may soon be", do you mean:

              1. may soon be once the Chowhounds try it?

              2. may soon be once the restaurant finds their stride (e.g., under new management)?

                1. re: Chandavkl

                  East Gourmet was a major disappointment.

                  Everything is $2, but then everything was awful. The worst were the egg tarts, hard and chewy. Not a good sensation. For a minute there I thought I had ordered the "low fat" version or something.Total waste of calories.

                  Chicken feet were undercooked (or underbraised to be more precise) and the hargow were runny.

                  There's a good crowd -- there for the $2 prices, no doubt -- but given the clusterfuck the parking lot is, I would probably go to Top Island for bargain basement dim sum (in terms of price and quality) than East Gourmet. At least parking is easy (or easier) at Top Island.

                  Nice dining room, however.

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Wow, sorry to hear that, very different than my experience. Perhaps inconsistent? Perhaps overwhelmed with 4th of July crowds - if today is when you went? Maybe my friend and I were just insane the day we were there? We didn't have the egg tarts or the chicken feet (I like chicken feet, my friend doesn't, what can you do?) but the hargow was excellent the day we were there - great fresh snap and brininess to the shrimp and the wrapper was just about perfect. Parking wasn't a problem, either.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Here's the deal. They supposedly have premium, seldom seen items in their repertoire, at the same low price. The catch is that the quantities are limited and you need to station yourself by the kitchen because they supposedly sell out quickly. My informant was a regular at Sea Harbour who has since defected to East Gourmet as his dim sum parlor of choice. I need to investigate this myself and haven't had time to do so yet.

                2. re: Chandavkl

                  Just got back from East Gourmet. Big THANKS! It was excellent. A good variety, all tasting incredibly fresh and hot for a cart place. And it was very cheap. It was crowded though. We got there at 11:45 today - Wednesday - and had about a 20 minute wait for a table. There was a much larger crowd milling around waiting for tables by the time we left at a little before 1.

                  I stupidly didn't get the address, but it is in the shopping plaza on the southwest corner of San Gabriel and Garvey. The supermarket there is sort of pan-Asian but is pretty good and is also very cheap.

                  1. re: estone888

                    8118 E. Garvey. The market is Korean but stocks a lot of Chinese goods, too.

                    1. re: estone888

                      What fun! So glad it worked out well!

                      Did you and your guest have any favorite items there, or was it just a general all over "This is good! And cheap!" ??

                      1. re: happybaker

                        We liked everything we had. A standout was eggplant stuffed with fish paste in a very light black bean sauce with a lot of scallions and some crispy fried shallot. The har gow (ha gau? sorry, my spelling of Chinese in English isn't very good and what there is of it is influenced by knowing some Cantonese and no Putonghua) was some of the best I've had. There was a pan fried gau? (It was shaped sort of like a small hockey puck, fried on the bottom and sort of steamed on the top like gau choy gau) It was pork and a variety of stuff to hold it together, with corn kernels. I've never had it before but it was very good.

                        My friend is not a hugely adventurous eater so we primarily ate dim sum 101 type items: the siu mai was excellent, the "potstickers" were tasty. We had a steamed gau with scallop and what tasted like dao miu (pea sprouts) and spring onion inside that was excellent. We had one other item as well that is escaping me at the moment, but we liked it.

                        With constantly flowing boh-leh cha (Is that the Cantonese for pu-erh tea? I'm not certain, but I think it is - a strong, reddish tea from Yunnan) the bill came to $15.60 for the two of us - not including tip.

                        1. re: estone888

                          estone888 - this sounds lovely! Thank you for the details!

                          You got what you thought would make you happy - and it did.

                          I always have to order my standards (har gow, chicken and rice in lotus leaf, the rolled rice noodle with shrimp) and then I'll play with the rest. But unless I get at least some of my basics, I'm left with a yearning : )

                          And the stuffed eggplant sounds YUMMY.