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Golden Dragon Dim Sum - LA Chinatown

Clinton Jul 2, 2011 08:28 AM

Got invited to dim sum at Golden Dragon on Broadway last week. Never been there before even though it's been there for a while which I was told? Surprisingly, it was pretty crowded for a weekday and the prices were about average per dish (about $1.89 or so). The push carts were quite busy and the selections were impressive for Chinatown. My usual place would be Ocean Star or NBC in Monterey park but Golden Dragon could be a good rival IMO. The first cart offered succulent char siu and roast duck plus the standard siu mai, ha gow, and rice noodle dishes. The stuffed bittermelon was OK but not spectacular but the sugar cane shrimp was nice and crispy. We missed the huge tray of low mein which came later when we were about done but did order some Hong Kong style noodles from the kitchen first thing off when we sat down. All in all, I found it to be probably an equal or better rival to Empress Pavilion but the only drawback was the parking. Street parking on weekdays was $2 and hour or $5 in the private lots. Bummers.

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  1. rednyellow Jul 2, 2011 04:25 PM

    I've been several times and have always liked it. I think it's as good as any in the area.

    1. Chandavkl Jul 2, 2011 04:45 PM

      Golden Dragon bottomed out in the early 2000s and really turned things around in the 2005-2006 period. I have made several positive references to their dim sum since then. Isn't there a parking lot in the back for the restaurant?

      5 Replies
      1. re: Chandavkl
        Clinton Jul 2, 2011 04:53 PM

        Didn't notice if there was parking in the back. We had a legal handicap placard and parked out front on the street and avoided parking fees. It's good to know if there was parking during the weekdays when the meters are working. I'd like to go again sometime and try other dishes. Thanks.

        1. re: Clinton
          Chandavkl Jul 5, 2011 09:02 AM

          Yes, they still have a dedicated parking lot in back.

          1. re: Chandavkl
            TripleAxel Jul 6, 2011 01:05 AM

            There is a parking lot not in the back, but next door to the south of Golden Dragon, entrance by the Shishedo store building. It's a Valet lot but is free with validation from the restaurant.

            Also, the dim sum is good as long as you don't get anything made with beef. I had a beef meatball in their Four Treasures dish, and the beef had a gamey taste and weird texture that indicates that they used a poor quality of ground beef. It was one of the few items that did not work.

        2. re: Chandavkl
          Mr Taster Jul 2, 2011 11:05 PM

          That's interesting to know, chandavkl. I had a completely wretched meal there ages ago (probably circa 98-99), as they were the sponsor for the New Year parade & I figured I'd give them a shot. Back then, I had the curiosity but not the knowledge to know what I was getting into... This was before chowhound & my Taiwanese wife helped guide me to tastier pastures. I might have to check them out, if for no other reason than to get the nightmares to end :)

          Mr Taster

          1. re: Mr Taster
            TripleAxel Jul 6, 2011 01:12 AM

            Mr. Taster, you must have experienced Golden Dragon when they were specializing in offering discounted meals for the senior citizens who live in Chinatown. In order to be able to afford to sell whole meals to seniors for under $5, quality of the ingredients obviously weren't that good. They have turned things around in over the past few years as I guess they realized that they could no longer afford to remain open by serving only to the senior citizens of Chinatown.

        3. ricomandel Jul 6, 2011 11:21 AM

          I will have to try the Golden Dragon based upon your recommendation. I did go to Empress Pavillion within the past few months and I find it to be overrated. It's not that the food is bad it is quite tasty however it's dark and the service is not too great. The food was passable and the choices were limited. My hands down favorite for years has been Ocean Seafood. Great service the variety on both week days as well as weekends is great and the service is wonderful. The dining room is huge, bright and airy. The food is very fresh with good variety for both vegans, pesco vegetarians and the rest of us who eat whatever looks and sounds good. We are very lucky to have many areas to have good dim sum. There is also plenty of parking in their lot.

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

          1. c
            clintonhillbilly Jul 6, 2011 01:17 PM

            Do they have any vegetarian dim sum options? Their website doesn't seem to be working and I can't find a menu online. I'm always in search of dim sum to take my vegetarian wife to.

            4 Replies
            1. re: clintonhillbilly
              raytamsgv Jul 6, 2011 01:29 PM

              Here's a link to a recent topic about vegetarian dim sum: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/793422

              1. re: clintonhillbilly
                ricomandel Jul 6, 2011 01:35 PM

                Last time I went to Empress Pavillion I was with my daughter who is a vegan. The only thing she could eat there was chinese broccoli. I was amazed that they didn't have anything else. So we left there and went to Ocean Seafood where she was able to eat to her hearts content. And there was such a noticeable difference between the two especially going to one right after the other. I don't think I'll ever go back to Empress Pavillion after that experience.

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

                1. re: ricomandel
                  clintonhillbilly Jul 6, 2011 02:57 PM

                  Good to know Ocean Seafood has vegan options! Do they have savory items that are vegetarian, or just the sweet pastries?

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

                  1. re: clintonhillbilly
                    TripleAxel Jul 6, 2011 10:51 PM

                    Many dim sum palaces offer a handful of vegetarian items these days, especially Buddhist vegetarian dishes. Some, like Capital Seafood serve a rice noodle dish stuffed with "jai" or a Buddhist vegetarian mixture (non-root vegetables and fungi) with a sweet soy sauce drenched over it. There is also steamed stuffed bean curd wrap with a Buddhist vegetarian mixture. Ask about the egg rolls. Many places serve vegetarian egg rolls instead of a meat stuffed egg rolls. There are also the Chinese broccoli in oyster sauce, shredded fresh seaweed marinated in rice vinegar and sesame oil,

                    You can also order chow mein or stir fried rice noodles with vegetables. There is also Braised Yee Mein cooked witih scallions and shitake mushrooms.

                    Ocean Seafood on Hill Street in Chinatown offers about 6 or 7 savory dim sum dishes at $2.98 per dish. You can check out their online menu to learn about their selections: http://www.oceansf.com/dimsum.html

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

              2. soniabegonia Jul 6, 2011 01:41 PM

                I tried Golden Dragon about a yr ago... thought it was suprisingly good (better than Empress) and was shocked when we got the bill - I was with a large group (10 or so?) and we each paid about $10. I felt kind of guilty paying so little for so much food. I have to mention that one of the people in our group knew the owner and he came by & said hello and brought us some freebies (but only about 2-3 things of sweet sesame rice balls, not enough to make a huge dent). I don't think we got special treatment otherwise since this is dim sum after all and the ladies just come by with their carts and stamp the items on the check. Maybe they applied a discount to the entire bill - not sure, since I never got a good look at it. Discount or not, 10 bucks is still appallingly cheap. A comparable experience would have easily cost $25 at Empress.

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