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Best Take Out Dim Sum - SGV

Bob Brooks May 23, 2012 05:16 PM

Need a good recommendation for take out dim sum this Friday morning. I'll be in Alhambra, but I'm certainly willing to travel for the best. Individual item recommendations also appreciated!

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  1. ipsedixit RE: Bob Brooks May 23, 2012 08:51 PM

    You can do take out at just about any dim sum restaurant -- Elite, Sea Harbour, 888, King Hua, Triumphal Palace, etc.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Peripatetic RE: ipsedixit May 23, 2012 10:54 PM

      What ipse said. We always go to Elite or Sea Harbour with a large selection of "Lock & locks", and take away half of what we order. Some things do better than others. For example, har gow isn't quite as durable as zong zi (粽子) for take away.

      1. re: Peripatetic
        raytamsgv RE: Peripatetic May 24, 2012 01:34 PM


        You can also get Dim Sum at the Capital Seafood takeout storefront on Garvey and Atlantic. It's between Wing Hop Fung and Kee Wah bakery. I'd avoid Yum Cha cafe. It's cheap, but you get what you pay for.

      2. re: ipsedixit
        Ernie RE: ipsedixit May 24, 2012 03:50 PM

        Triumphal Palace is no longer. Lunasia has taken its former space

        1. re: Ernie
          Chandavkl RE: Ernie May 24, 2012 04:04 PM

          Food was pretty much unchanged when Triumphal became Lunasia. I think it was more of an organizational change.

          1. re: Chandavkl
            Ernie RE: Chandavkl May 25, 2012 07:17 AM

            I live very close to the restaurant and do not recall Triumphal Palace having 燒賣 or 蛋撻 nearly as good as Lunasia currently does

            1. re: Ernie
              Chandavkl RE: Ernie May 25, 2012 07:51 AM

              Story I heard is that one Triumphal Palace partner bought out the other so naturally they're would be some changes, but there is a continuity there. I'd be curious if the Chinese name changed or remained the same.

      3. g
        granadafan RE: Bob Brooks May 23, 2012 09:15 PM

        There's Yum Cha. The dim sum is in display cases and uber cheap and quick. Don't let those old Chinese ladies in line push you around. Watch out for the sharp elbows. LOL.

        4 Replies
        1. re: granadafan
          Mattapoisett in LA RE: granadafan May 23, 2012 09:31 PM

          Yum Cha is nowhere near the best. I might put up Famima's Steamy Buns against Yum Cha's Bao. I too would like to know of a better quality place which is more convenient for take out than going into a full service restaurant, ordering and hanging around the order is made up.

          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
            Chandavkl RE: Mattapoisett in LA May 24, 2012 10:42 AM

            Capital Seafood in Monterey Park has a take out branch a few doors down from the main restaurant, though they don't have all of the varieties there. Also, East Gourmet (Garvey @ San Gabriel) has a separate take out dim sum section. Service is instantaneous (except for waiting in line) and you don't need to clutter up the main restaurant entrance.

            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
              TonyC RE: Mattapoisett in LA May 24, 2012 12:17 PM

              LOLz & a +1

              Yum Cha and "Best" in the same thead is the oxymoron of the day.

              With that, also +1 on chandavkl's Capital Seafood to-go rec.

              1. re: TonyC
                granadafan RE: TonyC May 28, 2012 07:04 PM

                Yes, I realize yum cha isn't the best, but I was thinking more along the lines of quick. Thanks for the other recs though.

          2. b
            bulavinaka RE: Bob Brooks May 23, 2012 11:10 PM

            888 is a place where seating during the week is almost immediate, and upon being seated, the carts would swarm our table - usually five to seven carts within a few minutes.

            1. b
              BrewNChow RE: Bob Brooks May 24, 2012 05:22 PM

              I'm definitely a student and not a teacher when it comes to SGV, as in, I've taken maybe 4 or 5 trips out there in my life, so take this for what it's worth, but

              What about Din Tai Fung? I was totally satisfied with their quality, and they have GREAT packaging for their take out with each item in its own clearly marked, well-secured box and a really nice bag for all your stuff.

              What I did last week was get my favorite items to-go from Din Tai Fung (the one at 1088 Baldwin) and then went across the street and got my favorites at 101 Noodle express. And my friend and I have been out to Elite and Sea Harbor and we were saying how much better getting the best items from DTF + 101 Noodle was compared to just going to the popular Dim Sum spots. If you call in ahead of time at DTF and 101 Noodle, you get a huge choice of items and it's really not any more of a hassle than just going to one place.

              10 Replies
              1. re: BrewNChow
                ipsedixit RE: BrewNChow May 24, 2012 08:31 PM

                DTF does not have dim sum.

                1. re: BrewNChow
                  bulavinaka RE: BrewNChow May 24, 2012 10:50 PM


                  1. re: BrewNChow
                    raytamsgv RE: BrewNChow May 25, 2012 11:41 AM

                    There are three issues about the SGV that ignite maelstroms here:

                    1. Is a xiao long bao is a dumpling?
                    2. Are non-Cantonese dumplings or xiao long baos are considered dim sum?
                    3. If toilet paper should be oriented over or under?

                    Angels fear to tread especially regarding issues #1 and #2. Mere mortals rightly fear getting involved in all three issues, especially at one time. :-)

                    1. re: raytamsgv
                      Chandavkl RE: raytamsgv May 25, 2012 02:51 PM

                      As to (2) here is my compromise. XLB are dim sum if served at a Cantonese dim sum house. Otherwise, no.

                      1. re: Chandavkl
                        will47 RE: Chandavkl May 27, 2012 12:52 PM

                        What if they're served at Dean Sin (read 'dian xin', i.e., 'dim sum') World?

                        1. re: will47
                          ipsedixit RE: will47 May 27, 2012 12:55 PM

                          The problem is that "dim sum" or "yum cha" isn't really about the food, per se, but a way of eating; or, rather a culinary experience.

                          It's sort of like asking for Happy Hour food. The food does not make Happy Hour a happy hour -- it's the time, place, and environment.

                          Same with dim sum. It's not the food that determines that you are necessarily having dim sum -- the food is merely a necessary condition but not a sufficient one on its own.

                          1. re: will47
                            raytamsgv RE: will47 May 27, 2012 11:32 PM

                            All vain attempts at humor aside, the term "dim sum/dian xin" have different connotations for Cantonese people than for non-Cantonese people. As ipse noted, Cantonese patrons generally consider dim sum to be an experience. It's not quite the same for people in other regions of China.

                            A comparison would be a "BBQ". Grilling is not the same as barbecuing, but people often use the term interchangeably. I can say that I barbecue hot dogs, but such a claim would be dismissed in a place like Texas where they have a different definition of BBQ.

                            1. re: will47
                              Chandavkl RE: will47 May 28, 2012 09:22 AM

                              I'd say definitely not, but for the existence of the emerging term "Shanghai dim sum". But unmodified "dim sum" it isn't.

                          2. re: raytamsgv
                            BrewNChow RE: raytamsgv May 27, 2012 10:47 PM

                            Well, you learn something new every day!

                            See, I thought Dim Sum was basically like China's version of tapas... Like I said I'm no expert, I was just sharing an eating experience that I enjoyed. I've been to Elite and Sea Harbor, and in my ignorance I didn't realize that having similar/the same food items elsewhere might not be considered dim sum. But that's why I use this site: to learn more about food and particularly, cuisines with which I am unfamiliar.

                            1. re: raytamsgv
                              choctastic RE: raytamsgv May 30, 2012 11:22 PM

                              if the xiao long bao at most dim sum restaurants didn't generally suck, nobody except certain very uh-how should I say this--overly obsessive pedants would care. Unfortunately, since they do generally suck at dim sum restaurants, the distinction is made to warn the unwary.

                          3. Bob Brooks RE: Bob Brooks May 25, 2012 04:30 PM

                            Since I wanted an actual take out place rather than going to a proper restaurant and then having to package-up everything, I went to Capital Seafood. Sorry to say it was not good. Lesson learned. Next time I'll go to one of my reliable faves and have them package it up.

                            15 Replies
                            1. re: Bob Brooks
                              thranduil RE: Bob Brooks May 25, 2012 10:37 PM

                              Curious what you ordered for takeout?

                              1. re: thranduil
                                Bob Brooks RE: thranduil May 26, 2012 09:05 AM

                                Steamed har gow, shu mai, shrimp/chicken balls, custard pies and roast pork in an onion sauce. All mediocre at best.

                                1. re: Bob Brooks
                                  ipsedixit RE: Bob Brooks May 26, 2012 08:34 PM

                                  To be fair, dim sum -- no matter how good (or bad) -- just doesn't lend itself to take-out.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit
                                    happybaker RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 07:53 PM

                                    Ipse -

                                    As my husband and I LOVE dim sum for dinner (wrong I know, but please forgive us) we've gotten really good at knowing what dim sum reheats well for us - and how to reheat it.

                                    Steaming har gow and shu mai (sp?) in a veggie steamer sprayed with nonstick spray is surprisingly successful. And sticky rice in lotus leaf? One of the few dim sum that microwaves well. The barbecue pork pastry strips? A very careful warm in a toaster oven.

                                    It's not perfection, but to be able to have it in the evening with a glass of wine? Pretty darn nice.

                                    1. re: happybaker
                                      ipsedixit RE: happybaker Apr 23, 2013 08:22 PM

                                      Indeed, pretty darn nice indeed.

                                      Few things in life are as wonderful as enjoying good food (reheated or not) with a loved one.


                                      (As an aside, when you microwave the lotus wrapped sticky rice, try wrapping the entire thing in a damp paper cloth, or better yet you can steam those as well.)

                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        happybaker RE: ipsedixit Apr 23, 2013 10:50 PM

                                        Thanks Ipse!

                                        Normally I sprinkle a few drops of water on the lotus leaf before nuking, but I'll try the paper towel method and, if I have the patience, the steamer as well.

                                        Just not at the same time ; )

                                        1. re: happybaker
                                          ipsedixit RE: happybaker Apr 24, 2013 07:51 AM

                                          Y'know you could sort of "sous vide" the lotus leaf sticky rice as well, just drop them into a gently boiling water for about 2-3 minutes.

                                          1. re: ipsedixit
                                            happybaker RE: ipsedixit Apr 24, 2013 08:48 AM

                                            Oh I'd be terrified I'd over do it! And lose the fab food to mush!

                                            Nope next time I'll try steaming them, as you rec'd.

                                      2. re: happybaker
                                        blimpbinge RE: happybaker Apr 23, 2013 11:00 PM

                                        When I order dimsum to go, i try not to get anything like steamed rice flour rolls or similar (including har gow at most places). They just lose their freshness too fast and fall apart after you reheat.

                                        siu mai* (because it is the cantonese romanization)

                                    2. re: Bob Brooks
                                      raytamsgv RE: Bob Brooks May 27, 2012 11:22 PM

                                      Dim sum dishes loses a lot in terms of flavor and texture when you take them home. They are best eaten right after they are cooked. Very few of them are good after reheating--spareribs, tripe, and chicken feet come to mind.

                                      1. re: raytamsgv
                                        ipsedixit RE: raytamsgv May 28, 2012 11:55 AM

                                        P'shaw. Cold chicken feet is da bomb. Well, at least according to my nephew, who can go through about 5 bags of cold chicken feet in an afternoon of WoW.

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          TonyC RE: ipsedixit May 29, 2012 09:43 AM

                                          Next you're gonna tell us you like leftover pizza.

                                          1. re: TonyC
                                            JThur01 RE: TonyC May 29, 2012 12:42 PM

                                            Hmmm, chicken feet pizza...

                                            1. re: JThur01
                                              ipsedixit RE: JThur01 May 29, 2012 08:40 PM

                                              Probably could get it at Pizza & Chicken Love Letter.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                choctastic RE: ipsedixit May 30, 2012 11:23 PM

                                                No, no, ipse, you're thinking of their chicken anus pizza.

                                2. ClarissaW RE: Bob Brooks Apr 24, 2013 03:13 PM

                                  Lunasia does dim sum to go. My personal fav.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ClarissaW
                                    ns1 RE: ClarissaW Apr 28, 2013 12:22 AM

                                    by chance do you know if the chicken feet @ Lunasia have peanuts in the marinade?

                                    1. re: ns1
                                      selfportrait93 RE: ns1 Apr 28, 2013 01:28 AM

                                      Don't know about the marinade. But chicken feet @ Lunasia has whole peanuts in the gravy.

                                      1. re: selfportrait93
                                        ns1 RE: selfportrait93 Apr 28, 2013 09:26 AM

                                        Thanks. That's what I needed to know. Sea Harbour remains as only place w/o peanuts.

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