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WTF? Empress Pavillion shuttered.

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  1. That is a surprise. We've never eaten there for dim sum. Always been too busy and we didn't feel like waiting. Of course that was years ago before we stopped trying and instead headed to SGV for our dim sum fix.

    1. I never realized this, but according to the LA Times EP could seat 600 customers at a time.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wienermobile

        That's a heck of a lot of covers to fill.

        1. re: wienermobile

          And the lack of retail anchor stores.

          1. re: wienermobile

            While the seating was huge, in the past few years, they curtained off certain sections to not look so vastly empty.
            That whole project has been very tired for many years.
            Like with Roy Choi coming to Far East Plaza with Chego, there is a revolution slowly working its way into Chinatown.
            The Little Joe's project is undergoing construction in August, and projected to open in 2015, while several other retail projects are readying to open, and with them will come some new, and non-chinese food establishments.
            Last time I ate at EP, it was not impressive in the least. Seemed like staff and customers alike were all going through the motions.
            SGV has taken its toll as well.

          2. Oh no. EP was always the good old standby place for breakfast after early mass at the LA Cathedral down the street especially before the crowds arrived. It was quick, cheap and consistent.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gdtobme

              Ocean Seafood is still there.

            2. I am surprised that other CH'rs haven't gotten in ahead of me with a link to the LA Weekly's Squid Ink report.

              Evidently it was an issue of the landlord's lack of building maintenance and the subsequent tenant's default on rent payment.


              1 Reply
              1. re: Gypsy Jan

                Thanks! Looks like LAW's article just recaps the LAT article (http://www.latimes.com/features/food/...) that is also linked to in the Eater link ns1 posted in the OP. (Not that that's a reason to not post the LAW article. I just hadn't seen it yet.)

              2. I was at Empress Pavillion for a party the sunday before (a week before it closed). We were the only people there. the rest of the restaurant was empty. For dinner. at 6pm. We thought maybe they dont get a lot of business on sundays since saturdays are normally banquets.
                Its really sad. My family has had every major celebration there, wedding banquets galore, baby celebrations, reunions, funeral dinners since it was the best place to hold 50+ people. I can't believe its gone. But i'm not surprised. the place is run down. When I went, the stores were closed and shuttered. Only 1 elevator worked and couldn't take us to level 2 for parking. We had to get off on the 3rd floor, run to the staircase and walk down a flight.

                2 Replies
                1. re: romayo

                  We were there a few months ago for my daughter's friend, who's a Chinese adoptee. There's this huge association/support group for Chinese adoptees and their adoptive families, and each year they have a get together there. That's actually the only time I've eaten there. I didn't think the food was "all that" but then the vast majority of the people there (the parents of the adopted kids) were actually NOT Chinese, so the food was I think more Americanized for their tastes. I say "I think" because as I said it was the only time I've eaten there.

                  1. re: PeterCC

                    I agree. everything has gone downhill. I remember it used to be great, attentive staff, everything was kept up, food was good. last time i was there, the food wasn't great. the whole lobster was literally all shells and the chicken was dry and the chips tasted stale. you would think that since we were the only ones there that the food would be really good but apparently not.

                2. I never understood the appeal of this place even with the massive lines and wait. Ocean Seafood was much better down the street. Still I hate to see places get run down, especially Chinatown.

                  1. Lack of dinner business apparently killed it. Dim sum wasn't sufficient to keep it afloat.

                    1. Me: Did you hear Empress Pavilion in Chinatown closed down?

                      Brother-in-law from Calabasas: It's about time.

                      Enough said!

                      1. There's a new sign on the door indicating a remodel is in progress. We'll have to see who takes over the space. Frank Shyong from the LA Times was told a few months ago that Ocean Seafood was interested in the space.