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Elite Dinner Update

Had dinner at Elite last night. Absolutely delicious. If you thought dim sum here was good, you have to see what they can do at dinner.

We had:

-steamed live spot prawns. Huge, mutant sized ones. Absolutely delicious steamed and with their dipping sauce

-1/2 roast suckling pig. A bit too much for 6? Nope. Polished off in about 5 minutes flat. The skin was amazingly crispy and the meat silken and tender. Order this dish, $90 for a half order. You will not be disappointed. Be that person in your group that goes after the jowl. Order in advance.

-Peking Duck. Very well done. Aside from the fact that they serve it with the buns and not the crepes this is every bit as good as the version at Duck House just across the street. Maybe better since the meat portion was so moist and flavorful. The skin again, so crispy it was like duck skin kettle chips.

-Live flounder 2 ways. Meat sautéed with vegetables and bones fried. Also very good.

-lotus root and pork shank. It's actually more knuckle than shank. A refreshingly rustic dish. Lots of fat and bones here so order only if you like that kind of thing.

-lobster sautéed with rice cakes. An off the menu special recommended by the manager. Outstanding. Obviously the lobster was well done but the rice cake was very flavorful and perfectly chewy. May be one of the best rice cake dishes in town beating out DTF and Shanghainese preps.

-sautéed pea shoots. Nicely done.

-dried scallop fried rice. Also nicely done

Total for 6 including tip= $83pp.

A great meal. 10 bottles. No corkage. We did bring our own stems.

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  1. Nice. Were prices listed on the menu or was everything listed MP (market price)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      Only the live stuff was MP (in this case the prawns and the flounder). Everything else had a price. Flounder was $32/lb. Was so excited to see the behemoths I forgot to ask the price on the shrimp. We got 3-lbs worth which was about 15-16 prawns.

      Lobster rice cake was about $20 for the dish.

      1. re: Porthos

        "Total for 6 including tip= $83."

        Do you mean $83 per person X 6? I can't figure out how you could have a "total" of $83 with tip for all 6 diners. And if that's not the case maybe "Total for one including tip = $83" would be clearer?

    2. Where is this place? I don't think I've ever heard of it and with a name like "Elite", kind of hard to google.

      2 Replies
        1. re: deepfry7

          700 S Atlantic Blvd
          Monterey Park, CA 91754 ‎

        2. Had dinner at Elite last night. Absolutely delicious. If you thought dim sum here was good, you have to see what they can do at dinner.

          Something I've been saying and preaching f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

          Thanks for the great report.

          1. Thank you! I love reading Cantonese dinner reports like this.
            Curious about the no corkage charge, how was that handled, given that the menu says $10 per bottle?

            10 Replies
            1. re: K K


              considering 10 bottles no corkage, that was a freaking bargain.

              1. re: ns1

                Corkage was waived due to 2 of us being dinner regulars. Otherwise $10 per which is still reasonable. Obviously negotiable and likely waived if you get some big ticket item like the king crab. Which they do have now btw Ciao Bob ;-)

                1. re: Porthos

                  Here's one insider tip to waiving corkage (and also being a regular or chummy with mangement)....offer the pit boss/house manager a glass to taste (and it doesn't have to be even half full). Hopefully it's not expensive wine. :-)

                  Here's also the secret to making the dried scallop egg white fried rice even tastier...have the kitchen add salted fish. Textural and flavor heaven. Worth the upgrade.

                  What varieties of live seafood did they have in the tanks?

                  1. re: Porthos

                    I'll take the $700 Crab 3 Ways Please!

                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                      This is a little one. About $300-400 ;-)

                2. re: K K

                  In my experience you just talk to the manager and say something to this effect ...

                  "We're going to drop about 5 bills if not more tonight, and there's probably a good tip in there somewhere for you and everyone else here. I see there's this corkage thing on the menu, I don't imagine that it applies to us here tonight, right?"

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    how do i ask this delicately...
                    do you think your chances with this are better if you're chinese? and/or speak cantonese?
                    or does this sort of phrasing work equally for everyone?
                    just curious. no offence intended.

                    1. re: linus

                      Works better (only?) if you speak and are Chinese.

                      And, no offense taken (even if it was intended!).

                      1. re: linus

                        Go with my blueprint with a party of 6-8. Skip the pork shank dish. It will be your Chinese Shunji.

                        1. re: Porthos

                          Invite me to your next meal, and I'll talk with the manager in Cantonese. :-)

                  2. Salivating as I read your account of this wonderful meal - Crustacean, poultry, fish, pork - Now that's a balanced diet.

                    I must arrange to have dinner there one of these days. How many pounds of flounder did your party polish off?

                    Does the pork knuckle there require pre-order?

                    Also, did the house comp your party a dessert or two for being so "Baller"?

                    Smart of you to bring your own stemware. What wines do you find goes well with such Cantonese fare?

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: J.L.

                      Only the roast suckling pig is pre order.

                      In your case I cannot recommend enough you also reserving a king crab. Unlike Sea Harbour they will be more than happy to grab you one. Better price also. I find that 7-8lbs is the sweet spot to optimize meat/shell ratio. They can do 3 ways or 2 ways but I find the entire thing steamed with garlic is the best way to enjoy the sweetness of this crab. The meat I like even better than kegani and you know I like me some kegani!

                      As for wines, it's courtesy to bring your own stems if you want corkage waived. I like champagne or white burg with the seafood. Red burg with the Peking duck and roast suckling pig.

                      Already looking forward to your photos!

                      Below is a previous king crab from Elite.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Great advice, and great photo. I am completely with you on the best way to enjoy king crab - Steam it.

                        I've actually found Spanish cava to be better than Champagne when it comes to pairing with Cantonese seafood, but I'll give the white burgs a whirl on my next Canto-banquet.

                        1. re: J.L.

                          Something from Puligny Montrachet usually works for me.

                          1. re: Porthos

                            Pulligny Montrachet ? (Read: expensive)

                            1. re: kevin

                              Bottles from the Côte de Beaune can often get pricey, but life is short.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Doesn't have to be if you choose, wisely...

                                1. re: Porthos

                                  What would choose at a much lower price point that is still very very very drinkable ?

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    Agree. But the Chow war chest can withstand the onslaught, if need be.

                                    1. re: J.L.

                                      One can drink well in the $50-70 range.

                                      But of course if the Chow War Chest allows for Le Montrachet, by all means, show no mercy :-)

                            2. re: Porthos

                              The crab looks great.

                              But first it will be Sea Harbour for me.

                              1. re: Porthos

                                Though white burgs are fab with cantonese food, our food the other night lent nicely to a slightly cooled Brouilly (`$25, if you choose wisely), '10 Thevenet Morgon ($35), and then a Chevillion "Les Perrieres" which is more expensive. Loire whites are also a good pairing which can be had at a very nice price. Look for importers like Rosenthal, Dressner, and Kermit Lynch and you have a good chance of scoring a nice bottle that won't break the bank.

                            3. Great report. Thanks, Porthos!

                              1. Good meal tonight on another reliable Porthos tip. Four peeps, two bottles, $75pp, no cork (didn't even ask).

                                The only thing I would suggest to others dining in the future is though we allowed the manager to order for us, they dumped all the dishes almost at once on the table.

                                We had wrongly assumed they would course it appropriately. So it was a little stressful trying to finish the shrimp while still hot while attempting to get to the flounder bones before they lost their deep fried crispy goodness, and the duck and lobster before going cold.

                                Other than that, stellar meal.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: revets2

                                  Glad you liked it :-)

                                  Did you have the lobster traditional ginger/scallion style or with the rice cake?

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    We were only four, so we ordered the crab with Shanghai Rice Cake Belly Bombs. The lobsters left Sunday night were quite large. Funny, my dad commented he read something on Yelp that someone felt all the parts of their lobster were not on the platter. My mom made the same comment about the crab...but I counted two claws! Oh well. It did sort of seem like something was missing.

                                    Just had the leftovers recreated: couple of pieces of cold cracked crab with sauteed watercress (great!) and Shanghai Rice Cake from the crab mixed with the meat leftover from the Peking Duck pulled from the bone and sauteed together with a little bit of wine and duck fat. Excellent leftovers dinner.

                                    The flounder two ways was the table fave. No leftovers there.

                                    Thanks again for a great tip, Porthos. Outstanding.

                                    1. re: revets2

                                      Pleasure to be of service.

                                      You're making me wish I had some of those rice cake leftovers!

                                      Also completely agree with your wine recs especially the Loire whites for value.

                                      1. re: revets2

                                        This brings up an interesting scenario:

                                        What if you pay top dollar market price for a whole crab or lobster and, upon inspecting the dish when it comes out of the kitchen, realize there are a few legs/claws missing?

                                        I'd raise hell.

                                        I have some rosé cava which survived the trip back to the states from Catalunya. Will see how that pairs up on my next Canto-feast...