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Jul 11, 2013 03:42 PM

Elite - dim sum and other recs?

So I normally go to Sea Harbour when I'm at home for dim sum, i haven't been to Elite in several years, but I'm going tomorrow b/c its closer to downtown LA where I need to be.

What are your favorite dim sum and other dishes to order at Elite?


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  1. I know the President likes broccoli. Theirs is good. As are the desserts.

    1. I like the sticky rice in lotus leaves (great version), the steamed turnip cake served in a bowl (not the pan fried square ones), and the roast suckling pig. Har gow is the same quality and size as the Sea Harbour ones. The bean curd rolls in oyster sauce is solid.

      I haven't seen it in a while but if you do, the spareribs in parchment paper is very good. I'm not the biggest fan of egg custards but most people seem to like the version at Elite.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Porthos

        sticky rice in lotus leaves is epic @ Elite. Miles better than the sea harbour version IMO.

        1. re: ns1

          ok cool, u mean lo mai go i think?

      2. The diced veal, squab and fried rice are all very good, esp. the fried rice. Bird's nest is also a "must" get.

        1. My favorite dim sum dish there is this very thinly sliced pork that's crispy, fatty & meaty. They serve it with sugar and hoisin for dipping. I want to say that it's called Macau Style Roast Pork.

          26 Replies
            1. re: selfportrait93

              macau pork and sticky rice are must.....their baked bbq pork bun and chicken feet with spcl sauce are great too

              1. re: rickym13

                fyi to others, allergen warning: peanuts in the chicken feet sauce :(

            2. re: JAB

              ahh awesome, i was hoping someone would say that

              1. re: Lau

                I blame you for this intense craving I'm now having for this. ;>)

                1. re: JAB

                  haha im looking forward to this today

                  1. re: Lau

                    Did it live up to the hype?

                    1. re: JAB

                      ill write up a full report since this was the first time ive been to elite in years, the bottom line on the overall dim sum is that it was good, but not amazing and sea harbour is better (although i havent eaten at sea harbour in about a year)

                      however, the macau style roast pork was excellent and my favorite thing we had that day! so thanks!

                      1. re: Lau

                        but not amazing and sea harbour is better

                        I beg of you, in your review and write-up of Elite, please do not make any references, much less comparisons, to Sea Harbour.

                        Heaven knows we need another 300+ reply post debating the merits of Elite v. Sea Harbour and whose dim sum dick is bigger and more rotund.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Both a step below Koi Palace but way better than Ping's Seafood? ;)

                          1. re: Porthos

                            ipsedixit - haha it will totally open a can of worms, but its my opinion and people are free to debate to their heart's content. its food, its subjective and there is no right answer since its purely a personal opinion. maybe ill caveat it so no one get's their panties in a bunch over it

                            porthos - elite was a step below koi, but better than ping's. I personally think while they don't have the breadth of selection of koi's dim sum that in general the quality of dim sum is better at sea harbour (another can of worms)

                            1. re: Lau

                              Been to all of em multiple times. Koi is still easily number one for me. I admit I am easily swayed by the dungeness crab XLB. The multitude of dumplings and preps are closest to what I had in HK. Koi keeps updating and adding items (last visit 2/13). Don't recall the last time either Sea Harbour or Elite put out a new item.

                              For dinner, Koi extends that lead 3x.

                              Can. Opened.

                              1. re: Porthos

                                i should elaborate

                                breadth: as i said before in that arena Koi has SH and Elite beat handily for sure. they certainly have some dishes there that i just love that are not available at SH / Elite. In particular i love that orange crab congee and they have this one fried tofu that i think is amazing

                                standard dim sum: for some of the basic standards like ha gow etc, i've found the actual prep (dumpling skins, steaming etc) can be inconsistent at Koi (this is over 3 trips last year) where i've gotten poorly made skins, stuff being over steamed etc. whereas that has never happened to me at SH. Certain items like the snow bun (one of my fav dim sum items) i actually thought it was bad at koi, the bun was sort of heavy, the filling was really sweet and had this gross fake almond flavor whereas SH makes a very good one

                                Dinner: I've never eaten dinner at Koi, so I can't comment, but almost everyone has told me its very good and the best you can get in the US, so I'd think you're probably right

                                1. re: Lau

                                  The har gow wrapper issue I've noticed at all 3 places. Even noticed it at SH when I used to go. Some days it's a little more mushy and breaks apart a bit. Then I go back for the second or third one a couple of minutes later and it firms up a bit and is chewy and perfect again. My biggest problem with those har gow is they're all so freskishly big! Throws off the balance of a single bite.

                                  I can't tell in those wrapper instances if it was oversteamed or actually just came out of the steamer and needed a brief cool down period. Since I've experienced it at all 3, it's not enough for me to put SH over Koi. Snow buns aren't part of my dim sum rotation so I can't comment on that.

                                  You bring up a great point. It probably matters a lot what you order and what items you place emphasis on. Each place has its strength. For example the sticky rice in lotus leaf at Elite is so good I easily prefer it to the Koi and SH version. But it's totally different from the other 2.

                                  1. re: Porthos

                                    btw you're supposed to let them sit for a few minutes when they come out.

                                    when they're actually oversteamed you'll notice the wrappers falling apart a little bit and the texture will be off etc. if they're poorly made, wrappers maybe already slightly ripped or they all be stuck together etc.

                                    but back to what i was saying it really just around the classic dim sum that I give the slight nod to SH bc i dont find the breadth to outweigh the consistency. that said I obviously live in NY and can't eat at either place on some consistent basis (i usually make it to sea harbour 1-2 times per year and koi i just made it 3 times last year bc i had to be in SF and Napa a few times normally wouldn't make it at all, but ill be there in about 2 months again), so its clearly possible that I've just been lucky on the quality consistency at SH

                                    1. re: Lau

                                      btw you're supposed to let them sit for a few minutes when they come out steaming hot.
                                      Usually starving after an hour wait. The first order doesn't last 5 Mississippi.

                                      Are you headed to OC this time back? Highly recommend the "old" Trieu Chau if you haven't been already. Also I don't remember if you've tried Shunji yet. If not, also highly recommended. He is making magic right now.

                                      1. re: Porthos

                                        haha i hear you, but eat the other non steamer stuff first, i think you'll notice the difference

                                        im back in NY now, but i was home for a week or so, so i did alot of OC was kind of gross actually how much i ate

                                        i didnt make it to trieu chau, but i did eat at tan cang newport seafood in the same plaza (had the best meal id ever had there bc of some special stuff i ordered which ill write up very soon). Trieu chau is one of my favs actually and i need to go back and review it; i like going there pretty early, getting the you tiao and avoiding the madness, i think its one of the best noodle soups ive had in the US

                                        i have not been to shunji, but its on my do you think it stacks up against yasuda?

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          Can't wait for non steamer stuff. That's why I get 2 sets :)

                                          Looking forward to hearing about the special stuff at Tan Cang. At Trieu Chau, if you get there before 1030 as a solo diner, you're golden. After 11, I don't even bother until after 130.

                                          Shuji is more kaiseki so very different. The sushi is very high quality and like Yasuda, has rare fish from Japan. The rice at Yasuda along with the rice at Mori is still the best two I've had. But we're debating perfection vs outstanding. I've done Shunji for sushi only omakase. It's that good. The truffle gohan and unagi rice are what dreams are made of.

                                          1. re: Porthos

                                            re: Trieu Chau - that's exactly when i try to go, the lunch time is total chaos

                                            re: shunji - truffle gohan and unagi rice....sounds amazing

                                    2. re: Porthos

                                      Golf ball plus sized ha gow (where 3 or more shrimps are used) is unfortunately the norm up here, and would equate to Korean run sushi restaurant larger sized nigiri. Bite sized (more like one bite), just like how traditional Cantonese wontons should be in Hong Kong, is exactly the ideal size for enjoyment.

                                      Koi's ha gow comes out incredibly hot. But even if you let them cool down and depending on the batch and one's luck, it can be difficult not to puncture the skins even trying to pick them up with chopsticks, or sometimes the skins of adjacent gows end up touching and getting stuck to each other, creating an easy "wardrobe malfunction" issue.

                                      1. re: K K

                                        im actually going to write up that in my write up on elite, the ha gow were pretty darn big and the skins were way too thick although the shrimp themselves were quite good

                                        1. re: Lau

                                          Just left King Hua and I thought their har gow were bigger than how I remember Elite's or Sea Harbour's being.

                                          1. re: PeterCC

                                            Sea Harbour's are also supersized.

                                            1. re: PeterCC

                                              Sounds like it's an arms race among the "also-rans" of SGV's dim sum heavyweights. ;-)

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                All the jumbo shrimps of the world have found a resting place, it appears.

                                            2. re: Lau

                                              Guess it doesn't matter where you are in California (North or South). A good ha gow is really really hard to find. Nevermind the plus sized gows...if you are lucky, it's either no wardrobe malfunction when picked up with chopsticks, or skins end up rupturing anyway but still having a moist and flavorful shrimp filling inside (and depending on how much binding agent and/or overpowering seasonings used inside...e.g. too much egg white, sesame oil and pepper is no bueno).

                  2. There's a really nice rice noodle dish that's on the carts - although I guess there's no carts on weekdays?

                    7 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Ha, you're right, I've been to too many dim sum spots. It's not on the cart. But it is at Elite, I promise. Simple rice noodle rolls.

                        1. re: narcissisticnonsense

                          Elite is not in walking distance of any place you're going to from the other thread (j/k.... I actually don't know where all those places are located....).

                          Rice noodle rolls + chinese donut is one of my favorite dim sum dishes....

                          1. re: ilysla

                            炸兩, ja leung (canto), zha liang (mandarin)

                            1. re: blimpbinge

                              Yes, that's it! Why did I think it was called chun-fen? =(

                              1. re: ilysla

                                You probably got that from cheong fun (Cantonese)/chang fen (Mandarin), which is basically the same dish but with other filling (har cheong fun/xia chang fen are shrimp rice rolls, for example) instead of youtiao ("Chinese donut" or "Chinese crueller").

                                Don't know why the ones you were talking about are not called youtiao chang fen (yau ja gwai cheong fun in Cantonese?). Zha liang means "fried twice" but it's not fried twice... *shrug*