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Chinatown-L.A. Best Spots for Dim Sum & Bars:

I wanted to open up a new discussion since its been near 10 years since I explored the L.A. Chinatown downtown.

Would love some suggestions for tasty Dim Sum as well as some fun bars to stop in for a drink?

Thank you in advance

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  1. I still like Ocean Seafood on weekends. Not Sea Harbour but their busy and the dim sum on it's carts are served hot and fresh.

    1 Reply
    1. If you wanted to do both at one time, I suppose you could go to Chynna.

      Pretty space, too.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Love the space at Chynna but sadly - they have really cut back on the dim sum they offer. Uses to be pages upon pages, but now? Just one or two pages, I believe. And no scallion pancake (sigh).

        1. re: happybaker

          Most dim sum palaces don't offer scallion pancakes or a wide variety of non-Cantonese dishes.
          And fwiw, Peking tavern is neither in Chinatown nor does it offer dim sum... From the link below, I see they offer zhajiangmian three kinds of jiaozi, and a few other northern snacks.

          1. re: Jerome

            Jerome -

            My bad on the location - I did not check the map correctly.

            But, they do have dumplings and drinks, which while not exactly what the OP wanted, are close enough in spirit I felt it was worth a post.

            1. re: happybaker

              Agree. (Unless op wanted har gow, etc. ;). )

      2. Are you considering a bar after breakfast?
        I don't know that you will find too much dim sum in the evening.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cls

          I understand Dim Sum is considered a breakfast by Asian customs. Our visit will be as a lunch and to enjoy a couple daytime drinks and take it from there, will be a nice time.

          1. re: Hypnotic23

            Think of Cantonese yum cha, which is what most Americans mean by dim sum, more as brunch. Usually served till about 2:30.

            1. re: Jerome

              Yum Cha Cafe, on the east side of Broadway the southern edge of chinatown just north of a big apt. bldg. looks almost closed from the outside. Decent, very inexpensive, takeout items. Best are the baked bbq pork bao and the crispy fried shrimp balls.

        2. I haven't been, but maybe Peking Tavern might hit the spot?

          Drinks and dim sum snacks...


          1. Tough to put the two together. The now-shuttered Empress Pavilion did a respectable dim sum but now all the places are on the low-end as far as I know.

            I have a weakness for the dim sum at Won Kok but only after 2am. It's not objectively good but I love the scene after the bars close. Just shu mai, har gow and tea please.

            As far as bars go - Hop Louie is fun if you can get over the surly bartender. Has a good jukebox. Do not eat there under any circumstances.

            Plum Tree Inn has a pleasant and affordable bar. I looked on their menu and there is no dim sum.

            Grand Star can be fun depending on the night. Usually a hip-hop scene and I guess Starry Kitchen is doing or just did a pop-up there. If you don't want to dance it probably won't be much fun.

            And if you're there on a Saturday around 7pm you can always cadge free drinks at the galleries on Chung King Rd. Usually the best way to kick off a Chinatown night.

            1. My 2 faves in Chinatown:

              CBS seafood on spring st (has a parking lot)

              Ocean Seafood Restaurant

              These are two old school dim sum joints. Nothing fancy, but reasonable prices with standard fare properly executed. Services is always below average, but good tasty dim sum and a cheap bill always makes up for the lack of communication

              1. Lastmeal and Weinermobile, very curious to try Dim Sum at Ocean Seafood based on your recs. In addition, have either of you ever had dinner there, would it be good for a private party?