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Christmas Dim Sum wait times and other questions

MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 05:58 PM

Planning on doing Dim Sum with the Family, 8 ppl, on Christmas Day. Approx what kind of wait times should I be prepared for? Is there a better time to go to avoid wait? We actually prefer to do this later, say 2ish. What would be the best place for a group of non Chinese speakers?

Thanks again!!

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  1. ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 06:13 PM

    Most places are ending dim sum service by 2 p.m.

    For a party of 8, try Elite cuz you will have the best luck in trying to make a reservation. Best to reserve in person, however [wink, wink]. Sea Harbour *might* accommodate if you reserve a private room. No guarantees.

    Otherwise, if you just show up and want a table for 8, buy matinee movie tickets first, put your name down, then come back and your table should be ready in about 10-15 minutes.

    13 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 06:16 PM

      Ok cool, so 2 hours wait? Do they allow you to put your name down and come back? I will def try dropping by Elite to see about a reservation.

      1. re: MissBubbles
        ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 06:17 PM

        Do they allow you to put your name down and come back?
        ___________________

        That was a joke. A bad one, I guess.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 06:24 PM

          It's been a long time since I did Dim Sum and never in LA. I just don't remember how it works. Do you just stand around and wait? Do they give you a number? Do you put down a name? In the past I am done some dumpling houses that have waits and we put a name down, got a buzzer and they gave us an estimated time that was about an hour away. We went for a drink, came back 15min before that time and our buzzer buzzed soon after and we were seated. Worked better than just standing around for an hour. Just trying to figure out the best way to approach this, I like to let family know what to expect, my husband and I can roll with whatever but when Family is involved like to have a plan.

          1. re: MissBubbles
            ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 06:26 PM

            Put name down. Wait.

            No real magic.

            1. re: ipsedixit
              MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 06:28 PM

              for 2 hours? That seems a bit nuts if you can't leave and come back closer to your reservation time,

              1. re: MissBubbles
                ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 06:37 PM

                No, more like 2.5 hours.

                Holiday. Check.
                Large party. Check
                Non-Chinese large party on a holiday. 2.5 hours.

                Happy holidays.

                Sorry.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 07:13 PM

                  that's kinda why I mentioned we were non Chinese, I was hoping to find a place that wouldn't discriminate on race. I want to find good Dim Sum but it doesn't have to be the best of the best as I usually would want, just good.

                  1. re: MissBubbles
                    ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 07:15 PM

                    Not so much about discriminating based on race, per se, but more about not being able to properly do the "put your name down and haggle and wait" routine.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 07:16 PM

                      yes and is there a place that is better about this?

                      1. re: MissBubbles
                        ipsedixit RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 07:19 PM

                        Dunno.

                        I generally avoid dim sum.

                        And I especially avoid dim sum joints at peak hours/days.

                        And, on holidays, I avoid dim sum like I would avoid sucking pus from another person's open wound.

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          MissBubbles RE: ipsedixit Dec 17, 2013 07:31 PM

                          well ok, that's helpful. Thanks

                        2. re: MissBubbles
                          wienermobile RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 08:16 AM

                          Yes Sea Harbour

                          1. re: wienermobile
                            wienermobile RE: wienermobile Dec 18, 2013 08:25 AM

                            When Sea Harbour opens at 10am on weekends we arrive at 9:30 and are sat right away when their doors open.

      2. MissBubbles RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 06:14 PM

        Oh and do any places that are good take reservations?

        1. liu RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 07:14 PM

          Shanghai No. 1 on Valley Blvd. has several rooms and is quite large; they normally do take reservations. Try calling them for your large party table:

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/shanghai-no-1...

          King Hua in Alhambra also takes reservations. For some reason, they seem to fill later than some of the others, so you might try to make your reservations there for around 10:30am:

          http://www.yelp.com/biz/king-hua-rest...

          Both of the above-mentioned restaurants are quite good for dim sum, but Christmas Day might not offer a "typical" experience.

          2 Replies
          1. re: liu
            MissBubbles RE: liu Dec 17, 2013 07:18 PM

            Thanks, I had been looking at Shanghai 1. What time usually is the craziest for Dim Sum?

            1. re: MissBubbles
              liu RE: MissBubbles Dec 17, 2013 07:28 PM

              Hi, MissBubbles.

              I know dim sum on Saturday mornings; usually, the magic time seems to be around 10:30-10:45...surely, before 11:00am. However, each place seems to have its own schedule. Elite, as has already been mentioned, is quite good and seems to get busy early. Before 11:00am even, two of us have had to wait 30 minutes sometimes.

              Shanghai No. 1 opens their extra rooms as they need them; quite often before 11:00am we are seated in the main room. As well, we are usually able to find main room seating at King Hua before 11:00am.

              All of these mentioned places are good and have large tables, but they always seem to fill. I highly suggest that you call very soon to see if you can get a reservation.

          2. p
            prawn RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 12:12 AM

            Besides the wait time concerns, I would recommend against a late seating if you're going to a place where they serve out of push carts. It's not uncommon for popular items to sell out and a very late seating might mean your party would have to pick amongst whatever is left.

            Non-chinese aspect isn't much of an issue if you have a general idea of what you want to order. It might be an issue if your party has food allergies and dietary restrictions and you need to ask what's in each dish.

            General rule of thumb is go earlier to avoid long waits. We try to have our name down by 10am but even then we expect to wait around 30mins.

            I agree that you should call around and find a place that would take reservations. A party of 8 can be tricky to seat on a regular weekend but could be disastrous on Christmas Day.

            1 Reply
            1. re: prawn
              MissBubbles RE: prawn Dec 18, 2013 07:06 AM

              Thanks for all this info it certainly helps. I agree I might try and make it an earlier thing and reservations sound like the way to go. I am a bit worried about a reservation getting "lost" on such a big day though per Ipsedixit's insinuation above.

            2. liu RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 06:46 AM

              With regard to your ordering, many of these dim sum places have menus with pictures...just ask if they do not put them on your table when you are seated.

              If you let us know ahead of your day where you are planning to land, we might be able to suggest a few items to consider in your order.

              3 Replies
              1. re: liu
                MissBubbles RE: liu Dec 18, 2013 07:08 AM

                Thanks, I even notice many have them online so I could print out and have before we even sit down. We are all med-high adventurous eaters with no allergies or restrictions so I am not worried about that aspect. Anybody have an opinion on Lunasia?

                1. re: MissBubbles
                  e
                  Ernie RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 07:36 AM

                  I like Lunasia, but the waits on weekends can easily be over an hour during prime time hours. I imagine the wait on a holiday weekend would potentially be even longer

                  1. re: MissBubbles
                    liu RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 07:40 AM

                    Lunasia is good and the space is very nice. For taste, it is lower on my list than some of the others mentioned, but the main room is very pretty and comfortable.

                2. c
                  chezwhitey RE: MissBubbles Dec 18, 2013 06:32 PM

                  I like lunasia the best in the 626. My advice would be go early. If you are absolutely against that, have one in your group go an hour early and put your name in and then have him or her wait next door at tea station. After lunch buy that person a foot spa including the tip.

                  1. MissBubbles RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 10:50 AM

                    Hi everyone, so thanks for all the help! We ended up at King Hua. Showed up at 10AM and had no problem getting a table for 8. Food was very good, best dishes were tripe and the lotus root. It was great fun with a lively atmosphere and family all enjoyed it. Thanks for the arriving early advice, as we left at noon it was a 2 hr wait.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MissBubbles
                      n
                      ns1 RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 10:53 AM

                      Thanks for the report back!

                      1. re: MissBubbles
                        liu RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 02:48 PM

                        I am so glad that your experience was good. King Hua is in our regular rotation and always delicious.

                        1. re: MissBubbles
                          TonyC RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 03:28 PM

                          FWIW, you could've gone anywhere at 10AM w/o a wait.

                          King Hua is good for that sweet 11:15 time slot cause 10AM is just too darn early for me to be knawing on chicken ankles.

                          1. re: MissBubbles
                            h
                            happybaker RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 09:57 PM

                            Love King Hua!

                            So glad the timing worked out for you!

                          2. Chandavkl RE: MissBubbles Dec 26, 2013 12:13 PM

                            People were waiting to get into Golden Dragon and CBS in Chinatown so I could imagine what the wait time was in the SGV.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Chandavkl
                              MissBubbles RE: Chandavkl Dec 26, 2013 03:24 PM

                              Yes, we had no wait as we arrived when they opened. I highly recommend doing that.

                              1. re: Chandavkl
                                ipsedixit RE: Chandavkl Dec 26, 2013 06:22 PM

                                Some people are still waiting.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  m
                                  mc michael RE: ipsedixit Dec 26, 2013 07:30 PM

                                  LOL

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