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Any one know of any good Dim Sum restaurants in San Diego?

Any good Dim Sum places in San Diego?

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  1. My current favorite is China Max. No carts- menu ordering and an upstairs room with a rather nice view on a clear day.

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    1. If you want the "look and point" cart experience, Emerald and Jasmine are OK but nothing more. China Max, with its ordering from the picture menu, ensures that the dishes are more freshly prepared but the selection is hardly as diverse or well made as the high-end dim sum of the SF Bay or the San Gabriel cluster of Chinese restaurants in LA. The lack of good Dim Sum, and of non-Americanized HongKong-centric Chinese food in general, is a soft spot in the San Diego food scene.

        1. The Pearl Chinese Restaurant in Rancho Bernardo also serves Dim Sum. It's decent.

          1. There's not much to choose from for dim sum in San Diego. Of the "Big 3" on Convoy, China Max is probably the best quality, but like others have pointed out, there aren't any carts so it's missing that part of the experience. Emerald and Jasmine are both hit and miss. Food is a little better at Emerald, but Jasmine tends to have more selection.

            Pearl in Rancho Bernardo is run by the same people that own Emerald and is the only option toward North County. Options are limited and prices are high.

            There's a place in Mira Mesa called Hong Kong BBQ and Dim Sum that you should avoid at all costs. It's cafeteria-style with no carts.

            1. Definitely try Imperial Mandarin on Convoy next to the Pancake House. Not open til 11 on weekends for dim sum but good hot dim sum on carts and well-priced.

              1 Reply
              1. re: TsulI

                You can get their dim sum items sans the cart experience anytime, actually. (Although without a cart, how is it really dim sum?)

                Pretty good here, but I prefer Jasmine or Emerald for dim sum.

              2. Well, you have China Max, Jasmine and Emerald to choose from.

                Sort of like picking out the tallest midget at the circus.

                If it was me, I'd just as soon go to Yum Cha Cafe, load up on dim sum take-out, and then head out to my favorite local beach hangout, chow down on some egg tarts, chicken feet, turnip cakes, har-gow, sweet bean buns, etc. while watching the surf and enjoying the ocean breeze.

                But that's just me, though. Cuz, if I have to hang out with a midget, it might as well be with someone who's willing to travel.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Oh my gosh, you make me laugh out loud!

                  Thanks, ipse, sincerely, GJ

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    The little person comments got my attention and Yum Cha Cafe kept me reading. We sort of live nearby and have picked up Dim Sum there a couple of times but didn't really know what was what. It seemed ok, not as good as Jasmine in a San Diego context, but not terrible.

                    Do you know if you can pickup/to-go roast duck that is cooked and ready to eat?

                    1. re: MrKrispy

                      Do you know if you can pickup/to-go roast duck that is cooked and ready to eat?


                  2. Thank's everyone for your response, it's good to know what's out there to choose from. Surprised to hear that there is so few places in San Diego, would of thought that there would be more. Thank's again!

                    4 Replies
                      1. re: colleenannstar

                        Did I see something new on 5th Ave. in Hillcrest advertising Dim Sum on the building?

                        1. re: Ms. Verde

                          Yes. The "French Concession." Where the clubby iteration of Celadon used to be. A member of their family setting off in a different direction. Classic dim sum menu, yet twice the usual price.

                          Hackles up, internal alarm bells a-ringing. Hope it ends up being a good place to eat.

                          1. re: Ms. Verde

                            We went there last Saturday right at noon when they opened. We were literally the only ones there. As SR said below-pretty classic dim sum menu at twice the price. We paid around $30 for 3 dim sum dishes and 1 noodle dish and no beer. Very weird hipster in Bejing vibe. We are visiting from LA so very spoiled for high quality low priced dim sum in the valley there. It was fun to try but I wouldn't go back.

                        2. Coincidentally, we've recently had dim sum twice in the last month. The first time was when we had a conversation about the lack of good dim sum in San Diego w/friends of ours, who are Vietnamese foodies and know all the good SD Asian restaurants. They told us to meet them at Imperial Mandarin on Convoy the following Sunday at 11:30, where they proceeded to order all kinds of delicious things off the carts and menu for our table of 8. Everything was delicious, hot and very fresh - way better than we've ever had at Emerald, Jasmine or China Max. Our daughter was with us that day and several weeks later, it was her birthday (also a Sunday), and she announced around 1pm that she'd been thinking about our last dim sum meal at Imperial Mandarin and she really wanted dim sum at Imperial Garden for her b'day brunch/lunch (even though we already had dinner reservations!) We all agreed we were in the mood for dim sum so jumped in the car to head over to Imperial Garden, and on the way there, I called to find out that they stopped serving at 2pm and it was already after 1pm Realizing we'd probably get there when everything was old, we instead decided to check out French Concession in Hillcrest, which we'd heard good things about and which apparently served dim sum all day. We arrived around 1:30 and were the only ones there. The food was TERRIBLE. We had to return some of our dim sum, as the pork dumplings were completely uncooked and actually cold in the middle, as if they'd been frozen. The other stuff that was edible was really poorly done. I would never return to French Concession and found it depressing with literally no one there on a Sunday and downright horrible.

                          In contrast, Imperial Mandarin was a fantastic experience and has now become our (by far) favorite dim sum place in SD.

                          5 Replies
                            1. re: carli

                              Yeah I guess I didn't want to be that blunt but that was also our experience. But at least our stuff was warm. Weird decor too don't you think?

                              1. re: carli

                                You'll be happy to know French Concession has closed.

                                1. re: Fake Name

                                  I'm sure R Gang is happy to know as well.

                                  1. re: Fake Name

                                    Not too surprised. I went there a few weeks after they had opened, can't remember when this was. I can't say I had an experience that matched carll's... the food I got was not bad but inferior to Emerald's offerings and more expensive.