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Jul 20, 2014 06:52 PM

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

That's what TonyC just tweeted. His Friday Eater LA column indicated that the restaurant just opened. I presume it's going to be a madhouse for quite a while so I'll let the others fight the crowds.

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  1. hmm. i don't recall there being a lot of open parking around that intersection

    1 Reply
    1. re: barryc

      Well, the restaurant has a double parking lot, one with an entrance on Valley, the other on Garfield. But if you can't squeeze in those lots you may have a good hike.

    2. Drove by just now, it's pretty busy.

      1. What's the deal with African abalone?

        12 Replies
        1. re: jessejames

          Most likely referring to South African varieties of farmed abalone. (Though I do not know the provenance of the abalone served at Shi Hai, specifically.)

          1. re: J.L.

            Thanks. I think it said they had that in Tonys article. Glad we are farming abalone. Same with oysters. Smaller but good quality if you ask me. Love to find a spot that pounds it flours it and fries it in garlic butter old school style. No problem with sushi of course. What's your favorite type jl and where do U get it?

            1. re: jessejames

              I like my abalone 2 different ways:

              (1) Slow-steamed whole, with sake or rice wine - In this format, I recommend Sushi Hanesaka in Tokyo for the best version of this.

              (2) Braised Cantonese-style, with mushrooms and vegetables. The best version of this I had was at my relative's house in Vancouver. BUT, restaurant-wise I recommend Lei Garden in HK.

              1. re: J.L.

                Thanks. Sounds great. Had a similar prep in Tokyo but need to try hanesaka next go round. You know what your talking about obviously.

                Is that braised kind same vein as what you can get at sea harbor ? I found sauce kind of gloopy and with bok choy when I got it there last and maybe just didn't know what to ask for.

                What's your best bet in these styles in SoCal?

                1. re: J.L.

                  Braised Australian abalone at Lei Garden IFC. Spectacular.

                  1. re: Porthos

                    Where do u like to get abalone in la?

                      1. re: Porthos

                        Re read your recent review. Quite good. I'll have to bring some vino too.

                      2. re: Porthos

                        That photo brings back so many great food memories...

                        1. re: Porthos

                          the pic at seafood village, looks a lot like this but i'm guessing this version is about a thousand times more delicious ????????

                2. omg so much personal history for me in that building. I'll take my mum out there for weekday dimsum (since I always work weekends).

                  1. Had lunch for 2 here today, Monday. Madhouse in terms of crowd, it is not. But the place was full at 11:00 am with a 10 minute wait. This is a cartless dim sum restaurant.
                    They did not have oolong, so settled for Jazmine.
                    Five minutes after the order form is taken, the food comes in a pretty good stream, nice and hot and by servers wearing sneeze guard (just like at Lunasia)
                    The chicken feet was excellent, very tender but retaining its texture and mildly spicy and generous amount of peanut in the sauce it came in. However,I felt it was on the sweeter side of all the chicken feet I've tasted. The egg tart was likewise very, very good.....soft, creamy and heavy for its size. You can also tell from the smell that it is freshly baked. Taro puff was delicately crispy without the smell of oil it was fried in and is another great dish. The pork shumai had bits of unchewable tendon mixed with the ground pork. The salted chicken porridge came in a nice clay pot accompanied by a small plate of scallions, fried wonton skin and a third item which up to now, I could not discern. It was good, but I've tasted better. The mini baked chasiu bao also had the aroma of a bread shop as soon as you take a bite.
                    They still have to get their act together in the dining area. Food for the next table came to us twice by mistake. Change from the same table also came to us before we even paid. They also had to confirm our change / check by asking how much we paid.
                    Having two entrances (one on Garfield, the other by the parking lot) increased traffic inside the restaurant even before one can check in to get a number or table. They also need to have a sitting area for folks to comfortably wait for a table.
                    Overall, the place was new, modern, clean and spacious.
                    Paid $35.00 and change before tip.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: selfportrait93

                      Thanks for the note re: chicken feet and peanuts. That is unfortunate for the wifey who is allergic but loves chicken feet

                      1. re: selfportrait93

               had a good meal. as good as the vaunted SH/elite/king hua/lunasia tier?

                        1. re: thefatknightrises

                          having just had lunch there last week, i'd say china red deserves consideration. i reviewed them in the thread about unlucky locations in the SGV.

                          1. re: barryc

                            Agreed that China Red is in that tier.

                        2. re: selfportrait93

                          >They did not have oolong....
                          Went to Shi Hai with my mom at noon today. She ordered chrysanthemum tea while I ordered Oolong. I did not try the chrysanthemum tea but the Oolong was indifferent at best. I typically bring my own "prime grade Oolong" purchased from Wing Hop Fung to dim sum and pay the tea service fee. Several of the more upscale dim sum places will also sell you their better tea for a bit more money.
                          BTW China Red uses significantly better looking chrysanthemums in their chrysanthemum tea. You have to open the tea pot lid to notice. My other first impressions are posted elsewhere in this thread.