We skipped dim sum on our trip to L.A. last winter—this because we were going to be in Hong Kong a month later and it didn’t seem particularly urgent to eat dim sum in L.A. Now, of course, after five months in Minnesota, the opportunity of eating dim sum that is better than just acceptable was hard to pass up. I have to admit, however, that I was a little bit nervous: years of eating dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley has made it hard for me to get excited about dim sum in Minnesota (the best of which would be about third-tier in the SGV); would eating excellent dim sum in Hong Kong do the same to the SGV? Our meal at Lei Garden had been an order of magnitude better than any we’d ever eaten at Sea Harbour or Elite—would either of these places still do it for us? It was to one of these that we wanted to go, of course: they’re still the consensus top picks in the SGV. The fact that we were going to be eating on July 4 all but ruled Sea Harbour out. The waits can be 1-2 hours on regular weekends. Elite can be as crowded but for whatever reason we’ve always had luck getting in there, and so that’s where we decided to take our chances. How did it turn out? Read on.
Well, first of all, the wait was not as bad as we’d feared. It was crowded, with a lot of people waiting inside and out, but as luck would have it, we arrived at a time (11.15’ish) when a lot of medium-sized tables seemed to be clearing out and we only had to wait 15-20 minutes. So that part was good. And the food? Well, I am happy to report that while no one is going to mistake the dim sum served at Elite with that served at the upper echelon Hong Kong places, the quality is so far above the merely competent that our feelings about it re Hong Kong dim sum were not equivalent to our feelings about MN dim rum re SGV dim sum.
What did we get? Please click on an image below to launch a slideshow with captions and brief evaluations.
All of this plus tax and tip came to $88 for three adults and two children. It was, as I said, quite good. My mother-in-law, who we’ve taken to a number of dim sum places in the SGV, always says she likes the food at Elite best—and on the strength of this meal I might have to agree. Everything was above average and a few items (the shiu mai, the soy sauce chicken, the baked scallop and turnip cake) were really excellent. This may have to tide us over till our next L.A trip.
Okay, I think I might take a detour back to Twin Cities food reports before finishing out the recent L.A. trip reports (a Koreatown report and dinner at Mori Sushi yet to come).
700 S. Atlantic Blvd.