Dim Sum 101 (Los Angeles, June 2022)

Alright, let’s get started on the meal reports from our 9 days in Los Angeles before we headed off to Hawaii. Unlike our two weeks in Hawaii, our time in Los Angeles was very food-focused—as it always is. We are not tourists in Los Angeles: all we do is hang out with family and friends, hang out at the beach and go out to eat. And one of the three categories of food we look forward to eating the most when in Southern California is dim sum (sushi and Korean are the two others). Usually, we head to one of our favourite places in the San Gabriel Valley for dim sum but on this trip we decided to stick closer to home, which is now in Seal Beach (which is not only not Los Angeles, it is not even in LA County). We ate dim sum twice on this trip—coincidentally for both our first and last meal out—and at two different ends of the spectrum. First up, a quick meal at Dim Sum 101 in Lomita, a relatively new operation.

The first thing I should say is that I am unclear as to whether the name of the restaurant is Dim Sum 101 or 101 Dim Sum Artisan or both. If you can shed any light on this please write in below. I can tell you that it is located in an unassuming strip mall in Lomita, is a fairly small restaurant by Southern California dim sum house standards, has a relatively edited menu, and that it puts out pretty good dim sum. I’m not saying we’ll never make the trek out to Sea Harbour, Elite or Lunasia again but it was nice to only drive 20 minutes and not have to wait at all. Indeed, the restaurant was almost completely empty when we got there only an hour or so after they opened on a Monday. As you enter there’s a nice little counter/bar area and past that is a bright, modern dining room. We got a table by the windows and settled down to peruse the menu (you order off the menu and things are brought out freshly prepared).

As I said, their menu is abbreviated, at least by by the standards of the San Gabriel Valley. They mostly serve the greatest hits (and not all of them—I didn’t see turnip cakes on the menu, for instance). The good news is that they do them quite well. We liked everything we got very much, with one exception. What did we get?

  • Shiumai with shrimp, mushrooms and pork. Just excellent.
  • Lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice. Also excellent.
  • Steamed chicken feet. The one disappointing item—the feet were a bit flabby and this was the one thing that seemed like it might not have come out just as it got done. Don’t get me wrong, we’d be very happy to eat this in Minnesota.
  • Congee with preserved egg and pork. The congee was very good but the fried dough strips that came with it were a bit too hard and barely softened in the porridge.
  • Hargow. Also very good indeed.
  • Soup dumplings. The usual smaller size served at dim sum and therefore not as satisfying as the full-size variety but still quite good.
  • Pork wontons with spicy sauce. Very good wontons tossed in chili oil spiked with Sichuan peppercorn.
  • BBQ pork rice noodle roll. Also very good.
  • Sesame balls with red bean paste. Likewise.

For a look at the restaurant and what we ate, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see how much it all cost and to see what’s coming next.

With tax and tip the total came to just about $87. Which is a very good value indeed for the quality of what we ate, especially with the convenience factored in. I should reiterate, of course, that we ate at Dim Sum 101 on a Monday morning. For all I know, it’s a zoo on weekends. But we would happily eat here again on a weekday and probably will on our next trip. High quality, no-frills dim sum without a hassle is always good. Which is not to say we didn’t eat fancy dim sum on this trip at all—we did and that wasn’t in the SGV either but in actual Orange County. I’ll have that report in a few weeks.

Next up from Los Angeles will be a report on the first of two sushi meals. That’ll be next Saturday. Before that I’ll have my second Big Island report tomorrow and on Tuesday a report on a Filipino restaurant in St. Paul.




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