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Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

> 4VIP rooms on the San Gabriel blvd side should read
4 VIP rooms on the Garfield blvd side.

2 days ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

>I'm more curious about their dinner service.
Me too.
Soon after my mom and I were seated at a table near the parking entrance this afternoon. I was enthusiastically greeted by someone saying "Hello. do you remember me from 半島?" in chinese. (For reference, 半島, New Capital Seafood in Focus Plaza started in my recollection as Sam Woo Seafood and is now Five Star Seafood. (please correct me here everyone)
I confess that I had previously hosted several excessively exorbitant dinners at various upscale Chinese restaurants in the SGV but I remember no one in particular. Perhaps as a result, I am marked. Check my Shanghai #1 warm beer post if you wish.
Then, I was asked to be introduced to their VIP rooms.
I am happy to report that Shi Hai has 4 VIP rooms on the San Gabriel Bivd side that ranged from a room that warmly accompanying a table of 6-8 to a large room that can accompany a party of 20+ in a round table setting for corporate events . Also, every room is presentation/karaoke equipped. None of these rooms were open for business at the time despite there were people waiting inline for dim sum in the main hall.
Then I was introduced to two additional VIP rooms on the Valley blvd side of the building. By the time we left , close to 1pm, one of the Valley blvd rooms opened for the dim sum folks.
Thus, Shi Hai may have more reserved VIP rooms than any other Cantonese Seafood Restaurants that I have encountered in the SGV. Again please correct me if this is wrong.
I remain curious about their dinner service.

2 days ago
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

BC, we must have been at Shi Hai at the same time this afternoon.
Since there were just my mom and me, we ended up ordering 3 dim sum (har gao, siu mai and turnip bowl) and 2 chef's specials (Cold roasted pork belly and pan fried rice noodle with beef).
*Two other items in additional to the two specialties were marked on the full-color glossy printed ordering sheet by us using the quater-pencil supplied but they were missed and not registered/ordered. We had to ask for the specials and not the other two items to be added afterwards. Blame it on light pencil mark+glossy paper or inexperience staff.
Both the shrimp dumpling and siu mai were fine/okay. Better than most $2 versions but not impressive. However, the tobiko garnish topping the siu mai were bright and crunchy, ie they were added after steaming. A nice touch but does not compensate for their shortcomings already noted by others.
We both liked the panfried rice noodle with beef and the turnip bowl. King Hua used to offer a very good turnip bowl and perhaps 'better' version but not now.
Now the cold roasted pork belly is not cold at all, but served warm with a fancy carnation+shiso presentation delivered under a beautiful clear glass dome and a dish of mayo sauce on the side. The presentation alone is worth the price. There are photos of this dish san the dome on Yelp. The pork belly is perfectly cooked and understatedly seasoned (in contrast to the more common noticeably salted and five spiced version) letting the clean pork flavor to be truely appreciated. Crowning each morsel is an incredibly light and crisp roasted pork rind. Superb! The lightness and crispiness of the roasted skin in conjunction with the perfectly cooked underlying pork is unmatched elsewhere in LA.
PS. serving the dish warm is in contrast to tepid/room temperature that most HK style BBQs employ is genius and is needed to fully appreciate the dish. It can sell for many times its price on the west side.
As a MSG connoisseur, I must say that I cannot detect any overt MSG in any of the dishes we tried. Instead, I am missing it quite a bit. Perhaps it is a new trend in dim sum. Natural taste rather than enforced umami a la sushi.

Jul 26, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Shi Hai Has The Best Dim Sum In Town

>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.

Jul 25, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Has Empress Pavilion reopened?

Last I read on this board was that it was supposed to reopen on Mother's day.

Jun 29, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Dumpling places also serving alcohol?

Glendale DTF serves excellent soup dumplings and has an upscale bar. I am not sure if they serve pot stickers or not. Check their online menu.

Jun 14, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Kaishin Malibu

I read that this family restaurant that also has 2 full-time delivery drivers is celebrated its first anniversary this month. Has anyone been?

May 07, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Chi Spacca - Favorite

Was the tomahawk cooked to rare, medium or well-done?

Apr 17, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Schmaltz is Kosher again! Where can I buy some?

I used to be able to buy jars of schmaltz at almost any chain grocery store. However, in the past 10-15 years, schmaltz disappeared from all their shelves. As a result, whenever I needed some schmaltz, I have to render it from chicken skin myself. Unfortunately, that means that I have to eat a lot of skinless/tasteless chickens!
Now animal fats are almost as harmful for the heart as olive oil (see technical summary below), I want to know where can I buy some good tasty schmaltz.

=================================================
A new study published today, 18 March, in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that current evidence does not support guidelines restricting consumption of saturated fatty acid (lard, butter, schmaltz, duck fat, palm oil etc) to reduce coronary risk nor does it support high consumption of polyunsaturated fats such as omega 3 or omega 6 (olive oil, safflower oil, fish oil etc) to reduce coronary heart disease.

Basically, an international research collaboration led by the University of Cambridge analyzed data from 72 studies with over 600,000 participants from 18 countries. They found that level of total saturated fatty acid, whether measured in the diet or in the bloodstream as a biomarker, was not associated with coronary disease risk. Similarly, when analysing the studies that involved assessments of the consumption of total monounsaturated fatty acids, long-chain omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, there were no significant associations between consumption and cardiovascular risk reduction.

Journal Reference : Rajiv Chowdhury et al. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2014; 160 (6): 398-406. (http://annals.org/article.aspx?articl...)

Mar 18, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Red Medicine

My sentiments exactly.
Too bad this post wasn't available 3 weeks ago.
I had good food at RM several times before and decided to show an out-of-town visitor what RM's food and cocktails were like.
For 3 people we ordered:
1) brassicas, 2) chicken dumplings, 3) foraged mushrooms, 4) sweet potatoes, 5) trout roe, 6) uni, 7) rillette, 8) dungeness crab, 9) Braised Brisket.
We were the first guests there on that Tuesday and the restaurant never got more than 4 tables filled while we were there.
The food was brought out in rapid succession with up to 3 items on the table at the same time. Worst, they taste so disappointing that we stop eating after item 6) and ask for the bill.
Hope RM will improve its food soon.

Mar 09, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Your Go To Comfort Spot

The Only Place in Town in Sierra Madre.
http://www.theonlyplaceintown.com

Mar 05, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

New Menu at Shanghai #1

Went to Dim Sum at SH1 this afternoon. Besides the dim sum ordering sheet, every table was given a brand new, bounded menu which they call their catalog. There are quite a few new and interesting additions including photo of hairy crab at market price. I inquired and learned that the crabs are $68 a pair, one male and one female. Unfortunately, they are not in season.

Mar 01, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Bistecca alla Fiorentina?

The following LA Times article shed some light on this subject.
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/...

Feb 14, 2014
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Frozen Dumplings?

Several years ago, while at Ding Tai Fung (Arcadia), I inquired if they have frozen XLB for sale. The waitress reply that they don't but can custom freeze some freshly made ones for me to go. The cost is the same as dine-in. I did not ordered any but made a mental note of the fact.

Dec 30, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

hotpot/BBQ place next to empress harbor in MP

I don't know about chilean sea bass.
Please looked at the fine print. There is a $3-4 per person soup base charge. And if you want dipping sauce, they charge about $1 for each serving of sauce. Peanut sauce, sesame sauce, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, fermented tofu sauce etc. For our last party of 4 AYCE, we shared one pot and each of us had 3 or 4 orders of 3 to 4 different sauces to compliment our meal.
Food and service were almost average for hotpot in SGV.

Dec 27, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Roast Goose in Los Angeles

For the past two years, we had the Christmas roasted beef/prime rib dinner at Tam O'Shanter. It is very popular and very festive.
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas they have a group of roaming carolers dressed in Dickens' era costumes that will sing your choice of Christmas songs at your dinner table. For the price, it cannot be beat.
Last year, I made the mistake of ordering the roasted goose. It was dry, and compared to their roasted beef, un-edible. One of my guest also make the mistake of ordering a lobster tail to pair with her roast beef. Not pretty.
Just stick with the prime rib/roast beef. This dish is what they can do well.

Dec 17, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Tar & Roses Paella + more

We had the wood fired goat the week before.
We were served the same grilled lettuce salad before and the same two deserts after. Both were excellent.
We were told the goat were sourced from northern California, braised for 12 hrs and then roasted in their oak fired oven. For a party of 5 we had half a baby goat with one hind leg with thigh, one front leg with shoulder, ribs, belly and neck. The meat readily fall off the bones. Most of the goat were served skinless. I think only the belly has a bit of crispy skin on. Overall the milk-fed goat was very juicy, very lean and very tender. No gaminess whatsoever can be detected.
The goat was served with roasted baby carrots, couscous along with harissa and a yogurt sauce. Either sauce greatly compliment the goat.
We brought our own 2009 Barolo to match the Tar and Roses theme. We had our server offered a glass for the chef. The chef/owner came out to thank us after the meal.
By the way, there were way more meat that the five of us can eat.
The remainder half of the goat, were packed neatly into three 8" to go boxes.

Dec 09, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Hole in The Wall Fish & Chips

The "fish with seaweed" at Mama Lu (either location on Garvey) @ $6 per order is a close approximation of an above average crispy batter fried fish. They clearly indicated on the menu that the fish used is Basa, an imported farmed catfish.
Also both Mama Lu's locations are know for their generous portions besides their above average XLB which I have heard are closely resemble if not the same as XLB from Din Sin World.

Dec 07, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

lotus root with sticky rice

Both Shanghai Bamboo House in Monrovia and Shanghai #1 Seafood in San Gabriel have them on their menu. They are both sweet appetizers and served sliced and either slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Dec 01, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Late Autumn Crab-Fest at Shunji Japanese Cuisine: A Pictorial Essay

Do you know where Shunji-san sources his Shanghai hairy mitten crab. I have not seen them in markets for decades.

Dec 01, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

White Truffle Tasting @ Saam

GJ
I do not have super human memory nor super human appetite. Each of the courses is just a bite or two. At the end of the meal, Saam present each diner with a printed list of what was served to take home. If the meal were ordered with wine pairing, a list of which wine were served with which course was also included.

Nov 27, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Where can I find Chinese turkey in the SGV? - the 2013 edition

My friends invited me to carve a turkey for an early Thanksgiving Turkey meal today. I have both the experience and the tools.
They had bought their turkey from Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant in Monterey Park.
Price is average. ~$50 for a 12-14 lb bird with gravy and sticky rice sides. Both the gravy and the sticky rice looked less than desirable. So I do not know how they tasted.
However, I was surprised to find that the bird had a gorgeous, evenly golden brown crisp skin that appeared to have been deep-fried. However, none of the breast and leg meat nor the inside cavity had any signs of darkening usually associated with cooking a turkey using the deep-frying method. Taste wise, the turkey must have been brined and therefore very tasty and moist.
I guess that they must have first roasted the bird and then quickly deep-frying briefly to crisp the skin.
The bird fed 8 of us. No leftover what so ever.

Nov 27, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

White Truffle Tasting @ Saam

As I have indicated earlier, I am surprised with the proud statement of the use of truffle oil in several of the first few courses .
But if they had prepared something else molecularly and call it truffle oil, they deserve my less than good comments.
I have never tasted truffle oil nor dishes prepared with it before.

Nov 24, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

White Truffle Tasting @ Saam

I went to their first truffle tasting dinner last year. I was impressed with the dinner served with the better wine pairing.
This year is their second and may be their last. I have heard that Saam may be re-modeling.
We have the multi-course white truffle tasting dinner last friday.
We were first served a truffle Mist drink. Wow, Wow Wow in presentation. Taste wise, I don't get it. My guest took a sip and left it alone.
The next 4 courses were prepared with "WOW". Or in my own opinion "Oh No".
The server proudly state that they were prepared with truffle oil !!!
Molecular chef be damned.
Jose Anders better tell me that it is not the store bought version and better come up with a better name. Truffle essence, truffle extract, truffle juice, truffle tea, truffle marinate, truffle infusion, or simple with truffle.
You turn me off mentioning truffle oil.
The chef really tried hard to come up with the next 4 dishes
Truffle doughnut, Chicken & truffle, Scallops Squash & Vanilla and Agnolotti.
In my opinion, they did not impress even with shaved white truffle on top on several presentations.
The remanding dishes were all served with shaved white truffle on top.
Next was Lobster and Dashi. The dish was served on a heated plate such that the lobster was perhaps semi-cooked when served on a heated plate. A creamy Dashi sauce was poured over the food and finished with shaved white truffle.
As a result, the lobster was served half cooked, thinly sliced and chopped into tiny pieces. It does not have the fresh texture of lobster sashimi nor the meatiness of cooked lobster. I can neither taste any lobster because of the way it was cooked nor the dashi because of the overwhelming cream.
The next course is "Fish" Papillote.. the "fish of the day" was halibut.
It was tasty but both mine and my guest's halibut were overcooked and a bit dry.
Next was a nicely done risotto.
Next was Cheek and Jamone. This was the highlight of the evening. Perfect in every which way. Must have. If they ever offer it again.

The rest of the menu are dessert items with shaved truffle on top.
All excellent.

Nov 24, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

fresh turkeys for thanksgiving?

Any update since 2010. Especially regarding heritage turkey vs broadbreasted verity.

Nov 19, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Live Heritage Turkeys for Thanksgiving

I want to keep the feathers.

Nov 19, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Live Heritage Turkeys for Thanksgiving

Where can one buy a live (not fresh) Heritage turkey for Thanksgiving within 50 miles of LA?

Nov 19, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

SOUP - LA Dish of the Month (November 2013)

Din Tai Fung's steamed chicken soup and steamed beef soup. Must have.
These two soups extract the essence of chicken or beef by long and slow steaming in their own bowls respectively.

Nov 10, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

Thanksgiving dinner

Due to remodeling, I cannot entertain guess at home for this thanksgiving.
I tried Tar and Roses's family meal, but they are fully booked.
Any suggestions. I need to make reservation fast.

Nov 06, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area

KOREATOWN - LA Dish of the Month (October 2013)

Any lunch specific places that is worth mentioning?

Oct 17, 2013
FallingLeaves in Los Angeles Area