dim sum Archive

LA Eats: The Food Porn Edition

In-N-Out

I just came back from a 2 week time off in LA and it was FREAKING wonderful. Though it wasn’t all play. The first week I spent it with these guys (yes I was doing work) and the second week was a total tv on the couch time.

Besides eating burgers from In-N-Out and mom’s cooking, most of the meals I had were from places I have never been before. Luckily everything I ate during my 2 weeks in LA was mighty delicious.

Check out what I ate after the jump…
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I Found Rice Roll Paradise At Sunkist Bakery

Sunkist Bakery
What do you think that metal box on the left side is?

I love rice rolls aka cheung fun. It’s a must get for me everytime I go to dim sum and you’re not dim summing correctly if you don’t get any rice rolls. I have looked up recipes to see how it’s made and it’s actually quite easy. Get some rice flour batter, pour it onto a pan (like a crepe) and steam it. When it’s done, just roll it. But of course this all sounds so easy but to make good rice roll is hard. Good rice roll is silky, smooth with a slight chewiness to it and firm enough to hold whatever ingredient is inside.

I have heard that in Sunset Park there is a rice roll cart but I haven’t seen the cart at all. And of course if you want rice rolls and hate the dim sum crowds you can always just order from the take out station which many dim sum places have. The down side to that is, you don’t know how long the rice rolls have been sitting. So of course you know how excited I got when I found THIS place! Sunkist Bakery, just around the corner from the F East Broadway stop, makes fresh rice rolls. Have they always had fresh rice rolls before? How come I’ve only noticed it now?!

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Rice Rolls

King Star
Feeling a bit lazy this past Saturday and you know what, I hate feeling lazy. The sun was out, a bit muggy and icky but at least the sun was out and I wanted to be outside doing things. Recently I found out that there is a guy in Sunset Park, 61st St and 8th Ave right outside of the 8th Ave stop on the N train that makes FRESH rice rolls with his rice roll cart. Rice rolls aka cheung fun, if you don’t know, is a thin piece of rice flour crepe steamed, rolled up with beef, shrimp, fish, roast pork or plain and served with soy sauce at dim sum places. Rice rolls are pretty much up at the top of my dim sum must eats along with siu mai, tunrip cakes, chicken feet and ja leung. My favorite rice roll has to be the roast pork but for some reason its rare to find them in NYC, why is that? I think my next favorite would be fish. Hmmmm. Anyways, so by 11am I was off on my rice roll cart hunt!

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L.A. Eats – Lunasia

Ja leung & salt pepper squid
Dim sum restaurants in LA come and go all the time. What was once a hit spot for great food could become a sushi restaurant or in most cases another dim sum restaurant but with a different name. They always brag about spending loads of money to hire the best chefs in Hong Kong to make great dim sum. Eventually the chef moves on, quite possibly to another restaurant that offered him more money, and the cycle continues.

I’m not sure how old or new Lunasia is.  I found this place out while ready Eating LA, hmm foie gras dumplings eh? Everytime I come home I have to have some dim sum. So I dragged my family out to see what Lunasia was all about. The first thing about dim sum is that either you get there super early or prepare to wait for hours. Dim sum is not fast food. People tend to linger at their table drinking tea. We made the mistake of getting there close to noon and we waited for an hour to squeeze into a table for 4 with the 5 of us.

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Dim Sum From Street Cart

InnardsLotus Wrapped Rice
If I wasn’t THAT lazy to get off the F train on East Broadway then back onto the F train to go to work, I would totally get breakfast from this food street cart lady. Chinese street food vendors are pretty much everywhere, mostly right by subway entrances/exits. When I used to live on the Q line I would get out of the Canal stop to go to my to-go Chinese food street cart. My usual items were chicken congee with peanuts and rice rolls with fish balls. I love that combo. Definitely more healthy than a sausage, egg and cheese on a roll. But I had a problem and that were the peanuts in the congee. I’m not a big fan of peanuts (I do love peanut butter and peanut sauce) and most of the pieces of chicken in the congee were actually peanuts. Now that I’m in a different part of Brooklyn and the F train (I hate the F trains) is the closes train, I get off at E.Broadway to go to Chinatown. One morning I went to Chinatown to get some buns for breakfast. When I walked out of the bakery I noticed a street cart vendor across the street. I walked over and took a quick peak of the menu. Instead of chicken and peanuts congee she served pork with preserved egg congee. Now I’m not a lover of preserved eggs either but they don’t really have a taste to them. So…I’ve been going to this street cart since last November and everytime I would get congee and rice rolls with fish balls. Then last week, after a long hiatus for me, I went back to her and was prepared to get the same thing UNTIL I saw something different on the menu. First off, the menu was no longer hand-written but typed out. Second, she had lotus sticky rice!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOO. They’re basically sticky rice stuffed with chicken and mushroom wrapped in lotus leaves, mainly served in dim sum. I split it down the middle to see the fillings. It was kind of lacking in stuffing but it was still good and I most definitely welcome this new addition to the cart. Now if only she start selling ha gow and sui mai.

Rugters and E. Broadway

L.A. Eats Day 3 – Dim Sum, Beer, & Pork Shank…..

pork shank
I love me some slow braised pork shank….

I’m still in search of a good reliable dim sum place in LA. You would think having so many Chinese places it would be easy to find a place with good dim sum. Maybe I’m picky, okay I’m picky. How I tell if a place is good by ordering the rice rolls (cheung fun) because that’s mostly a thin sheet of rice noodle. If the rice rolls has a good balance of thickness and thinness (does that make sense?) then the restaurant is good. Anyways, so before flying home I did a little research if there are any new or good dim sum restaurants since I was last in LA. Read few food blogs and there seems to be a new dim sum player in town, took over another Chinese restaurant that I actually had dinner once last year. This new place is called Elite and seems like every food blog I read gave it a plus. I was excited and I brought along the one person I trust will give me an honest and good feedback, my mom!! So after dropping off my niece at pre-school, we drove out to Monterey Park. Review after the jump…

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