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"I could've been a contender" ... and other thoughts about TOP ISLAND dim sum

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Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area Dim Sum

"I could've been a contender" ... and other thoughts about TOP ISLAND dim sum

ipsedixit | | Feb 4, 2007 08:16 PM

Finally found some time to try the dim sum at TOP ISLAND.

The entire experience was utterly disappointing, which to me just means that people will flock to any place that offers food that is easy on the 401K, but hard on the tastebuds. This can only be the explanation for the crowds at this place.

The baos were stuffed (with miniscule amounts) of tasteless filling -- that were also too dry. The baos themselves were also too dry, which leads one to wonder ... were these things steamed, baked or (heaven forbid) zapped by your favorite Panasonic Microwave?

The dumplings? Where to begin. We asked for a tray of veggie dumplings, but the dish had both chicken and beef dumplings. Huh? Confusion aside, I've had better chicken from McNuggets and the beef? Remember the Wendy's commercial with the little old lady from the 80s ... "where's the beef"?

One of my favorite dishes, chinese broccoli with hoison/oyster sauce nearly shattered my teeth. The stalks were so tough it reminded me of those childhood memories of gnawing on sugarcane stalks. And the leafy part? So sinewy, I used up probably a whole box of toothpicks to extricate all that fiber from my teeth.

Equally sad were the spareribs (oily and tough), noodles (gluey), congee (well, ok, it's only rice so how bad could it be, right? don't ask).

Even dessert was a letdown. As a fan of all things egg custard, I could not have walked away more disgusted from Top Island's version. It tasted like it was left under a heat lamp for so long that it was better suited for an archaeologist than a diner.

Which brings me back to that great line by Brando from "On the Water Front" ...

"You don't understand. I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody instead of a bum, which I am."

Yeah, indeed, a bum you are.

TOP ISLAND
740 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra,
(626) 300-9898.

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