Sea Harbour remains among the very best dim sum in Los Angeles—its only possible competitor is the newer Elite Dim Sum. "Sea Harbour has been my favorite dim sum place in LA for a long time and it is probably the best dim sum I’ve had in the U.S.," says Lau. "For reference, in Hong Kong I think it would be considered a pretty decent dim sum place." It is, says Lau, so much better than any New York dim sum.
Lau's favorite dish: snow buns (hai gang xue shan bao). The outside is a bit salty, the inside has an egg-white custard that's a light and sweet. Pork dumplings with shrimp and roe (yu zi shao mai huang) are steamed perfectly, with tender pork and fresh shrimp. Beef rice noodle (niu rou shou la chang) is another classic dim sum dish done well, with thin, perfectly cooked noodles and properly minced beef. Ditto with shrimp rice noodles (xian xia shou la chang). Beef tendon and tripe rice noodle bowl (niu nan chang fen bao) is excellent. The beef tendon and tripe are stewed in a broth with star anise and five spice powder, and they come out very tender and flavorful.
Fried tofu in abalone sauce (bao shi pa dou fu) is excellent, with nicely fried tofu. But, warns Lau, it's a pretty Chinese dish, with very light flavors and subtle touches throughout—not everybody will like it. Baked pork buns (cha chao bao) is one of the house specialties. Even if you prefer the steamed version, give these a go: The baked bread shell is great.
Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant [San Gabriel Valley]
3939 North Rosemead Boulevard, Rosemead
Elite Dim Sum [San Gabriel Valley]
700 South Atlantic Boulevard, Monterey Park