After my business stuff was over yesterday morning, I finally had the opportunity to try some of the SGV dim sum, and went to 888 based on recs from the board.
We arrived at 1pm and were seated immediately. The carts came quickly and we flagged them down to sample 8 dishes. Shrimp har gow, shrimp dumplings with scallions, pork shu mai, pork wrapped in bean curd, shrimp rice noodles, bbq baked pork buns, deep fried pork buns in mochi-esque wrapper, and shrimp stuffed mushrooms. On average the food was better, more flavorful, and more skillfully executed than VIP (our usual haunt) and even Empress Pavilion in downtown. We particularly liked the flavor and quality of the various shrimp dishes, although the mushrooms used seemed to be large buttons, which by themselves are not super flavorful. The two pork buns (not the shu mai) were a bit on the overly sweet side. But overall, a very nice lunch, and for $20 before tip, a great bargain to boot.
Too bad its a traffic congested 40 miles or so from where we live. I can also see parking being a bit of a nightmare during peak times. The lot was almost full when we arrived, although the restaurant was not.
I guess I was hoping I'd be blown away by the clear night and day difference between 888 and the places I've been to, including as mentioned, VIP, Empress, and one in San Fran whose name I don't recall - it's in a fancy hotel and the prices reflect it. But as my s.o. pointed out, a chowie who gets out there is accustomed to better than average food, and it takes a really stellar experience to blow us away.
A question of etiquette - would it be bad manners to ask for refills of the sriracha/hot mustard? They always bring so little...
Thanks again for the rec!!!