This past Friday we were in the mood for Chinese (okay, I was in the mood for Chinese and my wife went along with it) so we decided to head out to Monterey Park.
We cruised around Monterey Park/Alhambra for a bit first and were amazed to see that most of the restaurants were less than half full at 8:00 on a Friday night. We hadn't been to 888 Seafood in a while and it's usually packed so we thought this might be a good night to try it again.
We walked in around 8:30 and there were maybe half a dozen tables. We were seated quickly and politely and we were waited on by a very attentive, charming and bilingual waiter.
We ordered a whole steamed rock cod, gai lan (chinese brocolli) with salted fish, a chiu chow style chicken with a chinese herb called ti jung (kind of basil like) and a cold goose appetizer to start (which is the classic Chiu Chow starter).
Our waiter advised us that we were ordering way too much food and he was right, but we were happy to take it home.
Everything was terrific. Our bill with a few beers was $50 or so.
Whenever I eat in the San Gabriel Valley I wonder how anyone can order (and pay for) fish on the westside. I just don't get it....
I've read several posts here and elsewhere about service at this restaurant ranging from aloof to rude, but that was not our experience at all. (It probably helps that the place was more than half empty. We've noticed this same trend in previously snotty westside places - they aren't so snotty when it's slow).
We would rate it a 9 out of 10 for southern Chinese seafood.
However, I would point out that if what you really want is Szechuan food (spicy) or Shanghainese food (heavy, greasy, meaty), this would not be the place that you should go. Their specialty is Chiu Chow (aka Teo Chow) and Cantonese seafood. Stick to those things and you'll be very happy. Do not go to this restaurant and order spicy food or ask for some kind of hot sauce to put on it or you will be totally missing the point.
Although my wife is a native chinese speaker, we were pleased to have a bilingual waiter. However, most of the waiters and waitresses were not bilingual. You might have a better experience if you booked a table in advance and requested a bilingual waiter to help you through the menu.
888 Seafood Restaurant
8450 Valley Blvd. #121
Rosemead, CA 91770