Before I start this post, I must say thank you to all the posters here and on the other chowhound boards posting pictures of their meals. I've LOVE pictures of all kinds (Proud LACMA member here..). In fact, my absolute FAVORITE news day, is Wednesday, because that is when the LA Times comes out with their food and automotive sections
seeing awesome pictures of great food AND cars just makes me a happy girl
So when about a month ago, the LA Times did a piece on some of the great Dim Sum places in L.A. complete with pictures of their amazing offerings all I could think about for days after was Dim Sum And luckily, it wasn't long before one of the hounds offered to plan an outing to New Concept
New Concept is located on Atlantic in Monterrey Park It's a stand alone building right next to an older strip mall. It's one of the new places as it's sign on front is basically still a banner. We made our reservation at 10:30 in order to make sure we miss the crowd and make sure we didnt miss anything! The place is small when compared to Ocean Star or NBC, a bit crowded and formal. It doesn't have cart service, nor doe the menu have pictures of what the Dim Sum looks like. However, there are waitresses who randomly come by with various dishes to snap up
And our feast included:
BBQ Pork Buns: Still steamy from the kitchen, they were BEAUTIFUL. Small and glossy. The bread was as light as a feather. The thin glaze was salty and sweet. The BBQ filling was slight, but just enough.
Shrimp Shiu Mai: This version of the Dum Sum staple was a perfect example on how far from Ocean Star we've come. Absolutely stuffed with meat and topped with crab roe. Great flavor and texture.
Shark Fin Dumplings: One of the 'creations' featured in the LA Times. It was absolutely beautiful But rather hard to eat with Chop Sticks as the skin was rather thick and firm I gave up and used my hands on the bright green wrapper.
Chinese Sausage and Mushroom Clay Pot: Every table seemed to have a Clay pot dish! This was really good. Nice dry rice and flavorful meat. I was so glad to have the Rice as the next dish that arrived was..
Pigs Feet in Sauce: One of my favorite dishes of the meal. The pigs feet were done nicely, but the sauce was just amazing. It tasted almost like a Balsamic reduction, sweet, tangy, rich. It was perfect on top of the rice from the clay pot. And even better when mixed with the next dish..
Scallop Rice Porridge: A HUGE bowl gave us all a wonderful portion. Personally, I found it too "scaloppy", but I mixed in some of the sauce from the Pigs Feet and was in heaven
Steamed Chinese Broccoli: I love Chinese Broccoli. When I first get to Ocean Star, the first I do is track down the Broccoli Cart! This version did not even compare. Very woody and not much flavor on it's own.
Dim Sum Noodles and Shrimp: Of course, it came with the typical Dim Sum sauce on the side, but again, I used the Pigs Feet sauce (Thankfully we ordered two orders of it!)
BBQ Pork Turn Over: BBQ Pork in a pastry shell usually reserved for Taro Turn Overs, these were SO much better than the Buns. The BBQ pork inside was even more plentiful. The buns are beautiful, but these rocked.
Crispy Taro Cake: It looked like a HUGE deep fried cotton ball, but the taste amazing! One of the prettiest things on the table of the meal and also, not greasy in the slightest.
Mushroom Stuffed with Abalone: My absolute FAVORITE of the meal. I love mushrooms and I love Abalone. The taste of the mushroom and abalone were in perfect balance. Neither these two ingredients were tough or overcooked.
Pan Fried Noodles in XO Sauce Tart: The rolled noodles were placed in a crust that made it look like a Noodle pie! So pretty, and very tasty with the XO Sauce.
Crispy Crust Egg Tart: I love custards (FLAN!), especially eggy ones like this one was. The crust was light and flavorful. The size was small, but we didn't mind ordering some more of these.
Our table also ordered the Green Tea Balls, but I had to run out and did not get a chance try them and I sware, I also feel like I'm forgetting a few dishes LOL! Further, the other table of Hounds had some other interesting dishes such as an Abalone Soup and Steamed Buns! Perhaps next time! :D
Overall, it was all pretty good. Visually, the dishes were beautiful. The service was decent. And it was a good value for all the food. About $16 per person which is much cheaper than the current subject of my Wednesday LA Times influenced day dreams, the new Bentley Continental *sigh*