Well, after much turmoil, (I always get so exited about dining out that I have trouble making decisions often about where to go)I decided to try Ocean Star today, instead of NBC seafood for dim sum. What a true delight it was. By far the best ever dim sum I've ever had, and that includes prior dim sum lunches at Empress Pavillion, Harbor Village and their newly changed Empress Harbor, and the horrible V.I.P. Harbor Seafood in west L.A. Note: There is no great chinese food on the westside, end of story.
The dining hall was much more plush than any dim sum place I've ever been to, but food was still the main priority in warranting my visit. And the food was simply exquisite. It was just me and my friend, and yet we ordered many delicious delicacies. Right off the bat, we started with cold marinated pigs trotters paired with a light duck sauce and wonerfully tangy vegetables marinated in a sweet rice wine vinegar. Absolutely divine, and seemed similar to some country french dishes that serve pig trotters and the likes. The texture was chewy and wonderfully fatty, yet felt light due to the cold aspect of the dish and the vinegared component in its essence. Next we had those wonderful shrimp dumplings in that very glutinous, see through rice paper, and covered in a mild soy sauce. I can't get over the texture of that wrapping, somewhat akin to Japanese mochi, which is no surprise since they're both made from rice flour. We also had a great earthy stewed tripe dish, the best chicken feet I have ever had the pleasure to gnaw on, so tender that the meat melted off the bony little feet once it made contact with your mouth. Another dish, similar to the chicken feet, yet probably even better was the stewd pigs trotters. OH MY GOD! Orgasmic! There was this other thing we ordered which I had no clue what it was, but it was superb. It was like a yellow rectangular flat shaped, pan fried thing, somewhat sweet with the texture of fried polenta and some bits of sweet chunks inside, maybe fruit. Whatever it exactly was, I couldn't stop eating it. However there were a few misses. My friend really liked the sticky rice steamed in the leaf, although I've had better elsewhere. My friend was also crazy about the pork bao, but I felt it was a little on the dry side. The shark fin's soup was merely okay, and didn't warrant the steep price, and the juk, although quite good, was a bit bland, so I just hit it up with some hot sauce and broth from my stewed tripe dish which balanced it out nicely. But for dessert, all I can say is Ocean Star, makes the best seasme balls, bar none. Bigger than most, with a slight opening on top so you can peer in at the sweet bean paste before popping the warm little piece of heaven into your mouth. Their rendition of this little pastry is so good, it should be put in a class of its own. We also had a few other dishes on top of this, and for all the food, the bill was only $46 plus an $8 tip for a toal of $54. A steal in my opinion for the quality of the food, and for the fact that I was so satisfied with the finest dim sum experience of my life. This is what dim sum should always be, but hardly ever is.