I have been craving dim sum nearly every weekend this Fall and have taken that craving -- happily, very happily -- to Ocean Star in Monterey Park. This morning (tired, hungover, turkeyed-out) we just didn't feel up to the big drive and big lines, so we decided to try Ocean Seafood in Chinatown.
We got there fast, we sat down fast, we wanted to leave fast.
There is simply no comparison.
First off, Chinese Doughnuts wrapped in rice noodle. The doughnuts seemed as if they were made at least a week ago...hard, dry and very bland compared to the same further East.
Next we had Shrimp-Veg Dumplings, Har Gaw Dumplings, and Scallop Dumplings. The fillings on all were just ok. The wrapper was a mess! Thick, mealy and tasteless. The shrimp wrapped with seaweed was really quite good.
I don't know the name of the next dim sum, it was a fried "empanada-shaped" piece of dough stuffed with shrimp and accompanied by a dipping sauce, like soup with shallots. I had the same dish at Ocean Star and again, no comparison. At Ocean Star the crunchy little "empanadas" came in the sauce/soup and were outstanding! I never had this particular dim sum before and I really fell for it. Unfortunately, I fell into Ocean Seafood the next time I had it - greasy and flavorless.
I like Ocean Seafood, I really do....for dinner. Now I know why there are lines at Ocean Star (and Empress Pavilion, for that matter).
The day was saved by a quick stop at Lucky Deli for an order of the most delicious BBQ pork ever. Maybe what I need to do from now on is stop in C-town, keep moving East and just wait. With a belly full of Lucky Deli's pork, I just might survive!