I tried two places this weekend that I've never tried before. One being Jesse Wong's Hong Kong in Columbia, and the other was Silver Fountain in Aspen Hill. Both were pretty good.
Jesse Wong: There was no wait to get seated, although the rainy weather might have contributed to this. Dim sum carts were everywhere and there was plenty of food. The har gaws were very good, as were the siu mais. We had other dishes that were pretty good too, and a pan fried noodle dish that was much better than some restaurants found in more concentrated asian areas. The service was very attentive, but the prices were a bit high, as to be expected from an area like Columbia. All dim sum dishes start at $2.95 and the noodle dish was $10.95. There was ample asian representation in the clientele. The decor inside was nice, with dark woods.
Silver Fountain: We got there before the peak rush and there was still a 10 minute wait that lasted about 25 minutes. Clientele was mostly asian/chinese. The food was pretty good, although I thought the har gaws contained a bit too much fluff (ie. starch in the filling). Other dim sum entrees like the siu mais, the shrimp crepes, the roast pork crepes, etc., were pretty good. I enjoyed their egg tarts also, which were regular size compared to Jesse's, which were small sized. The pan fried noodle dish here was very good, and much cheaper at $8.95. I think the dim sum entrees start at $2.50. The decor inside was nice, with dark woods also.
Overall, I would definitely rate these two dim sum options to be better than the much ballyhooed/overrated Hollywood East at the Blvd.
As I reported awhile ago, the new HE and their imported HK dim sum chefs created dim sum dishes that were very average in my opinion (a bit too sweet) and the noodle dish was barely edible as it was pretty much tasteless. The service from the manager/owner was good, but the restaurant is a bit small. I've never seen anyone eat at their sidewalk tables as I would imagine the traffic and exhaust fumes from the heavily traveled University Blvd. wouldn't make their offerings go down well.
Overall, I still think Oriental East is the best in this area, even while factoring in other popular options like Fortune (Gaithersburg), China Garden, etc.