Whenever I go for dim sum, even with friends who know the drill, I end up feeling like I've ordered nine million shrimp and slimy noodle things, or feeling like everything we ordered was fried, or that my blood pressure is going to skyrocket because of sodium. In short, I always suspected I must be doing something wrong (I have low self-esteem that way). Today, I took my car in for an oil change and ventured alone to the one restaurant (other than the Target food court or Fosselman's ice cream) that is walking distance to the Saturn dealership on Main Street on Alhambra's auto row--the Ritz Garden Seafood Restaurant. The waitress must have taken pity on me, because for the first time I was given a laminated dim sum menu with photos as well as an order form, similar to the kind given out at sushi bars. I started with something called "Steamed Sweet Tofu" which turned out to be slabs of tofu plunked into a hot, slightly sugary broth (very subtle and comforting, a good thing since I was frazzled from car trouble), followed by the inevitable shrimp har gow--4 dumplings--(both items were $1.25 each) and finally, as a nod to healthy eating, an order of "biled [sic] Chinese broccoli" ($5.95). It was more than enough for one person and would have been perfect for two! I left feeling sated rather than perplexed, greasy and thirsty. The restaurant was nearly empty at 11 a.m., which explained why they had the order sheets rather than the circulating ladies and carts. The decor of the place is fairly standard (lots of round tables) but also features a giant shellacked shark hanging from the ceiling, a disco ball, "crystal" chandeliers and a stage with a shimmery curtain, perhaps to suggest a "Ritzy" atmosphere.
Ritz Gaden Seafood Restaurant
2000 W. Main Street