Ok, you win. Your side of town has the best dim sum :)
I defended VIP for quite a while, it being much closer to me and my not being the biggest fan of Empress in downtown, which is still a good deal closer than SGV, but I must admit, SGV rocks dim sum.
Made my first trip out that way when I had a business thing in the morning, and I went to 888. Very good. Certainly beat VIP overall, but there were at least a couple things I wasn't crazy about.
But it made me want to try again, so we braved it on a weekend and went to Triumphal. Got there about ten to noon, and no wait! But the tables were almost all full, so we felt that the restaurant was clearly popular (and therefore must be good). Perfect timing. I really like the menu vs. cart thing too. It makes it that much easier to get exactly what you want, at the right temperature, and you can choose from the full menu, as opposed to just the carts that have passed you by and the wares they are carrying. The food was outstanding. Shui mai, har gow, rice noodles, baked and steamed bao, I can't recall what else we got. The manager came out to greet us and THANKED us for coming all the way from the westside :) She encouraged us to come again and sample the dinner offerings.
So of course, when we were in Pasadena last week for an appointment, I whined until s.o. agreed to go again (it wasn't too hard to convince him - he also loved the food). This time we got a couple new dishes, including the bbq duck (a bit on the fatty side, but the taste was delectable), some bean curd wrapped "dumplings" with shrimp, pork, and veggies in an incredible rich chicken broth, and some fantastic baked turnip and scallop cakes. Have to comment on these, because I have never seen these before. They aren't the fried squares we were used to, but three light and flaky pastries with a smooth filling of sweet mashed turnip and scallop. Quite good. Better still with some of the chili sauce.
The second time was during the week, but around 1240, and still, tables full but no wait. Best situation.
Last comment, our older son is allergic to nuts, and although we feed him at VIP because we have a comfort level at this point, we didn't give him anything at Triumphal (or 888) because we were concerned with the language barrier. We got burned at DTF because they told us no peanuts in our order and then he had a reaction anyway. So he brought in a cheeseburger to Triumphal both times. The staff were very gracious, didn't make a big deal, didn't bat an eye. It made me feel much more comfortable and less guilty (still a little guilty).
Triumphal Palace rocks. SGV dim sum rocks. I look forward to trying some of the other places you guys have got. Just have to arrange a couple more business meetings!
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