These days, if you can’t make it for a dim sum brunch early weekend hours, then having dim sum for dinner is becoming a more and more of an option here in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Lunasia’s current dim sum menu offers the traditional items as well as some fancier dim sum dishes such as the Scallop Dumplings with Squid Ink Wrap, Baked Abalone Tarts, and the Pan Fried Pork Bun with added Crab Meat. While we loved the Scallop Dumplings and the Pan Fried Pork & Crab baos, we didn’t feel the same with the Baked Abalone Tart, as the abalone was quite hard.
Dim sum, for the most part, is priced the same for both lunch and dinner hours, and the execution of many of the items we ordered were quite good. The only dishes that didn’t work for us were the rice noodle rolls. Both types we ordered were overcooked.
Another plus about having dim sum at this location at night? Less crowds, ample parking, and there’s no feeling rushed to finish your meal so that they can flip the table quickly for the next party.
Crispy Shrimp Rolls
Scallop Dumplings made with Squid Ink
Jumbo Pork Siu Mai
Jumble Pork Har-Gow
Steamed BBQ Pork Baos
Mushroom Veggie Bao
Rice Noodle Rolls with BBQ Pork
Red Rice Noodle Rolls with Mushrooms
Baked Abalone Puff
Inside of the Baked Abalone Puff
Spinach & Shrimp DUmpling
Braised Yee Mein with Lobster
Pan Fried Bun with Crab Meat
Pan Fried Bun with Crab Meat and Ground Pork
Mixed Puff with Pork (aka Ham Sui Gok)
Deep Fried Carrot Balls
Deep Fried Carrot Balls have a runny egg yolk filling inside
Dessert Soup with egg, water chestnuts, etc.
Korean Royal Cuisine Progression Dinner at Yong Su San
I’ve heard from some that these progression dinners, aka Royal Cuisine, are more common in North Korea these days than in the South. Not sure how true that is. Multi-course meal served family style, in a formal setting, but not as grand and spectacular as one would see at a Chinese banquet dinner. Nevertheless, it is an interesting experience to partake in at least once.
The dinners are not cheap (about $40 and up per person depending on the menu selected), and while the flavors were there, they were rather muted and not as bold as one would expect from Korean food. Many of the dishes were good, but there are better versions elsewhere.
Yet, this place is packed, and for the most part, diners are seated in their own private dining room, whether it’s for a party of 4 or 20 (advanced reservations required, of course).
I read about Chengdu Impression’s soft-opening on EaterLA.com. Chengdu Impression (not to be confused with Chicago’s Chengdu Impression, which is unrelated) is a restaurant chain in China, that, like Meizhou Dongpo and Hai Di Lao, has opened its first location in the United States. CI is known for being a more upscale Sichuan restaurant, providing an elegant and tastefully designed and decorated space for diners to enjoy elevated versions of Sichuan favorites such as Kung Pao Shrimp, Ma Po Tofu, and Fish with Pickled Green Peppers.
The service here is very attentive and polite, with a majority of the staff being bilingual (Mandarin and English) and even trilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese and English). They have some issues to work on, such as the timing of the service of each course (at times they were ready to serve the next course just as soon as half of the table finished with the current course).
The food itself is a good representation as to the style of the Sichuan dishes they serve, and it was tasty, with some dishes packing a good bit of heat. At $45 per person plus tax and gratuity, it seemed to be a good bargain for those who are accustomed to tasting menus from having dined at the likes of Maude, Patina, or even Papilles. But for those who mainly dine at Chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, the price is a bit high for the amount of food served.
The tasting menu is being offered during dinner hours and on weekends. A separate lunch menu is available only during weekdays, and that’s where you have the ability to order a la carte as well as being able to try dishes that are not featured in the tasting menu. I will definitely go back for that.
Chengdu Impression, 21 East Huntington Drive, Arcadia, California 91006, Telephone: (626) 462-9999. No website as of this posting. Generally open from 11:30 am to 2:00pm and 5:3opm. Call for exact hours. Parking in the rear. Reservations highly recommended.
Course 1 – Three Cold Dishes (Marinated Cucumber, Wood Ear Fungus, Dried Shredded Beef)
Course 2 – Pancakes
Course 2 – Sliced Spicy Beef (to stuff into the pancake to make a sandwich)
Course 3 – Chicken with Green Pepper Sauce (served in conjunction with the Sliced Beef & Pancake)
Course 4 – Chicken and Cuttlefish Soup
Course 5 – House Special Pork Belly
Course 6 – Oil Pouring Fish (with pickled peppers and mung bean noodles)
Course 7 – Special Shredded Beef
The accompanying spiced mix packed quite a bite that it gave me a good sweat and tongue burn.
Course 8 – Kung Pao Shrimp
Course 9 – Green Bean (Shishito Peppers) with Stewed Pork
Course 10 – Seasonal Vegetable (Baby Pea Shoots)
Course 11 – Pan Fried Sticker (Dumpling, think they meant Potsticker)
Complimentary Course – Fried Rice Cakes (provided to the table by management from keeping a diner at our table from waiting excessive long for her substitutions to the beef courses, as she does not eat beef)
Course 12 – Panda Rice Ball (Glutenous Rice Ball stuffed with Black Sesame Paste)
Lunch Menu Available during Weekdays Only for Now
Lunch Menu Available during Weekdays Only for Now
Upstairs rear dining area (seems to be perfect for warmer days)
Downstairs rear dining area
A look down the hallway from the front waiting area
A look down the hallway from the rear entrance