Monterey Palace - Monterey Park
I wish I could eat dim sum more often. But you know how it is with dim sum. I call it the Catch-22 food. In order to go to a place that's worth its soy sauce, you need to go where the line is longest. You cannot be an impatient person and also love dim sum. The two are mutually exclusive.
But this was a special occasion, so it was off with my buds to Monterey Palace, a place that one of my friends recommended--a friend whose parents practically live in SGV's dim sum houses.
He told me three things about the place that turned out to be all true:
1) Monterey Palace's parking lot is insanely small. The neighborhood along the street next to the restaurant exists basically as overflow parking.
2) When your number is finally called you'll notice that you see not one roving cart. Everything is ordered off the menu. And I don't think it's necessarily Vancouver-style either. Methinks it's because the tables are packed so close together, there's simply no room for carts.
3) Their specialty is actually the deep fried cruller wrapped in a sheet of thin rice noodle (I'd get the Chinese name for you, but again, I'm impatient, and have other stuff to do). It's taken to a new level here--the cruller is filled with a kind of steamed fish paste.
But here's what I also found out: the egg custard tarts here are divine--light and wiggly, all poured into a crumbly crust that seems to disintegrate if you breathe on it wrong...easily one of the best I've ever had.
And the price. My God. The price. $1 per head for the tea. $2.09 each for the dim sum.
Now if only I could stand standing in line.
1001 East Garvey Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
South of Nick's - San Clemente