Tuesday, November 06, 2012

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.

Monterey Palace
1001 East Garvey Avenue
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 571-0888

South of Nick's - San Clemente


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Greg Hao said...

Ordering off menu may not be the dim sum we know but it's what all the newer dim sum places are doing these days and it is a much, much better system.

If you don't speak cantonese (or sit next to the kitchen) at dim sum places, you are generally at a severe disadvantage.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Kat2j said...

I would recommend you to try Shanghai No. 1 in San Gabriel then. They have the specialty you are talking about there too the same way. the egg tart there is the best i've had, and they serve it warm.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger sphui5 said...

monterey palace is known for a particular dumpling bun... im not sure what its called, but the MIL ordered for us. its this bun that looks like the love child of a golfball and a pineapple bun (bolo bao). its filled with a napalm-like honey sugar concoction that guarantees to leak down your face upon first bite... its freakin d'lish!

supposedly its their signature dish. you better go back!

At 11:35 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...


See I don't go to dim sum enough to know that that's the trend these days! :-)

Funny story about not speaking Cantonese. Apparently as they were putting fresh linens on our table, the waiter said something to me in Cantonese. I said "Four!" and held up four fingers.

He asked again.

I did the same thing.

Then, my friend uttered something to him and he left kind of chuckling.

Apparently the waiter was asking what kind of tea I wanted.

*Slap forehead*


Ooooh! As Barney Stinson would say: "Challenge accepted!"


Well gee. I guess I do need to go back. Your description has sold me.

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Chubbypanda said...

They have carts in Vancouver. (^_~)

But it's an exception.


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