Empress Pavilion (Soon to Re-Open)
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The “Grand Dame” of all Dim Sum places in Los Angeles.
When I first went looking for a Dim Sum Place in Los Angeles, this was the place people told me about. It’s buried in the heart of a multilevel Asian Strip mall in old Chinatown, but she is definitely the place to go.
Now, they do Dim Sum old school style, with the ladies pushing the carts of hot (or warm) goodness around their massive restaurant. They cover the full range of Dim Sum dishes. Nothing too exotic. Nothing too experimental, just the classics done right.
When you see the Bamboo Plaza, you’ll know you’re there.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t come here for Dinner, you should. They put out a mean spread of solid (Cantonese?) cooking. Again, nothing but the classics done right.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, it’s all going to depend on what you see on the carts. Odds are you’ll see the Spring Rolls, and you’ll see the Fried and Pan-friend Dumplings for sure. Just make sure you save the Egg Custards till last.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Oh my God…oh my God…oh my God can it get crowded on a weekend. As in wall to wall people, hand to hand combat to get in and out. My advice, give you name (and party size) to the hostess, and worm your way over to the bar to have yourself a drink and relax. You may be tempted to wander the mall, but there’s plenty of time for that afterward. Stay close to where the Hostess can see you, or you can at least hear her. There are TVs where you can catch the game for a minute or two (if that’s your thing), and wait out your time before you get a table.
PARKING: The Empress has access to a Garage in the complex that houses the Restaurant. It’s been a while since I’ve been there, but I don’t recall it costing all that much (if anything at all). The only danger is the fact that it can fill up decently fast. The trick is to keep going higher and higher, and you should find something.
988 N. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA