My very first trip into Monterey Park was to go to a place called “New Concept”. It had just opened, and it was a mind-blowing Dim-Sum.
Well, of course, it’s not New Concept anymore. Don’t know what happened. Don’t know how it happened, but somewhere along the way, Ownership changed hands, and the menu changed just a smidge. Elite changed from one of the most special places in all of Los Angeles, to just something that was really damn good.
My recommendation, try to get up early and go as close to opening as you can. Odds are, you’ll walk right in and get started. Wait another hour, you’ll arrive at the front door and wind up waiting another hour, you know what I mean?
Unlike the Dim Sum places you may be used to, Elite does things Shanghai style (even though the food, from what I understand from my Godmother is Catonese), which means you arrive at your seat, and are presented a menu. You start checking off what you want (don’t worry, they have an English menu, and it has pictures). After that food starts magically appearing, and you start magically eating.
And no, it won’t be this chaotic.
WHAT TO GET: What not to get is the real question. The Macau Pork is lovely. The Steamed Pork BBQ Buns are fantastic. But anything involving a claypot is a must have.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Remember always remember this Blog’s Dim Sum Rule. Stick to that, and you’ll finish what you ordered and not have to be carried out on a fork lift.
Also, now that I think about it. The sweet spot for this restaurant is somewhere between 10am and 11am for Dim Sum. Try to arrive somewhere in that window. If you do, you’ll walk right in and be seated. Arrive by 11am or later (or whenever Church lets out), I guarantee you will be waiting.
But even that’s okay. It’s worth it. It’s worth it.
P.S. Side note: The reason I have the old name up there, as a part of this posting? Even though it’s been years, YEARS I say, since it’s been called New Concept, I still have the habit of searching for it in my own freaking blog. Go figure.
PARKING: Free, but deceptively harder than it looks. Elite has its own Parking Lot (part of a shopping complex), which is good, but it fills up really as the day goes on. If it gets too late, you’ll be stuck looking for metered parking along Atlantic, which is fine, its plentiful, but you’ll be a bit farther away. If that happens, be prepared to send someone from your party inside first because it’s gonna be crowded.
Elite Restaurant (mind you the website is not in English)
700 South Atlantic Boulevard
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Telephone: (626) 282-9998