Inexpensive yet pretty impressive (all things considered) Dim-Sum in Monterey Park.
It’s an amazing story really, the happiest of accidents.
You find yourself stuck in Monterey Park, with nothing much to do, and looking for something to eat. I’m in the Times Square Complex at the far end of Atlantic Avenue, home to such places as Tasty Garden and Happy Family Vegetarian. And you see it, somewhat hidden up in the rafters, just below where the line of Apartments begins. You see Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum. And through the large window there, you see a lot of people having a good ol’ time.
Okay, you figure. Why not wander in? Why not check it out? You take the steps up and up, and get inside. There are a fair number of people in there, waiting to get in. Some large parties, some small. It’s going to be a five to ten minute wait. No big deal. You wait it out.
Then you start noticing things. You see the clear glass Wine humidor right int he lobby. Apparently this place has got itself a nice wine life, one my Sommelier friend can at least live with. But you don’t get to peruse too long, because you’re quickly called inside.
Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum is set in a compact little space, with low ceilings, and televisions on the wall. But there’s what looks to be a bar at the far end of the space, as well as a crystal and peach colored chandelier. As you sit down, you realize, the place isn’t so compact after all. The tables stretch back and back into what feels like infinity.
And then, you notice another thing about Atlantic. It’s old school. The ladies are pushing carts in and through the restaurant. Oh, I haven’t seen this since the late, lamented (and as of this publication) soon to re-open Empress Pavilion. This is gonna be good, you think.
Well, not to put the total brakes on things, it’s still…good. The Dim Sum served at Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum isn’t as elaborate as places like Elite, Lunasia or Mission 261. It’s never going to enter that rarified air, but it’s not bad. The Carts really come in three varieties, with some selling pasties, some selling Turnip Cakes and some selling…everything else. Really, no one Lady has a cart with just one thing. You’re going to have to pick through and examine what’s being offered.
As I said, it was a good Dim Sum experience, not a great one. But then, they drop the bill on you.
$22 dollars…for two people??!?!?
Are you sure that wasn’t a misprint?
Apparently, I missed the sign that talked about the Dim Sum Happy hour from 9am to 3pm.
All of the sudden, Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum goes from an okay Dim Sum place to the greatest Dim Sum Place ever!! That’s a great place for a place that knows it’s in competition with some serious Dim Sum players down the block.
That being said, I’m still going to the serious players, but Atlantic has got my attention. Who knows how like this Dim Sum Happy Hour is going to keep happening, but as long as they do, I’ll keep coming back.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: You should roll with the Dim Sum dishes you feel comfortable with, just be aware that everything is going to have some manner of shrimp or seafood in it. It is called Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum after all.
That being said, their Meatball was one of the best I’ve ever tasted…period. Right before it was handed to us, the Lady put some sweet sauce over it that just raised it to the moon. They also have some Egg Yolk Bakery…thing that came with a Golden Crust top. I’ve never seen these before, so I don’t know what to call them, but the insides were among the single sweetest thing I’ve ever had at a Chinese Restaurant. Seriously, it tasted like a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, only without the chocolate. It was fantastic.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Just be aware that even though it’s not the greatest of Dim Sum Places, there is still gonna be a line to get in. Don’t worry, there are plenty of chairs there for your sitting pleasure.
PARKING: At the Times Square complex, Parking is free and…well…reasonably plentiful. You will find a place to park…somewhere in there. The only question is how close you get to an Escalator or an Elevator…or the stairs The more you’re willing to walk, the better your odds at finding a space quickly. If you want something closer, you’ll probably be driving around for a while.
Atlantic Seafood and Dim Sum
500 N. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 872-0388