Thursday, November 27, 2008

Empress Pavillion

One of my relatives was in town, so I took her and her daughter (well, she's about one year old, so I mean she was taken out but didn't really eat very much) out for Dim Sum, and the most convenient place I know of is always Empress Pavilion, mainly for their easy parking situation (Empress is located in Bamboo Plaza, and has tons of parking in their structure.) I know that I have to get there super early (usually, I leave my place around 9am to get there by 10am, around 11:30am it's completely packed and the wait time swells to around 30-40 minutes). This place is popular! Mainly I think it's because they stop dim sum service around 1pm so it's always a rush to get there on time.

This is a traditional dim sum place, ladies with huge dangerous steaming carts, showing their wares as they wheel on by. I usually get a few staples that I must get when I go to dim sum...
Empress Pavillion Dim Sum
Hargao, or shrimp crystal dumplings, are the number one thing I always look for when going to dimsum. My grandpa judges these by the thickness of their skin (the more see through and thin the skin is, the better the dumpling), and these are pretty decent. I love dipping these in hot mustard before biting them in half. They're definitely best when they're fresh (most things are, aren't they?)
Empress Pavillion Dim Sum
Next up, in the foreground, fung gyiao (phoenix legs, or better known as chicken feet), and in the background, siu mai dumplings. I don't always get chicken feet but they're alright, the chewing around the bones is almost fun. The sauce is pretty good this dish, although one of the pieces that I had, still had a claw they hadn't clipped off yet. Kinda..ew. Siu mai awas good, as usual, meaty and succulent. Again, they're really good after a dip in some hot mustard.
Empress Pavillion Dim Sum
Last up, some dessert - egg tarts, which are usually my favorite, and cha-siu bao,(pork buns) the steamed kind. These egg tarts were way lame - the egg mixture had been way too overcooked, so the texture wasn't right. And it tasted just...off. Plus, as a super special surprise, as I lifted my egg tart to my mouth, I noticed there was a huge gnarly hair sitting underneat my tart. Awesome! Ah, well, such is restaurant eating. The Pork buns were ordered mostly for my little cousin, who ate little bits of it dipped in the chicken feet sauce (she loved it!)

I usually head here for dim sum but I admit this was one of the less awesome trips I've had. I was completely stuffed afterwards though, it was mostly just to two of us eating so we didn't get as many dishes as I'd get if we had more people with us. However, it was relaxing and we weren't rushed or anything, so that was nice.

By the way, Happy thanksgiving! I know this is a very un-Thanksgivingish post, but there you have it :)

Empress Pavilion
988 N Hill St (in Bamboo Plaza)
Ste 201
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 617-9898
http://www.empresspavilion.com/

2 comments:

Anna Kathryn said...

don't know what made me gag more...the CLAW or HAIR...OMG EW. serious nasty, girl. you are a food blog trooper!
:) ania

ps. just recently introduced to your blog...loves it!

heysandra said...

Hey Ania! Thanks for reading! Who passed the link along to you, Lauren? :D

Hope you're doing well. And yes, I suffer for my craft but I do it all for you, the READERS! I love you guys!