Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Intermission no. 18 (entr’acte) Dim Sum in Gardena, California

On our way to the Los Angeles Airport we stopped for lunch at a “Dim Sum” restaurant. This restaurant is located in Gardena, not far from the airport and was recommended by my daughter.

The Sea Empress Seafood Restaurant is known as an authentic Chinese restaurant serving high quality dim sum.

When I lived in San Francisco I used to love to go to Chinatown to eat – a dim sum meal was a favorite. Dim sum, a Cantonese specialty, started as a snack rather than a full size meal. The dishes are prepared as small-bite size or individual portions of food. They are served on small plates or small steamer baskets.

Service is fast because as soon as you sit down the servers come to your table with rolling carts containing tantalizing food.

Some of the food is cooked in front of you, like the tasty greens below. They are delicious with the sauce provided.

I especially liked the tiny fried fish below.

As the server passes by with the cart, you select the small plates. A card is stamped each time so that at the end of the meal all the dishes will be added for the bill. Once the dishes are on the table each person selects what they wish to eat, such as har gow, sui maj, turnip cakes, dumplings and a large variety of delicious things whose names I don’t know.

Sometimes I am not sure what the dish is, but it is fun to find out (and sometimes I ‘d rather not know …)

The little buns below – don’t know their names – made of bean paste with sesame seeds are a good dessert. I had one, then took another.

The meal was quickly finished which was good since we had a plane to catch. The children were sleepy but enjoyed the meals apart from the baby who wondered what all this was about.

It was time to leave, but not before I took some additional pictures of the restaurant décor.

It was clear when our plane took off and I could see Los Angeles from the air.

The sun was rapidly setting though and colors were changing to golden hues.

Au revoir, Los Angeles!


CrazyCris said...

Oh yum! I can't wait for lunch to be ready, this post has really opened my appetite!

I discovered dim sum on a visit to Hong Kong and instantly fell in love! Pity it's completely unknown here in Spain (as far as I know). *sigh*

Glad you enjoyed what looks like a delicious meal! :o)

Angela said...

Lovely post, very yummy! In Hamburg we once went to such an authentical Chinese restaurant, too, and now I wish we`d go again (although you are right, sometimes one doesn`t really want to know what it is all made of - here they just found a prepared-for-cooking fox in an Asia restaurant...). I like it when they have open kitchens.
Your baby looks sweet. I also just visited my grandchildren. There is nothing better! Much love from Germany!

DJan said...

I thought to myself how observant you are, as I looked at the decor of the restaurant. Your pictures of the meal are definitely yummy, and the pictures from the plane as the sun sets are somehow very nostalgic. Glad to hear from you, as always... :-)

Pondside said...

We like to go for Dim Sum on a Saturday at noon in the winter time. The busy room, the steamy wheeled carts pushed between tables, the wonderful smells - it may be time to go again! Your photos were great and will have us all hungry!

Rosaria Williams said...

You always delight us with your findings! Since I visit Los Angeles often, I shall try to remember this restaurant close to the airport.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

All those dishes on your table looked so delicious! And that dessert looked quite scrumptious, too! YUM!
It was lovely to talk to you, my dear....And I wish I could have seen you, but that is how life is, isn't it?
Do you know why Los Angeles has such lovely Sunsets? The Smog! Yes! The worse the air is, the prettier the Sunset! Scary, isn't it?

Ann said...

although i am a fan of chines food and have eaten at many great restaurants i have never had dim sum!!
after this post..i need to have some!!!

Arti said...

Yes, the dim sum looks authentic indeed. We have them often esp. with older folks. It's the best kind of lunch for a family gathering. But the younger ones rather have hamburgers and pizza's :) My favorite dim sum dish is the tiny egg tarts, as dessert.

livininlb said...

"OldOld Lady of the Hills" - I was just thinking that the other day about the sunset. That it looked so beautiful but also kind of smoggy. I think you are right on...

"Arti" - My nephews are 3 and 5 and they really love Dim Sum. I was surprised; but they are mush more picky about what they will try. As for the egg tart desserts, I ALWAYS pick those up first because they are my favorite and I'm afraid they will run out before I finish my meal and am ready for them. It happened once and I won't let it happen again. :)

My mother has me check that her posts update correctly while she is on her trips. She has such lovely readers and commenters!!


claude said...

Un post qui met en appétit, Vagabonde !

Emm said...

Dim sum is one of my favourite foods but it looks like you had a huge array there!! The menus here seem limited in comparison!! You photos out of the plane just look stunning.

Dianne said...

the last shot is stunning!!

I love Dim Sum and can make a feast of it

Fennie said...

You'd think, wouldn't you that Dim Sum might be the answer to the airline food problem. After all they have the carts and the size of the dishes wouldn't cause a problem and chopsticks would probably weigh less than cutlery. I think you should suggest it.
As always lovely writing, Vagabonde, and stunning pictures.

Diane said...

I agree it is sometimes better not to know what is in a dish, but I am happy to try anything. This food looks fantastic. Diane

Pat said...

That's just what I need to tempt my appetite which has faltered slightly since picking up a stray bug.
I'm fine - just not as ravenous as usual.

Ginnie said...

Dim sum...kinda like tapas, right?! :) I can see you had fun, Vagabonde, and what a way to end your trip to California. Hope you're back home safe-n-sound.

Vicki Lane said...

I have no right to be hungry at this hour but I wouldn't say no to any of that food.

Your sunset pictures are wonderful!

Jeanne said...

Lovely photos! Went for dim sum last week with my husband. Very interesting experience. Some of the items I preferred not to know too much about past tasting.

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