Hollywood East Cafe

China Garden, at least so far through my experience, is the best dim sum I have had in this area.  However, in recent visits, their quality in a couple of areas (sticky rice most notably) seemed to have slipped – enough that it warranted an excursion to see if we could find comparable dim sum.  The search took us to Hollywood East Cafe, which Tyler Cowen lauded as the “best dim sum around“.  That is hefty praise indeed.

As one would want with dim sum, we came with a pretty large group complete with token asians (you never know when it helps to know a secret handshake or two).  We ordered wide and well, and for something like dim sum – it is almost best just dealing in notes:

Dumplings – good all around, the scallop and watercress in particular.  All the steamed goodness very solid.

Chinese Broccoli – a little dry without the oyster sauce, but overall a solid product

Shrimp Noodle – well done

The thing with the fritter surrounded by rice noodle (Ja Leung) – Total crack.  I cannot discuss this rationally.

Chicken Feet – I could not take the plunge.  Those who did were not impressed.

Pork Spareribs – Not too bad, but unremakable

Beef Chowfoon – The noodles were fine, but the beef was a bit tough.  They might have missed the mark a bit.

Taro Fritter – delicious, but way too greasy.  This is the sort of fried food preparation that gives those people who say “fried food is bad” and only eat steamed vegetables and baked chicken some measure of justification.

Turnip Cake – Not bad.  Flavor solid.

Egg Custard Tart – Too eggy.  It tasted more like a deviled egg of some kind than a custard.

Overall, this might not measure up to China Garden.  I’m not sure.  The service was slow at times, but that is often a good thing at Dim Sum.  At 80 minutes, we did not really stretch out and luxuriate like we could have.  Overall, it’s a good place.  Is it great or a can’t miss?  Probably not.


One thought on “Hollywood East Cafe

  1. I believe it’s proper to capitalize the “A” in “Asian”. I thought the food was semi-decent. Dumplings were decent (if you mess up your basic shrimp dumplings and Shu Mai, then you might as well pack up and leave). The deep fried crullers wrapped in soft rich noodles is called “Ja Leung” (Cantonese). It’s usually among the top favorite of most dim sum patrons. Their interpretation was good but it lacked the minced dried shrimp, scallions, and sesame embellishments. Also, sweetened soy sauce is good but please don’t drown them in it.

    Did you partake in the tripe? I would have to agree that chicken feet were mediocre at best. There were certainly not braised long enough and no black beans and chilies in sauce equates to a sub-par result.

    Steamed spare ribs were way too fatty.

    What did you think of the beef balls (ordered for Jarrett)?

    What did you think of the Oolong tea vs. Chrysanthemum tea?

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