SGV: Dim Sum at Longo Seafood in Rosemead
Every few months there’s a new “best dim sum in Los Angeles” post. Per usual, I peruse it thinking about how I’d rank the restaurants. This particular list included two restaurants I hadn’t gone to in the San Gabriel Valley. A few weeks ago, I went to Shanghai Red and then I headed to Longo Seafood to check out the dim sum.
Longo takes over the old Crown Palace location. I hadn’t thought much of that spot and half idly wondered if they had the same owners who only changed the name to seem different. In this case, Longo really upgraded the dining room and reminded me of some Vegas level decor. It was an entirely different place and even has a to-go BBQ spot next door.
The first thing I noticed about the siu mai, one of the two standard dumplings I always order at dim sum, were how juicy these were. I liked these. I also noted the wooden / plastic container. I’ve seen this style in Northern California restaurants but it was the first time I’ve seen that in Los Angeles area dim sum. I have heard in the past bamboo containers were deemed unsanitary by the local health department. Perhaps these hybrid steamers are okay?
Longo does have metal steamers though and most dumplings came in these. The har gow were pretty good though a bit salty.
I also liked these shrimp dumplings. I liked the pleating and although the wrapper was quite thick, they were not gummy.
We got porridge (aka jook or congee) and I liked that it came in a smaller bowl. I noticed other tables had larger ones so they price accordingly. I have noticed the trend of porridge to be thicker where the pork and preserved eggs are mere suggestions. The pork was tender though.
The shrimp and leek dumplings were fine.
What the hell happened to the cheung fun? The noodle rolls were twisted, cut in timy pieces with a few shrimp stuck here and there. They did a lousy job with this dish. While the twists are elegant at Mr. Champion, these look like they were made by an unskilled child. Sure, the rolls themselves were tender but there was definitely fewer shrimp and I felt ripped off.
I’ve never been a fan of the beef balls at dim sum. So we opted to try the fish balls with various bits of seafood and cilantro. Although you can barely see the cilantro, it was very heavy on the herbs For those who hate cilantro, I’d avoid these.
One of my other favorite dumplings is the chiu chow fun gor. These are traditionally made with peanuts. Longo stuck to that nut (other restaurants have been doing pine nuts) but chopped them up. Since these were rather large, there didn’t seem enough filling. Still, I’d get these again. The wrappers were quite thick but held the moisture very well.
I initially ordered a different veggie but they were out. The server recommended choy sum in a salt broth (probably a bad translation). The greens were very tender and very good. I also liked the shaved daikon on top which gave the dish a classy look.
The scallop dumplings with roe were a table favorite. Quite juicy. Longo again did an excellent job with all the dumplings with translucent wrappers.
Lately I’ve been unhappy with restaurants cutting up the chicken feet and an order now seems to contain a mere three feet. Longo didn’t carve up these feet and did a great job with the sauce. It seemed baked in and the skin seemed puffed up a bit. I would order these again.
Lunasia still reigns supreme for the best tripe in ginger scallion sauce but Longo does make a good effort on this dish.
My friend liked these turnip cakes more than I did. Longo did a good job with this classic dim dish but I felt it was lacking something. I’d give it a B+ though.
However, neither of us liked the sticky rice. There wasn’t much filling and the rice seemed dry. I’d probably wrap the rice in parchment paper then the lotus leaf as some of the leaf was stuck onto the rice. Plus parchment paper would have kept it more moist.
The egg tarts were great. A very close second or third favorite in terms of tarts in the SGV.
Overall, I’d rank Longo as top 5 while I place China Red in top 10. It’s now time to go back to the older dim sum houses. Who’s up for Elite and or Sea Harbour soon?
Longo Seafood Restaurant7540 Garvey Ave., Ste A, Rosemead, CA 91770 — (626) 280-8188
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