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Sea Harbour: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011 

Thursday, Nov 10 2011
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I am reasonably sure that when Jackie Chan dines at Sea Harbour, he is whisked to a private room, plied with Bordeaux and fed the supreme luxuries of the Hong Kong billionaire's table: that one, live fish in the tank your waiter will never tell you the price of; sun-dried Japanese abalone; rare and costly conpoy, sea cucumber and geoducks. Sea Harbour has long been one of the major Cantonese seafood restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley, an import from China by way of Vancouver, and it is where to come when you are planning to splash out for crystal crabs, live prawns the size of plantains or the soup that dare not speak its name. It is the Cantonese equivalent of a Michelin two-star restaurant and, taken on its own terms, it is as expensive as Spago.

Sea Harbour is more accessible at dim sum, and it introduced the concept of ordering with checklists, instead of from carts, nearly a decade ago. But as the level of most other local dim sum restaurants has stayed mostly the same in the last several years, Sea Harbour seems driven by a different sort of competition, perhaps from restaurants in Hong Kong and Shenzen, because there always seems to be something we've never seen before — duck kidneys fried with shiso; XO-encrusted radish cubes in pastry cups — as well as the usual har gow, bao, snow buns and fried chicken winglets dusted in pepper salt.

In exotica-obsessed Los Angeles, it is perhaps not unusual to dine on things like spinach sautéed with minced foie gras, steamed rice sheets with bitter melon, fried ox tripe and tendon with noodle rolls, dumplings stuffed with chestnut and shrimp or clay-pot rice with house-cured duck, sausage and pork. But at Sea Harbour, it's breakfast. 3939 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead. (626) 288-3939. Dim sum Mon.-Fri., 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; dinner nightly, 5-10 p.m. Beer and wine. Lot parking. MC, V. Chinese.

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99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

 

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