QUESTION: I know all of the Chinese restaurants you like are 15 miles farther than I’m willing to drive, but just this once, can you recommend a really great place for dim sum that isn’t all the way out in San Gabriel?

—Jerry, Santa Monica


ANSWER: Sorry, man. I wish I could help, but you know how it is. Sea Empress in Gardena is all right, and technically it’s in the 310, although I suspect that’s not what you have in mind.

On a completely unrelated note, Langer’s Delicatessen is now selling its to-go pastrami in hermetically sealed Cryovac packaging, which means you can keep a pound or two perma-nently on hand in your refrigerator, pack it along on camping trips, or take it with you when you visit the East Coast, so that New Yorkers can finally see what pastrami is supposed to taste like. The stuff looks cold and dead when you prize it from its plastic tomb, but 20 seconds in a vegetable steamer brings the pastrami to miraculous, garlicky life. Langer’s Delicatessen, 704 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, (213) 483-8050.


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